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Hard and Soft Law in the Construction of Social Europe: the Role of the Open Method of Co-ordination

Item

Title

Hard and Soft Law in the Construction of Social Europe: the Role of the Open Method of Co-ordination

Date

2005

Published In

Volume

11

Bibliographic Citation

11 European Law Journal 343 (2005)

Abstract

The debate over the Open Method of Co-ordination has reopened discussion of the role of 'soft law' in the process of European integration. This paper outlines the debate ov er the relative value of hard and soft law in EU social policy, explores the operation of non-binding objectives and guidelines in the European Employment Strategy, suggests a number of reasons why 'soft law' might be effective in this area, and explores the possi- bility for productive combination of hard and soft law measures.