Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Flexicurity in EU Countries

Neacsu, Madalina and Baldan, Cristina (2008): Flexicurity in EU Countries. Published in: MIBES Proceedings No. 2008 (5 July 2008): pp. 794-807.

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Flexicurity is a new way of looking at flexibility and security on the labor market. It sets out from the awareness that globalization and technological progress are rapidly changing the needs of workers and enterprises. Companies are under increasing pressure to adapt and develop their products and services more quickly. If they want to stay in the market, they have to continuously adapt their production methods and their workforce. This is placing greater demands on business to help their workers acquire new skills. It is also placing greater demands on workers with regards to their ability and readiness for change.

At the same time, workers are aware that company restructurings no longer occur incidentally, but are becoming a fact of everyday life. Protection of the specific job they have may no longer be sufficient, and might indeed be counterproductive. In order to plan their lives and careers, workers need new kinds of security that help them remain in employment, and make it through all these changes. New securities must go beyond the specific job and ensure safe transitions into new employment.

Flexicurity is an attempt to unite these two fundamental needs. Flexicurity promotes a combination of flexible labor markets and a high level of employment and income security and it is thus seen to be the answer to the EU's dilemma of how to maintain and improve competitiveness whilst preserving the European social model.

Flexicurity can be defined, more precisely, as a policy strategy to enhance, at the same time and in a deliberate way, the flexibility of labor markets, work organizations and labor relations on the one hand, and security –employment security and income security – on the other.

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