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Europeanization through its instrumentation: Benchmarking, mainstreaming and open method of coordination… Toolbox or Pandora’s nox ?

Abstract : Understanding Europeanization through its instrumentation raises the issue of the supposed neutrality of policy tools used as soft modes of action. The aim of this article is to assess how this ‘new governance’ tends to guide policy-making on a specific path. Indeed, European construction cannot be restricted to the direct impact of Community law or to the indirect effects of economic integration. A new form of non-constraining co-ordination has been developing since the mid-1990s. In order to explain how the cognitive mechanisms of Europeanization work, we open the ‘toolboxes’ that allow European institutions to have an effect on national representations and practices. The use of benchmarking for building the European Research Area, the elaboration of gender equality policy according to the principle of mainstreaming, and the open method of co-ordination (OMC) in the field of pension reforms, illustrate how such policy instruments lead national governments to meet the competitiveness requirements of the Lisbon strategy.
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Isabelle Bruno, Sophie Jacquot, Lou Mandin. Europeanization through its instrumentation: Benchmarking, mainstreaming and open method of coordination… Toolbox or Pandora’s nox ?. Journal of European Public Policy, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2006, 13 (4), pp.519 - 536. ⟨hal-01301022⟩

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