Dynamics and Perspectives
Edited by Peter Ester, Ruud Muffels, Joop Schippers and Ton Wilthagen
Chapter 13: Conclusions on Innovating European Labour Markets: Dynamics and Perspectives
Ruud Muffels, Joop Schippers, Ton Wilthagen and Peter Ester 13.1 MAIN QUESTIONS 13.1.1 Transitional Labour Markets, Flexicurity and the Life Course The questions raised in Chapter 1 of this volume dealt with the way welfare states cope with the ongoing challenges labour markets face with a view to the diversification of employment forms and contracts, resulting in the rise of non-standard labour contracts and part-time work, and the changing needs with respect to the work–life balance associated with the diversification and individualisation of life courses. The increased volatility on the labour market together with the rising shares of non-standard work forms such as part-time work, fixed-term employment contracts and new forms of self-employment such as freelance and telework signal, according to some scholars, a shift from ‘lifetime employment’ to the ‘boundaryless career’ (Stone, 2001, 2005). The backdrop of these changes was formed by a number of economic and social-cultural changes such as the increased international competition, the wake and rise of the ‘knowledge economy’ and demographic changes in the form of rising immigration flows, reduced fertility rates, increased family instability and population ageing. These changes stood also at the basis of the Lisbon strategy formulated in 2000 aimed at making the European Union (EU) the most competitive economy in the world. Since 2001 the Lisbon strategy consists of an economic pillar to boost productivity and employment growth, a social pillar to modernise social protection and to tackle social exclusion and an environmental pillar to decouple economic growth from the...
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