The European Commission regularly stresses Europe’s unique social model, which promises to promote sustainable economic growth and greater social cohesion. The Europe 2020 Strategy, launched as the Lisbon Strategy’s successor in 2010, reiterates that the EU’s normative foundation rests on social principles such as solidarity, equal opportunity, and social protection. In addition to the new framework of the European Semester, the instruments through which the EU can promote its social agenda include the Community Method (legislation), funding (especially the European Social Fund [ESF]), social dialogue at the European level, agenda-setting (through Green or White Papers, Communications), and not least the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) (Hermans 2005, 15; Zeitlin 2008). During the decade of the Lisbon Strategy (2000-2010), the OMC was expected to serve as the EU’s principal instrument to promote reform of national social protection systems. Yet, whether and if so how, the OMC has had any influence in promoting greater social cohesion and strengthening social protection systems at national level remains highly ambiguous and the method itself controversial. Drawing heavily on the results of a large-scale research project conducted on behalf of the European Commission (PPMI 2011a), but also on a wide range of other sources, including the academic and policy literature, this chapter presents a new interpretation of the OMC’s influence.