Flexicurity – a working model for Europe?

Before moving in to the nitty-gritty of flexicurity; what it is and whether it can work as a universal European labour market model I should take the time to thank the AFOE team for allowing me a spell as a guest-writer here at the blog in the coming two weeks. In terms of presentation my name is Claus Vistesen and I am a Danish student at the BLC program at Copenhagen Business School. For further info I invite you to visit my personal blog Alpha.Sources, which deals with a wide range of topics of my interest.

There is a lot of talk and flurry at the moment about labour market reforms in Europe, notably in France, but also Germany has been struggling with how to reform the labour market and here as well as here.

Looking to the north we find the Nordic countries who seemingly have the best of two worlds; low uemployment coupled with a high degree of security but what is it exactly that the Nordic countries are doing, and could others potentially follow their example?
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New Economist has been indulging himself (actually, truth be known he wants us to indulge him) with three posts on the Nordic Model (here, here and here).

Two things strike me. Firstly the fact that the UK presidency has been an absolute non-event (except for getting the Turkey negotiations started) since we were promised an ambitious programme of debate about precisely the topic of the EU social and economic model.

Secondly, as the last paper cited by New Economist makes clear:

The analysis also provides strong support for so-called absolute β-convergence among the Nordic countries. Thus, initial differences between the countries, in terms of real output per employee, real output per hour, and real wage per employee, slowly fade away over time. This finding tells us that the Nordic countries are not that different when it comes to saving rates, levels of the technology, and government policies.

Which means, of course, that these countries would have been ideal candidates for forming a currency union. Oh well, things that might have been! (Also it is perhaps worth making a mental note to check out more about that Nordic recession in the early 90s and what happened next).