03 The Welfare State



Are we laying the Welfare State to rest? Has its end really come? The crisis which has scourged Europe over recent years, and in particular countries such as Spain, has highlighted the weakness of States in protecting and maintaining public services which are essential for a society registering continuous demographic growth. Public finance systems are buckling, revealing their inability to support the administration of rights such as social security, health care, education, pensions and care for the disabled. States’ coffers are running low, and day by day we see more social rights fall by the wayside, more public services die off, and a new lost generation come into being. But do we know what is truly at stake?

Perhaps we should look back to the origins of the Welfare State and recall that it arose out of the devastation caused by the Second World War in Europe, with the aim of offering “protection” to citizens, and of creating a fairer and more equal society. Will we restore that aim, or will the so-called “stakeholder society” hold sway, with people expected to take responsibility for their own future and create their own social and financial safety net? Where is the Welfare State headed? What type of society do we want?

In this latest edition of Quorum you will find an interesting exchange of opinions voiced by our academic experts in the fields of Politics, Economics, Justice and Culture. Visions which both diverge and converge at times and which, taken together with the external views of businesses and young students, represent a comprehensive and thorough reflection on the matter. We trust you will enjoy it, and invite you to collaborate and share your opinions.

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