The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) is the oldest political foundation in Germany, with a rich tradition in social democracy that dates back to its founding in 1925. The foundation owes its formation and mission to the political legacy of namesake Friedrich Ebert, the first democratically-elected President in German history.
Our work is devoted to the core ideas and values of social democracy – freedom, justice, and solidarity. This connects us to social democrats and free trade unions. As a non-profit institution, we organize our work autonomously and independently.
A free society based on the values of solidarity, which offers all its citizens equal opportuniies to participate in the political, economic, social and cultural spheres, regardless of origin, sex and religion.
A vibrant, strong democracy with sustainable economic growth and decent work for all.
A welfare state that provides quality education and healthcare while combatting poverty and protecting its citizens against unforeseeable hardships.
A country that contributes to peace and social progress in Europe and in the wider world.
What we do
We support and strengthen social democracy in particular by means of:
Political education: We work to strengthen civil society. Our political education programs in Germany motivate, enable, inform and qualify citizens to successfully engage in the political, trade union and civil spheres. We work to strengthen citizens’ participation in social discussions and decision-making processes.
Think Tanks: We develop strategies regarding the core issues of economic, social and educational policies, as well as on the key issues that advance democracy. At the crossroad where think tanks, academia and political practitioners meet, we contribute to a public discourse for a just and sustainable economic and social order on the national, Europe-wide and global levels.
International cooperation: Our international network of offices in more than 100 countries supports policies for peaceful cooperation and human rights promotion, promotes the establishment and consolidation of democratic, social and constitutional structures and strengthens free trade unions and a strong civil society. We are actively involved in promoting a social, democratic and competitive Europe within the European integration process.
Support for talented young people: We provide scholarship programs, in particular for students and doctoral candidates from low-income families or with migrant backgrounds. This is part of our contribution to increasing education in democratic principles.
The collective memory of social democracy: Our archive, library and contemporary history projects maintain the historical roots of social democracy trade unions, and supports socio-political and historical research.