Flexicurity : French Report Highlights Five Eu Success Stories

Article excerpt

The French government has just published a report on flexicurity in Europe. Drafted by Eric Besson, state secretary for prospectives and evaluation of public policies, it presents a snapshot of flexicurity in several European countries (Germany, Denmark, Spain, Italy, UK and Sweden). The report was presented to French Prime Minister Francois Fillon in the framework of the European mission on flexicurity, agreed at the informal meeting of EU employment ministers in Brdo (Slovenia) in late January.

The paper reviews legislation on open-ended contracts, temporary agency work, continuing vocational training schemes, legislation on economic redundancies, the organisation of public employment services and unemployment insurance systems.

A STRATEGY RATHER THAN A MODEL

"At the conclusion of this exercise," explains Eric Besson, "flexicurity emerges less as a model transposable between countries than as a relevant strategy for each of the European partners". The author - an economic specialist for the presidential campaign of Socialist Segolene Royal before joining Nicolas Sarkozy's team - draws five conclusions from the comparative study.

On employment contracts, "our partners have often succeeded in attenuating labour market segmentation in terms of different contracts (open-ended and fixed-term) and have made feasible the transition from short jobs to open-ended contracts," writes Besson. …