The primary objective of this assignment is to examine the evolution of Irish employment policy since 1987. The principal vehicle for examination of policy in Ireland will be the Partnership accords that have been a feature of the political landscape in one guise or another since then. A secondary objective will be to examine Ireland's interaction at the supranational level in the EU, where the key development under consideration will be the European Employment Strategy (EES), which is governed under a system known as the Open Method of Co-ordination (OMC). The key priority for the assignment is as follows:
To illustrate the essentially (competitive) corporatist nature of policy evolution and development in Ireland through the partnership process and to illustrate how employment policy considerations have formed and continue to form the "core" or "hub" of these accords.
Since circa 1993, and with completion of the project to establish the Single Market, policy-makers in the EU have increasingly focused
on (un)employment issues. Developments have centred increasingly on the EES since 1997. The contention considered in is how the "Open Method of Co-Ordination" as utilised in the EES can be viewed as a bridging of the gap between purely Intergovernmental or Supranational models of understanding governance in the EU.
To look at the interaction between Irish and European developments through assessment of the EU's impact (if any) on Irish employment policy since the introduction of the EES.
According to Stone (1989:281) a precursor to policy agenda setting is identification of any given "difficult situation" as a "problem". In this respect there is a commonality of policy context, with particular regard to the economic... [continues]
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