It is well-known that social democracy is a political ideology that aims to provide people with social, financial, and political security, equal opportunities, and justice, as well as build a society that can adjust to changes. Social policy describes a governmental plan that has the goal of reforming or improving society. In this way, social democracy suggests diverse ideas and directs future development, while social policy swallows these suggestions and tries to implement them in the best way for people. It may seem that the social environment is rather stable nowadays, and the changes are unnecessary; however, there is always room for improvement. The described political ideology still has many ideas to offer to diverse governmental and social institutions, and the coronavirus pandemic has proved this statement.
Unemployment has always been one of the most considerable concerns for any government. These are caused by different modifications and innovations that substitute human labor. For example, the mechanization of various manufacturing processes leads to an increase in productivity and the corresponding reduction of unnecessary workers. These professionals become unemployed and cannot find a comfortable job that would cover all of their needs due to broad-based modifications and the loss of necessity in workers of this qualification. Hence, social democracy still has a contribution to make to debates about social policy. In a world that changes rapidly and utilizes new technologies, social democracy should always protect people by redefining economic and social aims and adjusting to the introduced innovations. Technical, professional, and economic progress will never stop; therefore, social policy will always require diverse corrections that can be reached with the help of social democracy.
Social democracy could also suggest providing better management of work access. Access to work that can cover basic survival and physical needs shows considerable inequality in labor markets based on diverse characteristics, such as age, sex, education level, nationality, or religion. In this case, the issue that can be discussed in the debates about social policy is the provision of fair access to various jobs. One of the possible solutions is giving financial support to poorer communities or populations, supporting children without parents in their strives for education, and reducing strong hierarchical social structures. Lowering the distance of the power index is also one of the main priorities for the majority of countries. Therefore, it can be concluded that social democracy still has many offers to social policy; and many aspects of social and governmental plans can be improved.
Recently, countries have been considerably influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected all economies. Su et al. (2021) state that Spain (1.4%), the UK (0.493%), and Germany (1.09%) showed a rise in unemployment, while Italy and France have a comparably stable employment situation. Additionally, the authors suggest that European governments should substitute manpower with robotic tools and technical devices and broaden remote working opportunities to make their employment policy better. In this case, social democracy could bring a significant change to the situation.
Social democracy has a tendency to focus on the problems of unemployment. For example, according to Zohlnhofer and Voigt (2021), social democrats generally defend adequate levels of employment protection legislation (EPL) for both regular and temporary employment during periods of low unemployment rates. It is well-known that unemployment rates being a macroeconomic showing, tend to fluctuate; therefore, governments have better and worse periods regarding job access.
Hence, social democracy tries to improve the state of employment conditions during periods when people can get more or less free get a job. Zohlnhofer and Voigt (2021) state that implementing a stricter regulation system of the job or labor market is the right thing to do because supporting and protecting employees helps increase workers’ economic security. In addition, the participation of social democracy in the debates about social policy shows a positive outcome, such as strengthening employee protection (Zohlnhofer & Voigt, 2021). Hence, it can be concluded that social democracy plays a large role in establishing and maintaining employee security and stable situations in the labor market; therefore, it will always be needed and improve with the development of society.
Su, C. W., Dai, K., Ullah, S., & Andlib, Z. (2021). COVID-19 pandemic and unemployment dynamics in European countries. Economic Research, 34, 1-12. Web.
Zohlnhofer, R., & Voigt, L. (2021). The partisan politics of employment protection legislation: Social democrats, Christian democrats, and the conditioning effect of unemployment. European Political Science Review, 13(3), 331-350. Web.