(48) In the aftermath of World War II most Western European countries were characterised by the political will to connect economic progress with more social equality. This welfare-state tradition, which stems from the 19th century, found expression in the Federal Republic of Germany in the model of the Social Market Economy. Germany and many other countries now have to face new, in some cases global challenges. Rationalisation processes, the process of European integration and above all the internationalisation of the commodity and capital markets are being accompanied by radical economic and social change, most felt in the labour market. The ecological limits of economic development call for changes that can no longer be put off. Persistent mass unemployment and the related problems of the welfare state threaten social cohesion and industrial peace.
© 2001 by Ulrich Schmitthenner Bildschirm-Version