Employment Policy Implementation Mechanisms in the European Union, the United Kingdom and Germany

Katharina Zimmermann, Venesa Fuertes

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Job creation is a priority for all countries. Yet satisfactory job creation is an uphill battle because today's economic environment and policy circumstances are not necessarily aiding this collective effort. Employment challenges have been mounting, but policymakers are faced with limited, and even reduced, fiscal resources. It means that policy interventions for job creation need to be highly effective.

The ILO assists member states to formulate national employment policies (NEPs) as established in the Employment Policy Convention, 1964 (No.122). For the years 2012-2013 alone, 73 requests for technical assistance by countries seeking advice on and support for the formulation of their national employment policies have been received. This is why the Employment Policy Department is developing a series of tools that will guide and support ILO constituents in prioritizing policies based on informed choices and consultations.

As an independent evaluation in 2012 of the ILO's work on employment policy has pointed out, such NEPs, however well-formulated and well-designed, can remain as abstract entities unless the necessary institutional arrangements are put in place to ensure their timely and effective implementation. This needs to be complemented by coordination, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to adapt them to changing economic circumstances.

In the light of these concerns, the ILO, with support from technical cooperation funds secured under the ILO-Korean Government Partnership Programme launched a cross-country project entitled "Comparative analysis of employment policy implementation mechanisms across countries" in the first quarter of 2013. The following countries and region are covered by the project: Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Brazil, China, Republic of Korea, South Africa and the European Union (EU) including two of its member states, the United Kingdom and Germany.

This paper discusses the employment policy mechanisms in the EU and the United
Kingdom and Germany. It is organized in six sections. The first two sections introduce the welfare and policy changes and their impacts on employment policy implementation mechanisms, and the methodologies used in the study to analyse employment policy implementation mechanisms in the EU, Germany and UK. The third section describes how employment policies in the EU are implemented by several special mechanisms with incomplete systems and institutional barriers. The fourth and fifth sections review employment policies and implementation mechanisms in the UK and Germany respectively, and their links with those of the EU. The concluding section distils lessons learned that may be considered by policymakers when formulating and implementing employment policies.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGeneva
PublisherInternational Labour Organization
Commissioning bodyInternational Labour Organization
Number of pages77
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameEmployment Working Papers
PublisherInternational Labour Organization
ISSN (Print)1999-2939
ISSN (Electronic)1999-2947


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