Tag Archives: Labour flexibility

Agenda for jobs and workers’ skills

Agenda for jobs and workers’ skills

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Agenda for jobs and workers’ skills


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > European Strategy for Growth

Agenda for jobs and workers’ skills

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 23 November 2010 – An agenda for new skills and jobs: A European contribution towards full employment [COM(2010) 682 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The Commission establishes a flagship initiative in the area of participation in labour markets and vocational skills. In the context of the Europe 2020 strategy this initiative contributes to the joint efforts of the Member States aimed at increasing by 75 % the employment rate of women and men for the 20-64 years age group by 2020.

It is essential to meet this target in order to ensure the sustainability of the welfare systems, economic growth and public finances of EU countries.

Improving the functioning of labour markets

The effective implementation of the common principles of flexicurity contributes to the proper functioning of labour markets and the reduction of structural unemployment. The principles of flexicurity must be strengthened in order to reduce divisions in labour markets and to support their transition.

To this end, this initiative favours:

  • a joint approach by EU institutions, Member States and social partners, to strengthen policy and establish principles of flexicurity;
  • the development of workers’ skills throughout their working life, in particular by means of adapted financing;
  • social partners’ participation at European level.

In addition, the Commission proposes to involve all stakeholders in order to monitor and manage flexicurity, particularly public and private employment and training services and civil society organisations.

Upgrading workers’ skills

Workers’ skills must be adapted to the changes in European society, particularly in the sectors of innovation, new technologies, the environment and health. Education and training systems must respond to these changes, cooperating with business and developing work-based learning.

In this context, the European Commission recommends a series of key actions:

  • creating an online skills Panorama, presenting changes in, and the needs of, the EU labour market;
  • establishing the European Skills, Competences and Occupations classification (ESCO);
  • reforming systems for the recognition of professional qualifications;
  • launching an Agenda for Integration of third country nationals, to valorise their skills and training;
  • encouraging geographical mobility, by improving the enforcement of the principle of free movement of workers in the EU.

These actions must be accompanied by an assessment of school curricula, the employability of students and the development of some professional sectors, as well as support for informal learning.

Improving the quality of work and working conditions

The quality of working conditions enables workers’ potential to be developed and business competitiveness to be enhanced.

The Commission therefore proposes to re-examine in particular:

  • European legislation on employment, health and social security, and information and consultation of workers;
  • the 2007-2012 health and safety strategy, so as to propose a follow-up strategy for the period 2013-2020.

The joint action taken by the Commission, Member States and social partners should support the fight against undeclared work and discrimination in the world of work.

Fostering job creation

National and European employment policies should take into account business needs. Such policies should be accompanied by measures to support entrepreneurship and the creation of innovative firms.

In order to create a job-friendly environment, the Commission proposes to adopt guiding principles to simplify administrative and legal procedures for hiring and firing, business creation and self-employment, to reduce non-wage labour costs, and combat informal or undeclared work.

Furthermore, measures should be adapted to support business creation and management, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that represent 99 % of European firms.

Towards common principles of flexicurity

Towards common principles of flexicurity

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Towards common principles of flexicurity


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Employment and social policy > Social protection

Towards common principles of flexicurity

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 27 June 2007, entitled ‘Towards Common Principles of Flexicurity: More and better jobs through flexibility and security’ [COM(2007) 359 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The Commission presents a set of guidelines as a framework for the Member States’ flexicurity strategies.

The principles of flexicurity contribute to the modernisation of the European social models.

Concept of flexicurity

To be effective, labour market modernisation strategies must take into account the needs of employees and employers alike. The concept of flexicurity is therefore a global approach which favours:

  • flexibility of employees, who must be able to adapt to labour market developments and achieve their professional transitions. Similarly, this approach must improve the flexibility of enterprises and work organisation in order to meet the needs of employers and to improve the balance between work and family life;
  • security for employees, who must be able to progress in their professional careers, develop their skills and be supported by social security systems when they are not working.

Flexicurity strategies aim to reduce unemployment and poverty rates in the European Union (EU). In particular, they help to facilitate the integration of the most underprivileged groups on the labour market (such as the young, women, older workers and the long-term unemployed).

Flexicurity strategies

The national strategies are to be put in place on the basis of four mutually reinforcing principles:

  • flexible and reliable work contracts, in accordance with labour laws, collective agreements and modern work organisation principles;
  • the introduction of lifelong learning strategies, to support the continual adaptability of employees, particularly the most vulnerable in the labour market;
  • effective active labour market policies (ALMP) to help employees find employment again after a period out of work;
  • the modernisation of social security systems, to provide financial support which encourages employment and facilitates labour market mobility.

The social partners must participate actively in the introduction of flexicurity strategies to guarantee the proper application of these principles.

Common principles at European level

Member States adapt their flexicurity strategies according to the specific features of their labour market. However, the Commission recommends that they follow a set of principles:

  • broadening the introduction of the Lisbon Strategy to improve employment and social cohesion within the EU;
  • striking a balance between the rights and responsibilities of employers, employees, persons seeking employment and public authorities;
  • adapting the principle of flexicurity to the circumstances of each Member State;
  • supporting and protecting employees when they are not in work or during a period of transition, to integrate them into the labour market or to coach them towards stable work contracts;
  • developing flexicurity within the enterprise as well as external flexicurity between enterprises, in order to support career development;
  • promoting gender equality and equal opportunities for all;
  • encouraging co-operation between the social partners, the authorities and other stakeholders;
  • a fair distribution of the budgetary costs and the benefits of flexicurity policies, especially between businesses, individuals and public budgets, with particular attention to SMEs.

European financing can make a significant contribution to the financing of flexicurity strategies. The structural funds support in-house training, lifelong learning and the promotion of an enterprise culture in particular.