Employment Policy Reforms in Pre-Accession Countries: Examining Turkey’s National Employment Strategy

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
C1.23 (Oudemanhuispoort)
Cem Utku Duyulmus , Université de Montréal
An important dimension of examining the impact of the European Union (EU) membership process in the public policy reform process of candidate states is to look at the domestic actors’ interest and coalition-building strategies during the reform process. This paper examines the preparation of the National Employment Strategy (2008-2012) by focusing on how EU resources are used by domestic actors. The EU aims to ensure that candidate countries define employment policies that prepare them for membership and progressively adjust institutions and policies to the European Employment Strategy (EES). Comprehensive government strategy for employment policy has been absent in Turkey since 1980’s. Recently, the EU membership process has been instrumental in orienting Turkish policy makers’ in defining the problems of the labor market and in setting the agenda for the preparation of an employment strategy. New institutional and policy initiatives regarding the employment policy are enacted by the government actor, the Justice and Development Party, in an incremental and transformative fashion especially since the launch of the accession negotiations in 2005. These new developments are culminated in the preparation of National Employment Strategy, a key document for which the EU Commission insisted upon. During the preparation of the strategy, the pro-reform coalition has been able to ‘use’ EU resources for combining different policy priorities. By examining the uses of Europe in the preparation of employment strategy with process tracing, the paper concludes that domestic actors are key in translating EU impact into policy and institutional changes rather than top-down pressures.
  • Reforming Labor Legislation- Uses of EU Resources in Legislative and Institutional Changes.pdf (248.9 kB)