Gathered in Brdo (Slovenia) on 31 January and 1 February, the EU's 27 employment and social affairs ministers confirmed their belief in flexicurity. "This principle is essential for Europe. Europe needs flexicurity if it wants to face the challenges of the 21st century, such as globalisation and demographic changes," said Marjeta Cotman, the Slovenian minister chairing the meeting. "It is indispensable to ensure that each EU citizen has the possibility and the opportunity to live and work in a dignified and correct way. We need highly paid work which makes work attractive and a social protection system which gives support to those who want to work," she stressed. She went on to insist that "the important point is equality. The principle of equal treatment of men and women must be respected in all sectors of the job market and in legislation. In particular, we must reinforce our commitment in order to eliminate pay discrepancies between men and women." These measures should be integrated into the Lisbon Strategy, she specified.

The main concrete result of this meeting is the launch of the flexicurity mission' (see separate article), "which will allow how the principles are transposed in practice to be checked," explained EU Employment and Social Affairs Commissioner Vladimir Spidla. He continued, "I am convinced that it will be a success and that it will allow numerous suggestions to be made in the member states".


The EU27, on the other hand, do...

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