The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) is the oldest political foundation in Germany with a rich tradition in social democracy dating back to its foundation in 1925. The foundation owes its formation and its mission to the political legacy of Friedrich Ebert, the first democratically elected German President.
The work of our political foundation focuses on the core ideas and values of social democracy – freedom, justice and solidarity. This connects us to social democracy and free trade unions. As a non-profit institution, we organise our work autonomously and independently.
- a free society, based on the values of solidarity, which offers all its citizens the same opportunities to participate on political, economic, social and cultural levels, regardless of their origin, gender or religion;
- a lively and strong democracy;
- sustainable economic growth with decent work for all;
- a welfare state that provides more education and improved healthcare, but at the same time combats poverty and provides protection against the challenges that life throws at citizens;
- a country that is responsible for peace and social progress in Europe and in the world.
What we do globally
We support and strengthen social democracy in particular by means of:
- International cooperation: With our international network of offices in more than 100 countries, we support a policy for peaceful cooperation and human rights, promote the establishment and consolidation of democratic, social and constitutional structures and are supporting free trade unions and a strong civil society.
- Think Tanks: We develop strategies on the core issues of economic, social and educational policies as well as on key issues that advance democracy. At the crossroad where think tanks, academia and political practitioners meet, we create a public discourse for a just and sustainable economic and social order on a national, European and worldwide level
- Scholarship programmes: We support talented young people with scholarship programs, in particular students and doctoral candidates from low-income families or with a migrant background. This is our contribution to increasing educational democracy.
- Political education to strengthen civil society: Our political education programs in Germany motivate, enable, inform and qualify citizens to successfully engage in political, trade union and civil spheres. We improve citizens’ participation in social discussions and decision-making processes.
- Collective memory of social democracy: Our archive, library and contemporary history projects keep the historical roots of social democracy and the trade unions alive and provide support for socio-political and historical research.