Mot mer flexicurity?
Since the 2006 election, the debate surrounding the Swedish labour market policy has intensified. There has been a discussion about a need for change towards a more flexible labour market. An example of this is on the other side of the strait, in neighbouring Denmark. Their flexicurity model, “the golden triangle”, is characterized by a flexible labour market, generous unemployment benefits and active labour market policies. Because the EU consists of more countries with diverging policies, and the fact that the concept of flexicurity and its impact on national labour models have also been analyzed in other countries, I saw the need for more research in this area. In this thesis I have kept one foot in the Nordic countries, but also taken a step into another EU member country. The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether Denmark, Sweden and Poland changed their labour market models towards more flexicurity during the period 2003-2008. To answer the purpose of this thesis, I have done an empirical study of the pillars of flexicurity: employment protection, unemployment benefits and active labour market policies in each country and during the performance period 2003-2008. The study is based on a combination of qualitative and quantitative secondary data. The analysis led to the conclusion that Denmark only has changed towards more flexicurity in terms of greater emphasis on active measures, but at the same time one step back due to reduced spending on passive measures. Sweden was the one country of the three which evolved towards more flexicurity the most. This was a result of a weaker employment protection and a greater focus on active measures in relation to passive. Poland has continuously increased its spending on active measures seen over the measurement period and thus has developed towards more flexicurity in this area. However, the country has strengthened its employment protection minimally while continuing to have the least generous unemployment benefits, something that goes against the flexicurity concept.
flexicurity, anställningsskydd, arbetslöshetsersättning, aktiv arbetsmarknadspolitik
flexicurity, employment protection, unemployment benefits, active labour market policies