Flexicurity: getting more people into good jobs
June 27, 2007
The Commission today proposes the establishment of common principles of flexicurity to promote more and better jobs by combining flexibility and security for workers and companies. Flexicurity strategies can help modernise European labour markets and better address the opportunities and challenges of globalisation. They include at the same time flexible and reliable contractual arrangements, active labour market policies, comprehensive lifelong learning strategies and modern social protection systems providing adequate income support during periods of unemployment. The Commission also sets out a number of typical pathways to help Member States draw up their own national strategies for flexicurity and learn from each other's experiences and best practices. In line with the EU's Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs, the common principles of flexicurity aim to ensure that more Europeans get the most out of today's fast-changing global economy.
Vladimír Špidla, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities said, "Flexicurity is the best way to ensure that European citizens can enjoy a high level of employment security so they can find a good job at every stage of their active life in a rapidly changing economic environment." He added: "Flexicurity provides a balance between rights and responsibilities, for workers and companies as well as for public authorities. The flexicurity approach is about creating the positive interplay between flexibility and security. We now need social partners to work together on making sure this is a winner for Europe's economies, workers and businesses."
Europe needs to find new ways of making its labour markets more flexible while providing employment security at the same time. Flexicurity is a comprehensive approach to labour market policy which combines sufficient flexibility in contractual arrangements – to allow firms and employees to cope with change - with the provision of security for workers to stay in their jobs or be able to find a new one quickly with the assurance of an adequate income in between jobs. The Communication highlights that it can be positive for both workers and companies. Flexibility is about making sure workers can move easily into a job, and between jobs; it covers external and internal flexicurity within the same company. Security is not just for workers but for businesses too: improving workers' skills also provides additional security and benefits for an employer. Flexibility and security can be mutually reinforcing.
Source: "Flexicurity: getting more people into good jobs
", Europa, Jun 27, 2007