Dynamics and limits of Europeanization: The implementation of European employment policies as regards youth unemployment (LuxEmploy)
The purpose of the research is to analyze how the dynamics of implementing employment policies in the field of youth unemployment have been given an European focus in Luxembourg as a result of increasing multilevel governance and top-down pressure from European institutions to achieve European Employment Strategy targets. The policy area of youth unemployment serves the purpose of analyzing how Luxembourg responds to peer pressure at the various interacting levels of governance (EU – government – social/civil) and what is finally filtered back upwards into the process by the involved partners in the implementation dynamics. It is assumed that Luxembourg, due to its particular labor market characterized by a large number of cross-border and immigrant workers, its economic size and dependence on external factors, and its law embedded collective bargaining structures at the national and sector levels constitutes a laboratory to study forms of governance and policy management, as well as social appropriation processes.
The balancing between allotting limited financial resources and achieving common objectives through peer pressure raises the question of what scope of action there still is to comply with a constructed agenda of employment objectives in times of high youth unemployment. Are national traditions of policy implementation processes circumvented or reinforced? Are democratic participation processes applied, legitimized and given enough credit?
By applying qualitative research methods, these questions are analyzed through studying the policy implementation process via adaptation dynamics and potential barriers at the various levels of implementation, the implementation of the European Youth Guarantee as a policy example, and the involvement of social and civil society partners.