In a globalised world companies and businesses need to be able and ready to adapt to the rapidly changing labour market environment, where economic uncertainty discourages firms to have a rigid structure. This results in a variable and adjustable economic system, often generating labour and social precariousness as a negative externality. Through the Lisbon Strategy and the following Europe 2020 approach, the European Commission chose to tackle this with the flexicurity approach, combining labour market flexibility with employment security. To date, it is clear that the balance is asymmetric, it is evident that social stability is struggling. To re-balance this equilibrium is crucial in order to avoid the expansion of other harmful consequences, such as discrimination and unequal conditions. These can only be tackled by a multi-level approach, entailing the following elements:
1) Education: investments and reforms to make school systems more inclusive, modern, accessible for everyone, more updated with the changing labour market and foreseeing an upward re-evaluation of professors. After all, the economic health of a community depends on its human capital.
2) Women: to invest on women participation to the labour market, avoiding any salary discrimination and reducing the pay gap between men and women. Since flexibility leads to shorter-term contracts, parental leave shall be made mandatory also for men, in order to avoid existent obstacles to the hiring of women for short-term jobs.
3) Migrants: good governance means also to be able to turn challenges into useful resources. Migrants are potentially creators of jobs, contributors to GDP and pension funds. They can reverse the negative demographic trend across Europe, and they represent a chance for Europeans to gain from diversity and integration.
4) Fiscalism: social security can be financially ensured also by more progressive tax systems, boosting social equality through income redistribution. At the same time, it is important to establish tax incentives to firms which hires youngsters with permanent contracts, with the aim of tackling precariousness.
I am aware that these targeted measures fall mostly under Member States competences, but European political and regulatory framework can push and direct national legislation in that direction. It is crucial. If it is true that prosperous economies are those able to adapt to global economic trends, it is also true that successful and sustainable societies are those who achieve social security, inclusive education and integration systems and gender equality. Only a balanced and symmetrical flexicurity system can be the key for social progresses and healthy democracies.