Regulating the European Labour Market: Prospects and Limitations of a Reflexive Governance Approach



This article reviews developments in European Union employment policy from the perspective of reflexive governance. Reflexive governance instruments have a procedural orientation and provide a structural framework or steering mechanism to facilitate a process of self-regulation. Recent developments in relation to the Employment Framework Directive, the European Employment Strategy and the Working Time Directive highlight some of the prospects and limitations of this reflexive approach to regulating employment relations and the potential impact on the UK labour market. These developments indicate that the hopes invested in the reflexive approach remain to be fulfilled.