Flexicurity was at the heart of the informal meeting of employment and social affairs ministers in Brdo (Slovenia), near Ljubljana, on 31 January and 1 February. Flexicurity' is about combining ease of hiring and firing (flexibility for employers) with high benefits for the unemployed (security for the employees). Denmark is well known for having implemented a flexicurity policy in the 1990s.

Ministers focused on the issue of young and older workers. The more controversial issues - working time, temporary agency work and pension portability - was discussed, but only in the corridors. Caution was the order of the day, given the current ratificationaprocess of the Lisbon Treaty.

The principles of flexicurity raises no shortage of problems, as can be seen from the four questions asked by the Slovenian presidency of the EU to guide the discussions.

  1. When developing and implementing general flexicurity provisions, how should the common principles of flexicurity be applied so as to take account of the particular situation of young and older workers, and, in particular, of discrimination between men and women?

  2. What combination of measures has proved or could prove useful to guarantee that the gender dimension is taken into consideration? What have the effects of such measures been in the evolution of the labour market and social protection systems?

  3. In what way can/must social protection systems be changed to better respond to emerging challenges/the interaction between labour legislation and social protection rules in order to support effective transitions?

  4. What specific measures...

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