The European Employment Strategy (EES) illustrates the most ambitious attempt to regulate and coordinate employment policies. However, some doubts arise about its capacity to favour convergence in the field of employment due to the regulatory nature of the process, based on the so-called soft regulation. This article aims to contribute to the debate of whether the EES can favour the convergence of employment policies by focusing on the effects of the policy discourse. It analyses the EU discourse on activation developed in the European Employment Strategy (EES) from 1997 to 2010 and its influence in Spain and the United Kingdom by means of a policy frame approach. The conclusions show that we are observing a process of relative ideological convergence of the activation models due to the influence of the EES discourse. However, divergences are still observed at the level of the instruments and methods of activation.
European Employment Strategy, activation, discourse, policy frame, Spain, United Kingdom
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