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Issues » 2006/4 - Homelessness »

Helmut Renöckl

Are there any appropriate European conceptions for our society? Social ethics-perspectives concerning social work


Social work depends, to a large degree, on the current social, economic, political situation and perspectives. This study states difficulties and challenges, expectations and disappointments caused by three simultaneous radical changes – transformation, EU-integration and globalisation –, individuals and society have to cope with, and make suggestions that may help to tackle the problems. The most difficult change with h/uge impacts worldwide is the “globalisation”. Constructive solutions are usually not possible for particular small or middle-size countries. Those might be possible for the reorganised European Union. Economic models as social market economy and social partnership, which were working very successfully in some European countries after the Second World War, need adaptation and should be established effectively in the EU. Social insurance systems have to ensure help for people who are unable to care for themselves. But what is even more important and absolutely necessary, is to avoid unfairness and to enable participation and equal chances for all from the beginning. There are enormous and urgent tasks for social ethics as science, for social work as professional service in the public sector as well as for religious communities, the Christian in particular. Serious, joint, and concerted effort is required to establish a framework for cultural, social and economic standards for Europe’s future, to make worth living there.

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