Knowing that we as human beings are mutually dependent on one another, we profess the value of solidarity. In our economic and social model of the social market economy, the connection between economic performance and socially guaranteed solidarity is very evident.
The greatest possible degree of freedom enables the economic performance from whose earnings social security benefits are also co-financed. To ensure that the individual attitude of solidarity can also be realised socially and institutionally and that those seeking help are not degraded to individual beggars, economic performance must be promoted first and foremost.
The help of the society for individuals can – except in special cases – only ever be a temporary help for self-help. It contains the principle of reciprocity: whoever is helped must also be willing to help at some stage. Solidarity is not a one-way street. There must therefore be transparency between beneficiaries and those whose economic performance makes social transfers possible in the first place.
But the value of solidarity cannot be understood only in the present. Solidarity is also needed with future generations. It is therefore unsolidary and antisocial to pass on the costs of an overstretched welfare state, in which a large part of the new debts must already be raised for transfer payments, to future generations. Solidarity with future generations is also necessary in view of the environmental burdens produced in the present. The livelihood of future generations – our children and grandchildren – depends on the silk thread of our solidarity.
Properly understood solidarity has concrete consequences for citizens: help for self-help instead of forced alimony, debt reduction instead of debt burden for future generations, sustainable and resource-saving development instead of selfish greed and environmental damage.