In the German constitution
, the “Grundgesetz” (Basic Law
), it is not only political rights and freedoms that are guaranteed to every citizen. The welfare state also undertakes to ensure that all citizens receive social justice. The word “social” comes from a Latin word meaning “held in common”. No one is to be left on their own if they are in trouble owing to difficult circumstances such as illness or unemployment
. The state supports such people with social benefit payments so they are provided with the essentials for living. The state also looks after old or sick people if they or their families are not in a position to do so. All activities and laws of the state that exist to ensure people’s welfare and improve the lives of people who are weak, sick or in need of protection are called social policies. In a welfare state, they play an important role. Social policies are also intended to make people feel good about living in their country and to help prevent quarrels and anger in society as far as possible.
Gerd Schneider / Christiane Toyka-Seid