Home / Research / Cluster 5 / Theme 1

Flexicurity: strengthening flexibility and security
in European labour markets

Contact Tilburg University for this project

Ton Wilthagen
Chair in "Institutional and Legal Aspects of the Labour Market"
Dept. of Social Law and Social Policy
Director of Tilburg Flexicurity Research Programme
Tilburg University
Phone: +31 13 466 2473
Fax: +31 13 466 3139

Tilburg University

The key theme of flexicurity refers to the need and the possibilities to enhance both flexibility and security in European labour markets. How can labour market policies, social security systems and labour market regulation be developed that contribute to higher levels of both flexibility and security in the labour market? What are the preconditions for these policies, what are the empirical effects, how can these policies be promoted and monitored best (using which forms of governance: hard or soft law?) and how can European member states, sectors and companies be engaged in processes of mutual learning, based on the identification of good and next practices?

Relevance to future of European societies
As a consequence of further internationalisation, increased competition, demographic tendencies, in particular the aging of society and the risks of labour market segmentation, poverty and insufficient productivity growth there is a strong need to enhance both the adaptability of European companies and the adaptability of workers in the labour market. Considering these development, the European Commission has launched the concept of flexicurity. Flexicurity policies are seen as a concrete elaboration of the idea of a European Social and Economic Model.

Very recently, and following important agreements among the European social partners and at the European Parliament, as well as the June 2007 Communication from the European Commission, the European Council has accepted so-called common principles of flexicurity, implying that Member States will be invited and encouraged even more strongly, within the European Employment Strategy, to develop flexicurity policies from their own specific institutional context and tradition.
© 2009 - 2011 RISE Network