The most profound reform of social policy in Germany during the last decade was the labour market reforms 2003/4. It was initiated by a reform commission chaired by Peter Hartz (Volkswagen) and its motifs and results are still controversial today.
This book identifies these reforms by illustrating the international and European context. It unveils parallel developments in the Netherlands, Denmark, the United Kingdom and France, and shows to which extent the German reform had been driven and enhanced by the European Employment Strategy.
The study does not focus on the details of the reform but its new elements: case, management, conditional social benefits, obligations to cooperate and sanctions. It shows that its leitmotif is not neoliberal but communitarian.