Flexicurity between Europeanization and Varieties of Capitalism? A comparative analysis of employment protection reforms in Portugal and Greece

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  • King’s College London


The article examines the adoption of Flexicurity principles in Portugal and Greece during 2006-2009. Despite the similar conditions between the two cases and common EU stimulus, the process and final outcomes in the reform of their employment protection systems differed. In Portugal, the government persevered and implemented a reform in line with Flexicurity principles. By contrast, the Greek government initially favoured Flexicurity and initiated a reform process of the legal framework; however the reform was halted. The article explains this divergence by combining the insights of Europeanization and Varieties of Capitalism literatures. It is argued that in cases of Mixed Market Economies, ‘misfit’ with EU stimuli is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for institutional change. Instead, reforms depend on union structure and existence of policy entrepreneurs favouring reform, which explain the divergent reform paths.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1144–1161
JournalJournal of Common Market Studies
Issue number5
Early online date17 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017


  • Employment protection, Europeanization, flexicurity, varieties of capitalism, mixed market economies

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