The ‘Open Method of Coordination’ (abbreviated below as OMC), and, more particularly, the European Employment Strategy (EES) is a deliberate attempt to deal with diversity in national social and economic policy traditions at European level in the form of a qualitatively new system of governance: while policy targets are set centrally, the ways and means of meeting these benchmarks are defined at the national level and according to national traditions. This chapter first defines and theorizes standardization and diversification processes of work and employment; second, it describes the historical genesis and present operation of the EES; and the third section analyses the application of the EES in Germany, thereby discussing the strengths and weaknesses of this approach towards policy steering as well as some of its empirical results. The chapter draws on existing academic literature, government reports, employment statistics, and on qualitative interviews with labour market experts representing the German Federal Government, opposition parties, the social partners and research institutions.1