Thursday, January 17, 2008

Flexicurity and the Lisbon Strategy: Lessius University College Antwerp

Since I created The WSJE Future Leadership Institute I have to match my search for sponsors with a search for content. My battlefield: the universities and business schools In Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia where The Wall Street Journal Europe has been made available to students and professors the past couple of years. I am traveling all over Europe to strengthen our relationship with these temples of knowledge, often green paradises in the city centers of the capitals of their countries.

Meanwhile by attending numerous conferences in these universities I have the feeling I am following my own private MBA. At the same time I am receiving lessons on how to, or how not to organize events (never organize an event in an auditorium where the entrance door comes out behind the speaker)

Today I learned about 'flexicurity'. It represents the pursuit of a balance between flexibility and security as a key target of the European economy, taking into account the mission of the EU Lisbon strategy. Flexicurity has been defined as a "policy strategy that attempts, synchronically and in a deliberate way, to enhance the flexibility of labor markets, the work organization and labor relations, and to enhance security -employment security and social security- notably for weaker groups in and outside the labour market."

The flexicurity seminar was organized by Lessius University College Antwerp (Belgium), the Leo Tindemans Chair, in cooperation with the Jean Monnet Chair.

I learned most from a Danish PHD researcher, Mrs. Anna Ilsoe (picture), who compared the higly acclaimed Danish flexicurity model with the US model (she was very pregnant and about to go on maternity leave, for 6 (six!) months > kind of living proof of the Danish model she was talking about).

(Picture: Mrs. Anna Ilsoe, Danish PHD researcher, speaking about 'Flexicurity'
at the Lessius University College in Antwerp, Belgium.)