The Open Method of Coordination as practice - A watershed in European education policy?
To what extent does the Open Method of Coordination represent a watershed in education policy at the European level?
This paper asks whether the application of the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) represents a fundamental change in how cooperation takes place within education as a policy area at the European level. Based on a case study of a process that eventually would lead to the “Education and Training 2010” programme of the EU, the paper analyses how the OMC was turned into practice in European education policy. It argues that with the introduction of the OMC a new political space was created in this policy domain. The paper analyses the practices of the OMC in terms of the actors and roles that have been activated at the European level, the role of OMC education in a larger order, and its operative dynamics. The different elements of OMC show varying degrees of institutionalisation. Parts of this process have been experimental, especially as a venue of policy learning and peer reviewing. On the other hand the attention and agenda of EU institutions involved in education policy have been coordinated over time through the routines established around the goals and objectives of the OMC process. The use and development of indicators have also become well established as one of the main components of European cooperation in this field.