National social dialogue structures and the european employment strategy: comparing Greece and Ireland

Cihan, Gizem
The purpose of this thesis is to analyse the impact of European Employment Strategy (EES) on social partnership at national level. Increasing the participation of trade unions, employer organisations and other social partners in policy formulation and implementation is one of the EES objectives. A comparative study has been conducted on Ireland and Greece in order to analyse to what extent this objective has been achieved through EES, which is an Open Method of Coordination. Historical institutionalism provides the theoretical framework for this thesis. The impact of EES is demonstrated at two levels. First level change indicates change in discourse. Second level shows change in social partners‟ involvement in the formulation and implementation of policy. Research findings show that the EES impact on Greece and Ireland is not homogenous. In social partners‟ discourse, which is analysed at first level, rather than the inauguration of EES, Lisbon strategy has been more reflected. At second level, while EES can deepen and broaden Irish social partnership, EES failed in Greece except a limited impact. Since EES relies on domestic structures for implementing common objectives, this conclusion questions the EES‟ ability to achieve its objectives where the national structures are weak and resistant to change. However, considering the positive impact of EES on Ireland, it is clear that EES cannot be declared ineffective. Therefore, in the OMC and EES literature this thesis contributes to the third approach that challenges both proponents and sceptics relying on comparative empirical data.


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Citation Formats
G. Cihan, “National social dialogue structures and the european employment strategy: comparing Greece and Ireland,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2010.