Flexicurity in the European semester: Still a relevant policy concept

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Abstract

Before the crisis, flexicurity was a leading European Union (EU) policy concept, which aimed to balance labor-market flexibility and security. The recent focus on austerity measures to reduce public deficits might be thought to have reduced attention to the ‘security’ component of flexicurity. Accordingly, a ‘farewell to flexicurity’ has been claimed to have occurred. This paper challenges that claim and explores the role of flexicurity within the European Semester. It analyses the European Semester’s policy goals between 2007 and 2016, as well as the country-specific recommendations (CSRs) to member states between 2009 and 2015. The analysis shows that the EU flexicurity concept has been revitalized, while its definition changed to encompass more social concerns. Even at the peak of the crisis, CSRs continued to devote attention to elements of both flexibility and security, although the precise details differed across countries and have changed over time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-192
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of European Public Policy
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2017

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