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Flexicurity - which role for Public Employment Services?

Tine  Andersen

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Flexicurity - which role for Public Employment Services?

How can we sustain and develop inclusive labour markets while pursuing sound public finances and ensuring the future competitiveness of Europe? Flexicurity offers a compelling solution to the demographic, economic and social challenges of Europe. Countries like Denmark and the Netherlands have had good results with their flexicurity policies combining the following elements:

  • Flexible labour markets
  • A modern and generous social security system
  • A comprehensive system for lifelong learning
  • Active labour market policies

The Public Employment Services (PES) is a key actor in the European labour markets – particularly when it comes to active labour market policies. Therefore, it is highly relevant to examine the role PES can and does play in implementing flexicurity. The EU Commission, DG Employment, commissioned Danish Technological Institute and partners to map the role of PES with regard to flexicurity, provide information and qualify the dialogue with PES on the matter. The study acknowledges the great institutional diversity of the countries and it is not the purpose of the study to copy the Danish model to other countries.

The study includes:

  • a literature study on PES and flexicurity
  • a questionnaire survey of PES practises in ALMP and cooperation with partners
  • a questionnaire survey among PES partners
  • eight site visits to Poland, Denmark, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Italy, Slovenia, Estonia, and Austria
  • an analysis of the structural conditions of flexicurity and PES
  • a selection of 22 good practise cases on how PES can contribute to flexicurity.

The study was carried out by a consortium led by the Danish Technological Institute with ÖSB Consulting, Leeds Metropolitan University and Tilburg University as partners. The study started in December 2007 and ended with a final report in December 2008.

For more information about flexicurity: