What is the main social principle

24 x Germany

Housing benefit, social assistance, pensions: Article 20 of the Basic Law creates the basis for the principle of the welfare state: "The Federal Republic of Germany is a democratic and social federal state."

The German welfare state: Examples of the license service spectrum: cc by-nc-nd / 3.0 / de /

Article 20 forms - together with the mandate to the federal states to follow the principle of the "social constitutional state" in their order (Article 28.1 of the Basic Law) - the constitutional basis for the social state principle. Like basic and human rights, this principle enjoys the protection of Article 79.3 of the Basic Law and cannot be abolished. However, there is a certain scope for interpretation.

There are only a few in the Basic Law of the Federal Republic basic social rights anchored directly. Article 6 (4) of the Basic Law, for example, guarantees mothers the protection and care of the community. Other constitutional articles, on the other hand, can be interpreted in such a way that the call for state action can be read from them. For example, from the guarantee of human dignity (Art. 1 GG) and the prohibition of discrimination (Art. 3 GG) one can derive a task for the state to ensure equality of opportunity and a subsistence level for people in Germany through an active role in the control of economic processes.

The Welfare state principle The Federal Republic has developed historically in particular from the social legislation of the German Empire under Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. This planned to improve the situation of the workers with a positive state social policy and thus to push back the influence of the social democracy. In the 1880s, under Bismarck's leadership, the first health insurance, accident insurance, and old-age and disability pensions were introduced. At the same time social laws were introduced in other countries. The empire was characterized by an insurance system in which employees and employers were each required to make contributions of approximately the same size. The German welfare state is still based on this principle today.

The main goal of the modern welfare state is to bring people into Emergencies to help and, if possible, to actively prevent these emergencies. Its implementation takes place in many individual policy areas and includes actual social policy as well as tax policy, labor market policy or education policy.

The Range of services of the German welfare state can be divided into three categories: welfare benefits, pension benefits and insurance benefits. The welfare principle includes state aid for needy citizens, such as housing benefit, unemployment benefit II or social assistance. Benefits include government benefits for citizens who have either made sacrifices or made special services to the community. This includes compensation payments to the surviving dependents of war victims as well as child benefits and civil servants' benefits. The insurance benefits serve to prevent loss of income due to e.g. B. old age, unemployment, disability, illness, maternity, care dependency or through the death of the breadwinner.

There are also others basic principles characteristic of the German welfare state. Large parts of the population are now subject to compulsory insurance, i.e. they have to be insured against certain risks. For those who are not compulsorily insured there is the option of voluntary insurance. Compulsory insurance is based on the principle of solidarity. Regardless of whether the services are used, all insured persons pay into the insurance. So those who have to use more services are covered by the other members.

The contributions are based on income of the insured person. Only in the case of pension insurance does the so-called equivalence principle apply, which states that the benefits depend on the contributions paid. In the other social security systems, the benefits are distributed through solidarity-based compensation and the risks are covered.