The politics of poverty in the European Union: how states respond to the open method of coordination on social inclusion

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Florence Larocque Columbia University, USA

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Alain Noël Université de Montréal, Canada

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This article assesses the responses of EU–15 member states to the poverty reduction objectives of the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) on social inclusion between 2001 and 2006. As a flexible mechanism of information sharing between governments, the OMC could not produce strong convergence. A thorough analysis of the OMC documents indeed points to the enduring power of national institutions and partisan politics, for the three dimensions of social inclusion identified by the EU (rights, labour market policies, and participation). There was however some learning and adaptation around emerging policy ideas like activation and the participation of people experiencing poverty.

Florence Larocque Columbia University, USA

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Alain Noël Université de Montréal, Canada

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