The Open Method of Coordination (OMC): And its Future in Europe

  • Tasneem Ahmed

Student thesis: Phd


This thesis will begin with the presumption that the classical integration theories such as dual intergovernmental/supranational paradigms have lost their strength as they fail to understand the EU in its own right, and do not possess the ability to explain the phenomena of governance structures (namely the modes of governance) requiring the need for a new governance paradigm. Instead of utilising the European Parliament the turn to governance was accredited by the White Paper on Governance. The Paper advocated for the adoption of the principles of openness, accountability and participation, for civil actors to become directly involved in the decision-making process. However methods such as the OMC have threatened the overall level of general political input and democratic oversight into its procedures. Therefore this thesis will argue for the ways that procedurally new governance mechanisms could be reformed through the development of the governance paradigm in which governance structures such as comitology, agencies, networks may be utilised and through the combined interaction of soft (OMC) and hard laws (directive).The thesis will aim to propose a governance paradigm in healthcare (through agencies, networks and comitology) which could be utilised rather than the OMC. The suggestion is to employ other experimental modes of governance as the OMC healthcare did not develop extensively unlike the OMC SPSI. The reason for this was that the OMC health and long-term care was not adopted until 2004 and then more or less immediately streamlined in 2005 to the Social OMC which contained the three strands namely pensions, social inclusion and protection and healthcare. Hence the thesis will consider the three strands under the umbrella Social OMC and provide suggestions for reform. This left a gap for healthcare governance in the EU, which the thesis suggests could be filled through the governance paradigm. The thesis will suggest that as the new modes employed through the governance paradigm have their limitations, the way forward for the OMC is through combined governance. Combined governance requires a hybrid interaction between hard and soft law and further the new modes of governance can be fused together and allow hybrid interactions. This notion will be represented substantively through the Organs Directive as the collaboration of the directive and action plan presents a hybrid format (combined governance). Secondly my proposal of the 'integrated model' may be utilised when applying the Organs Directive. The integrated model presents a fusion of the three governance structures the OMC, comitology and agencies. In the case of the Organs Directive it presents a 'hybrid within a hybrid'.
Date of Award1 Aug 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorNuno Ferreira (Supervisor)

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