Single title

60 Years Social Market Economy

by Michael Borchard, Uwe Cantner, Andreas Freytag, Rupert Windisch, Nils Goldschmidt, Michael Wohlgemuth, Gerd Habermann, Joachim Starbatty, Martin J. Wilde, Lars Vogel, Joachim Zweynert

Jena Manifesto for the Renewal of the Social Market Economy

It is 60 years in June this year since the economic and currency reform laid the foundations of the Social Market Economy and set Germany on its path to post-war recovery. It marked the beginning of a previously unimaginable success story; the Social Market Economy became one of the best known international trademarks.

Ludwig Erhard wrote, »Regardless of all kinds of interests and group wishes, the aim of the Social Market Economy is a healthy economy which secures the existence of the whole population and enables each individual to share in the national product in accordance with their achievement. « The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung has been committed to this aim from the very beginning. This applies even more so in the anniversary year 2008, in which we are commemorating in many ways the introduction of the Social Market Economy 60 years ago.

Ludwig Erhard and his colleagues successfully created the general conditions for a »healthy economy« designed to serve the individual and the common good. Their model for success, the Social Market Economy, led to unprecedented prosperity, first in the west and later in the east of Germany, and was a guarantee for social cohesion and social compensation. However, in view of the challenges that we are now facing, all of the surveys indicate that there are increasing doubts in our economic system.

What has to happen for the Social Market Economy to regain its magnetism? What has to be done, so that it reawakens greater confidence in the future? Which contributions can the principles of the Social Market Economy make to create a »healthy economy« at the beginning of the 21st century in the sense of its founding fathers? These were the questions that stimulated the authors of the Jena Manifesto for the Renewal of the Social Market Economy, and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung as one of the joint initiators, to mutually table demands for the vitalization of our economic system. They are documented in this publication.

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Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V.


Sankt Augustin Deutschland