Flexicurity (a portmanteau of flexi bility and is curity ) is a welfare state model with a pro-active labor market policy. The term first coined by Was the social democratic Prime Minister of Denmark Poul Nyrup Rasmussen in the 1990s.

The term refers to the combination of labor market flexibility [1] in a dynamic economy and security for workers.

The Government of Denmark views flexicurity as entailing a „golden triangle“ with a „three-sided mix of (1) flexibility in the labor market combined with (2) social security and (3) an active labor market policy with rights and obligations for the unemployed „. [2]

The European Commission considers flexicurity as an integrated strategy to increase flexibility and security in the labor market. Flexicurity is designed and implemented across four policy components: 1) flexible and reliable contractual arrangements; 2) comprehensive lifelong learning strategies; 3) effective active labor market policies; and 4) modern social security systems providing adequate income support during employment transitions.

It is important to recognize that the flexicurity concept has been developed in countries with high wages, besides clear progressive taxation , as in for example, Denmark.


In Denmark

The Danish flexicurity model has its roots in the nineteenth century, when negotiations between employers and trade unions during the so-called September Compromise of the 1899 (also called Labor Market Constitution) is the ground for a mutually beneficial (profitable and secure) state. [3] The ‚Constitution‘ was revised in 1960 and renamed Basic Agreement. It settled the freedom of trade union association and the managerial prerogativeto manage and divide the work to the right to hire the labor force at any time necessary. „It is thus important to understand that the Danish model of labor market regulation, including the right to form associations, is based on these voluntarist principles and that the legislation of the state is kept to a minimum. of labor market associations are based on the mutual recognition of conflicting interests. “ [4] The Danish tripartite agreements among employers, workers, and the state are supported by an intricate system that permits for an active response from the state, which supports the ‚activation‘ of workers.

In the early 1990s, the policy of the labor market policy (ALMP) of 1994, which sought to reduce structural unemployment. [5] Although it was thought that the natural unemployment rate had simply increased, the Danish Government sought to improve the situation by implementing the notion of flexicurity model. The policy shift THUS cam about with the 1994 and 1996 labor market Reforms, When the introduction of flexibility [6] Was linked to security through the continued provision of generous welfare schemes [7] as well as the ‚activation‘ of the labor power through a set of ALMPs. [8]Activation in Denmark is considered as „a right and an obligation“. [9] The effects of this combination have been twofold: the effects of labor market policies (LMPs) and their effects on the economy. [10]

The unemployment benefits and training provision of this system entails a higher burden of taxation on the higher-earning members of the Danish society. Denmark currently has high taxation rates [11] . Flexicurity may thus favor low-to-middle income earners. However, this is partially offset by low-income countries (2.8% in 2008) and similarly low social-exclusion rates. In recent years, Danes has been successfully ranked as the most successful nation on earth, which has been awarded to Denmark’s flexicurity model. [12]

In the European employment strategy

In the European Commission’s approach, flexicurity is about striking the right balance between flexible job arrangements and secure transitions between jobs, so that more and better jobs can be created. The idea is that flexibility and security should not be seen as opposites but as complementary. Flexibility is about developing flexible work organizations where people can combine their work and private responsibilities; where they can keep their training up-to-date; and where they can have flexible working hours. It is also about giving both employees and employees a more flexible environment for changing jobs. Security means ‚employment security‘

Flexicurity is also seen as a way to preserve the European social model while maintaining and improving the competitiveness of the European Union . It is argued that, in the context of globalization and the world of change, it is necessary to adapt to the situation of employment and to the job market, manage smooth transitions between jobs, and make progress in their careers.

Furthermore, flexicurity is seen as a strategy to make labor markets Significantly more inclusive in Reviews some of the European countries, by Tackling labor market segmentation entre insiders (workers well-established in stable quality jobs) and outsiders (unemployed persons or in precarious employment Who do not benefit from other advantages linked to a permanent contract, frequently youth, migrants, etc.). The relevance of flexicurity to tackle transnational European level, by the European Trade Union Confederation and BusinessEurope.

Flexicurity has been adopted as a leitmotiv of the European employment strategy and the revised Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs. In particular, the Guideline No.21 of the Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Employment (adopted by the European Council and the setting of the objectives for the periods 2005-2008 and 2008-2010) and reduce labor market segmentation, having due regard to the role of the social partners „. [13]

A key Communication from the European Commission „Towards Common Principles of Flexicurity: More and better jobs through flexibility and security“ was published in June 2007 defines flexicurity as an integrated approach based on four interacting components.

Recognizing the principle of a „no size fits for all“ the European Commissions advocated for a progressive implementation of national, tailor-made, flexicurity strategies in all EU Member States supported by mutual learning, along the lines of common agreed principles. Such common principles were adopted on 5 December 2007 by the Employment and Social Affairs Council.

At the Council’s request, the European Commission has launched the „Mission for flexicurity“, consisting of representatives of the French Presidency and the preceding Slovenian Presidency of the European Union and the European Social Partners. The Mission took place between April and July 2008 in France, Sweden, Finland, Poland, and Spain, seeking to promote the implementation of flexicurity in different contexts by raising the profile of the flexicurity approach and its common principles market actors to take ownership of the process. The Mission also had the objective of promoting the exchange of good practice and mutual learning between Member States. It reported to the Council in December 2008.

