Swedes have a tendency to believe that most of the world believe in some sort of ”Swedish model” for the development of society.
But those days are mostly gone. Although the Swedish economy is performing well, there are other models that are attracting the attention of Europe.
Apart from the Finnish model, highlighted in numerous studies on growth and competitiveness, there is also the Danish model.
On September 7th, the UMP party of France under the chairmanship of strong presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy organized a major conference in Paris on how to reform the French and the European economy.
The keynote speaker at the conference was Denmark’s Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
He outlined the foundation for Denmark’s strong performance in the policies initiated by the centre-right government in 1982, and pointed in particular at the flexibility of the labour market in Denmark.
Indeed, the word ”flexiturity” – combining flexibility in the markets with social security – has become an increasingly popular concept recently in the European debates on structural reforms.
But Fogh Rasmussen also described the forward-looking way in which his government is trying to get Denmark to buse all the possibilities created by globalisation.
”Reaping the full benefits of a creative, positive strategy towards globalisation requires two things: Firstly, we must carry out the necessary reforms to prepare our societies for the challenges of the future and, secondly, we must work to liberalise trade through free and open markets.”
One can only hope that these words from Copenhagen was sufficiently heard in Paris.
But the bare fact that it was Anders Fogh Rasmussen who was invited to give the keynote speech at the conference is a distinctly positive sign.