Intereconomics

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 68–111 | Cite as

Flexicurity – a European Approach to Labour Market Policy

  • Sonja Bekker
  • Ton Wilthagen
  • Per Kongshøj Madsen
  • Jianping Zhou
  • Ralf Rogowski
  • Maarten Keune
  • Andranik Tangian

Although linguistically somewhat strange, “flexicurity”, the combination of labour market flexibility and security for employees, has become a much praised cornerstone of European labour market policies. Obviously, in an environment with rapid technical progress and frequently changing market conditions, employers need to manage their labour force flexibly. In order to achieve this flexibility without creating an unbearable situation for employees, security is the second pillar of the concept. Security refers, however, to “employability” rather than safety from dismissal. As such, the concept looks like an innovative Europeanway of consolidating economic and social interests, although some argue that much flexibility is gained while the security aspect is being neglected. The concept has been successfully adopted in some European countries, notably Denmark and the Netherlands. However, each country has to find its own concept of “flexicurity” using a distinct combination of instruments that fit the national institutional, social and civic context.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sonja Bekker
    • 1
  • Ton Wilthagen
    • 2
  • Per Kongshøj Madsen
    • 3
  • Jianping Zhou
    • 4
  • Ralf Rogowski
    • 5
  • Maarten Keune
    • 6
  • Andranik Tangian
    • 7
  1. 1.Researcher, Tilburg UniversityThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Professor, Tilburg UniversityThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Professor and Director of the Centre for Labour Market Research (CARMA), which is affiliated with the Department of Economics, Politics and Public AdministrationUniversity of AalborgDenmark
  4. 4.Economist, International Monetary FundWashington
  5. 5.Associate Professor, Warwick UniversityUnited Kingdom
  6. 6.Senior Researcher, European Trade Union InstituteBrusselsBelgium
  7. 7.Hans Böckler FoundationDüsseldorfGermany

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