Flexicurity featured prominently in the Commission’s response to the crisis, in the European Economic Recovery Plan of November 2008 and its follow up Communication „Driving economic recovery“ of March 2009.

Most recently, the European Council of June 2009 concluded that „in the current situation [of crisis], ‚flexicurity‘ is an important means by which to modernize and adapt the adaptability of labor markets.“ quote needed ]

Current state

The 2011 Euro Plus Pact calls for its promotion in the Eurozone .On the adoption of the common principles of flexicurity, the Council called on the Member States to take into account in drawing up and implementing national flexicurity pathways. Progress in the implementation of flexicurity strategies is reported by Member States in their National Reform Programs and is monitored by the European Commission in the framework of the European Employment Strategy.

The Common Principles of Flexicurity
(1) Flexicurity is a means to reinforce the implementation of the Lisbon Strategy, create more and better jobs, modernize labor markets, and promote good work through new forms of flexibility and security to increase adaptability, employment and social cohesion.(2) Flexicurity involves the deliberate combination of flexible and reliable contractual arrangements, effective lifelong learning strategies, effective active labor market policies, and modern, adequate and sustainable social protection systems.

(3) No single policy or working life model, they should be tailored to the specific circumstances of each Member State. Flexicurity implies a balance between rights and responsibilities of all concerned. Based on the common principles, each Member State should develop its own flexicurity arrangements. Progress should be effectively monitored.

(4) Flexicurity should promote more open, responsive and inclusive labor markets overcoming segmentation. It concerns both those in work and those out of work. The inactive, the unemployed, those in unecable work, in unstable employment, or at the margins of the labor market need to be provided with better opportunities, economic incentives and supportive measures for easier access to work or stepping stones to assist progress in stable and legally secure employment. Support should be available to all those in employment to remain employable, progress and manage transitions both in work and between jobs.

(5) Internal (within the enterprise) and should be promoted. This is a safe and easy way to ensure secure transitions from job to job. Upward mobility needs to be facilitated, as well as between unemployment and inactivity and work. High-quality and productive workplaces, good organization of work, and continuous upgrading of skills are also essential. Social protection should provide incentives and support for job transitions and for access to new employment.

(6) Flexicurity should support gender equality , by promoting equal access to quality employment for women and men and offering measures to reconcile work, family and private life.

(7) Flexicurity requires a climate of trust and broadly-based dialogue among all stakeholders, where all are prepared to take over the responsibility for a socially balanced policies. While public authorities retain an overall responsibility, the involvement of social partners in the design and implementation of flexicurity policies and social dialogue is crucial.

(8) Flexicurity requires a cost effective allocation of resources and should remain fully compatible with sound and financially sustainable public budgets. It should also be of interest in the distribution of costs and benefits, with particular attention to the specific situation of SMEs.


Flexicurity has been criticized as „a purely linguistic combination of opposites that can be applied to virtually any policy mix.“ [14]

See also

  • Decent work
  • European labor law
  • Labor market flexibility
  • Nordic model
  • Precarious work


  1. Jump up^ The term flexibility easily encompasses two different models, on the one hand ’numerical flexibility‘, ie the idea of ​​easier to hire and fire contracts as well as ‚functional flexibility‘, closely linked to the concept of ‚knowledge society‘ ‚lifelong learning‘ (LLL), where the European workforce is being prepared for a changing working life, where only a multitude of skills (polivalency) will ensure employment (Crouch, 1999).
  2. Jump up^ Seehttp://www.bm.dk/sw3792.asp. Another grasp of a job, employment, income and a combination of labor market and labor market participation and social inclusion, while at the same time providing (2) a degree of numerical („external“), „functional and wage flexibility“ and „timely and adequate adjustment“ . “ Wilthagen and Tros (2004: 170)
  3. Jump up^ Jørgensen, 2000
  4. Jump up^ Jørgensen (2004)
  5. Jump up^ Jørgensen, 2000: 119
  6. Jump up^ The idea of ​​’flexibility‘ in the labor market emerged in the 1980s and has since been introduced to various European countries (Esping-Andersen, 1999). In fact, ‚atypical‘ labor contracts have been introduced in countries where employment protection legislation is or has been restrictive (eg temporary work). This may have been introduced for the private sector (EC, 2006: 75).
  7. Jump up^ UBs and unemployment spells, argues that they have a positive impact on productivity (see for example Acemoglu and Shimer, 2000). Research further shows that „moral hazard problems linked to UB systems can be largely offset by adopting ALMPs“ (EC, 2006: 93).
  8. Jump up^ Björklund, 2000: 155
  9. Jump up^ Jørgensen, 2000: 127
  10. Jump up^ Madsen, 2006
  11. Jump up^ Anderson, 2009
  12. Jump up^ Sherman, 2009
  13. Jump up^ EC, 2005
  14. Jump up^ Maarten Keune; Amparo Serrano (2014). Deconstructing Flexicurity: Towards New Concepts and Approaches for Employment and Social Policy . Routledge. p. 11. ISBN  978-1-136-20803-4 .


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