Skip to Content

German flag. Photo supplied

Germans have lost confidence in social institutions

Germans are wondering whether a civil servant is still a friend and a helper. In fact, the majority of Germans are doubting the value of many other social institutions too.

Published: January 12, 2019, 8:40 am

    According to the current RTL/n-tv trend barometer, social institutions in Germany have suffered a massive loss of trust among citizens. The worst affected is trust in the Pope and in the German army, the Bundeswehr.

    The poll carried out by the opinion research institute Forsa and commissioned by RTL/n-tv, was conducted at the beginning of the year. A total of 2 515 people were interviewed.

    They were asked to give their views on institutions such as the police, schools, press, doctors, churches, radio or television.

    Accordingly, as in the previous year, the police with 78 percent enjoys the most trust, just ahead of the universities and doctors, each with 77 percent.

    However, the trust in the police shrank by 5 percent, while trust in universities by 3 percent and in medical professionals by 1 percent.

    Some 66 percent of respondents trust their own employers, but it seems that things are not going as smoothly as they have been in previous years: employers have lost trust by as much as 9 percent.

    The Pope as well as the Catholic Church are increasingly viewed very negatively. After the many abuses involving Catholics and other scandals in the Vatican, the approval ratings for Pope Francis have shrunk by 20 percent over the previous year to only 34 percent currently.

    And inside the church itself, things do not look much rosier: a total of 9 percent lost faith in the largest Christian denomination, ranking at only 18 percent approval – the same low level as the banks.

    The Evangelical Church – compared to the Catholic faith – is doing slightly better with 38 percent (-10 percent). The Central Council of Jews, with 34 percent (-3 percent) is also much more trusted than the Central Council of Muslims with 9 percent (-4 percent).

    While the police are highly popular with Germans despite a small decline, the Bundeswehr looks quite different. It may be due to the leadership style of Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, the many negative reports about ​​”bankruptcies, bad luck and mishaps” and other issues, but the survey is unfortunately not clear about the causes.

    Confidence in Germany’s own army has sank by 13 percent compared to the previous year and trust in the Bundeswehr has thus shifted from the upper third of Germany’s popularity scale to the lower end of the middle with 40 percent.

    Even the media with 41 percent (+1 percent) is ahead of the Bundeswehr. The head of Forsa, Prof Manfred Güllner, expressed concern over this development: “For over a decade, we asked Germans how much trust they have in the relevant social institutions. We have never measured such widespread confidence erosion as this year over this period.”

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.


    France to outlaw anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism

    ParisDuring his speech at the dinner of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France (CRIF) [Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France] , a powerful Jewish lobby in France, President Emmanuel Macron announced that France "will implement the definition of anti-Semitism defined by the International Alliance for the Memory of the Holocaust (IHRA)".

    Matteo Salvini. Photo:

    Italian Senate panel votes against Salvini’s ‘migrant kidnapping’ trial

    RomeParty activists from the League's coalition partners led by Luigi Di Maio have been invited to vote for or against the lifting of the parliamentary immunity of the Italian Minister of the Interior, Matteo Salvini.

    UK faces policing crisis as cops quit in huge numbers

    Law enforcement chiefs in Britain are struggling to find enough specialist detectives with three-quarters of stations admitting that they cannot fill vacancies because of the rate at which experienced officers are quitting the force.

    French official criticises British resolve to stop illegals

    In the fight against networks of human traffickers in the English Channel, the president of the Regional Council of Hauts-de-France has pleaded for stronger cooperation between France and Britain to end illegal immigration.

    Smartphones stolen in Barcelona turn up in Marrakesh

    A profitable black market in smartphones is encouraging the theft of mobile phones in the coastal city of Barcelona.

    Bertelsmann study: Does Germany really need more immigrants?

    Germany supposedly needs 260 000 immigrants each year, a study commissioned by the Bertelsmann Foundation has recently found. But the findings have drawn much criticism and incomprehension.

    Number of migrants in German prisons at a record high

    BerlinMigrant inmates in German prisons have skyrocketed, a new survey of the Justice Ministries in in Germany's 16 federal states show.

    Hungary launches seven-point family plan

    BudapestHungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has announced a family protection plan in his state-of-the nation address in Budapest on Sunday.

    Act XIII: Protester’s hand torn off by police grenade

    ParisDuring the clashes that took place in front of the National Assembly in Paris over the weekend between police and Yellow Vests, a protester lost his hand. Tensions rose a notch in Paris on Saturday, February 9 on the occasion of Act XIII of the protest movement.

    UK Counter Terrorism interviews 8-year-old

    LondonIn Britain, an eight-year-old Muslim boy was questioned by two counter-terrorism police officers and a social worker at a school in east London because he had become so radicalized.

    Go to archive