European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network Database, ELGPN Database





An integrated strategy for enhancing, at the same time, flexibility and security in the labour market. Flexicurity attempts to reconcile employers' need for a flexible workforce with workers' need for security – confidence that they will not face long periods of unemployment.


The European Commission in its Employment in Europe 2006 report describes flexicurity as an optimal balance between labour market flexibility and security for employees against labour market risks. The Commission’s interpretation of flexicurity involves replacing the notion of job security, a principle that dominated employment relations until recently, with that of ‘protection of people’. The flexicurity model, first implemented in Denmark by the social democratic Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen in the 1990s, is a combination of easy hiring and firing (flexibility for employers) and high benefits for the unemployed (security for the employees). Perceived as a new way of viewing flexibility, flexicurity represents a means whereby employees and companies can better adapt to insecurities associated with global markets.
The EU has identified a set of common flexicurity principles and is exploring how countries can implement them through four components:
• flexible and reliable contractual arrangements;
• comprehensive lifelong learning strategies;
• effective active labour market policies;
• modern social security systems.
See Sutlana (2011) for a discussion of the implications for lifelong guidance of the concept of Flexicurity.


European Commission: European Employment Strategy: What is flexicurity? Available from Internet:

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ELGPN Glossary, flexibility, labour force, labour market, policy, security, social security