In this paper, G. Pagoulatos, M. Stasinopoulou and D.Sotiropoulos examine social and employment policy governance in the European Union since the European Employment Strategy and the Open Method of Coordination were launched. The paper focuses on the role of this new mode of governance in obtaining the goals of social cohesion and competitiveness, as set in the Lisbon Agenda. For this purpose, this overview includes, first, a brief introduction to new modes of governance; second, an outline of the key characteristics, actors and processes of the OMC and EES; third, a review of the strong points and weaknesses of these modes of governance; and fourth an overall assessment of the impact of the OMC and EES, which reveals potential reform directions that the enlarged EU may follow in the face of future challenges.

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