Continental Europe faced with early retirement. Institutional barriers and innovations in the field of reform
Working beyond the age of 55 is becoming less and less frequent today in Europe. The early retirement movement is one of the major challenges that social protection systems have to face today ; confronted with an ageing population and work mutation. This article deals with this subject by analysing present processes of reform of social protection, the nature of these changes and institutional sticky spots that must be got over. It presents the results of two case studies based on successful itineraries for public policy reform to fight against the early leaving movement within the labour market in the Netherlands and in Finland. It also questions the type of innovations that were introduced. It shows that in each case an overhaul of the basic principles of the continental regime of social protection was carried out while keeping the wide extent of social rights ensured by this regime. There is at the present time a new embedding of benefit systems within incentive systems, marking the arrival of a new type of political regulation of social protection where more allowance is made for strategic motivation of individual and collective actors.