EU and OECD benchmarking and peer review compared

Nico Groenendijk

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic

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Benchmarking and peer review are essential elements of the so-called EU open method of coordination (OMC) which has been contested in the literature for lack of effectiveness. In this paper we compare benchmarking and peer review procedures as used by the EU with those used by the OECD. Different types of benchmarking and peer review are distinguished and pitfalls for (international) benchmarking are discussed. We find that the OECD has a clear single objective for its benchmarking and peer review activities (i.e. horizontal policy transfers) whereas the EU suffers from a mix of objectives (a. horizontal policy learning; b. EU wide vertical policy coordination and c. multilateral monitoring and surveillance under the shadow of hierarchy). Whereas the OECD is able to skirt around most of the benchmarking pitfalls, this is not the case for the EU. It is argued that, rather than continue working with the panacea OMC benchmarking and peer review currently represents, EU benchmarking should take a number of more distinct shapes in order to improve effectiveness. Moreover, in some areas benchmarking and peer review are not sufficient coordination tools, and are at best additional to those means of coordination that include enforceable sanctions.
Original languageUndefined
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2009
EventThird EUCE Annual Conference: The EU in a Comparat Perspective - Halifax, NS, Canada
Duration: 26 Apr 200928 Apr 2009


ConferenceThird EUCE Annual Conference: The EU in a Comparat Perspective
OtherApril 26-28, 2009


  • European Union
  • Benchmarking
  • Open Method of Co-ordination
  • OECD
  • IR-71955
  • METIS-263254
  • peer review

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