SAFE AND EFFECTIVE LABOR MARKET IN THE EUROPEAN UNION - IS IT POSSIBLE? (Bezpieczny i efektywny rynek pracy w Unii Europejskiej. Czy to mozliwe?)
The situation in the labor market in many European countries is not satisfactory from the point of view of both implementation of objectives of the Lisbon Strategy (employment, older people activation, women activation) and rates referring to the level of long-term unemployment and creating opportunities for the youngest people to get a job. It results, among others, from the fact - and this has been confirmed by the empiric research carried out so far - that the current instruments of the labor market policy are not adjusted to the new conditions connected with globalization, demographic changes, technological progress, and rising competitiveness which exert an increasing pressure on the European economies. The policy concentrating on the protection of the existing jobs is leading to the consolidation of the traditional employment structure, is decreasing the labor market dynamics and is hampering the necessary structural changes. The concept of flexicurity - rising dynamics and flexibility of the labor market with the high protection of workforce against the labor market risk - creates a chance for the labor market participants to adjust to the new, more demanding conditions. The author analyzes the four components of the concept of flexicurity (European Commission, 2007): flexible labor law, an active labor market policy, a comprehensive lifelong learning system and a social security system and its influence on the functioning of the labor market. The current empiric studies and the author's research confirm the necessity to conduct the policy of regulating the labor market in a new way in which it is recommended to give up the protection of the existing jobs and protect the workers instead. Based on his observation of many countries' experiences, the author states that appropriate combination of the components of the flexicurity concept will lead to an increase of the effectiveness of the European labor markets.
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