Research Handbook on the Future of Work and Employment Relations
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Research Handbook on the Future of Work and Employment Relations

Edited by Keith Townsend and Adrian Wilkinson

The broad field of employment relations is diverse and complex and is under constant development and reinvention. This Research Handbook discusses fundamental theories and approaches to work and employment relations, and their connection to broader political and societal changes occurring throughout the world. It provides comprehensive coverage of work and employment relations theory and practice.
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Chapter 13: Flexicurity: Still Going Strong or a Victim of the Crisis?

Peter Auer and Kazutoshi Chatani


Peter Auer and Kazutoshi Chatani INTRODUCTION Flexicurity has evolved from a buzzword to a serious, institutionalized way of reforming labour markets in the EU. As can be seen by numerous declarations, reports and decisions of the European Commission, the European Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Council and the European Social Partners, flexicurity has been adopted as a crucial labour market reform package for the labour markets of the European Union member countries. The European Commission1 does not predict any particular model of flexicurity, but has developed a set of common principles that were accepted by a ministerial council in late 2007, and has also put forward some ideas on different pathways to reform, adapted to the particular circumstances of clusters of member countries (Council of the European Union, 2007; European Commission, 2007). While there is increasing resistance in some quarters to this broad policy agenda, institutionalization (integration into the European Employment Strategy;2 specific guidelines and monitoring of guidelines; budgets; research and policy action) also provides some sustainability and large adherence to the concept. As will be seen below, a broad social dialogue and collective bargaining on a labour market regulatory framework that provides security for workers while allowing for competitive adjustments are fundamental elements of the concept. Indeed, without the participation of the social partners, flexicurity would not even be possible. In opposition to marketdriven reforms of a neoliberal kind,3 it is, in principle at least, a thoroughly bargained solution. Therefore, the recent trade...

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