Houses of Parliament

Rethinking the Existing Economic Model – Pamphlet Launch

Silke Breimaier, Megan Corton Scott and Andrew Robertson (Edt., July 2017): Following our joint “Reimagining the Existing Economic Model” conference in April 2017, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung London and the Fabian Women’s Network launched a pamphlet on new economic thinking with contributions from experts across a variety of sectors. In the pamphlet, leading female thinkers discuss their ideas for a renewal of our economies and the arising challenges for the modern Left.

Please find the full pamphlet here

Gender Balance of Power – Women’s Representation in Regional and Local Government in the UK and Germany

Carys Roberts (May 2017): Politics in most countries are still very much dominated by men, which leads to a democratic deficit, as half of the population is not properly represented in local, regional or federal governments. The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung London and the Institute for Policy Research (IPPR) published a report that compares the representation of women in the various governments in the UK and Germany.  It does not only compare figures but highlights helpful examples from which countries could learn from each other. The research shows that political parties have a crucial gate keeper role in ensuring gender equality in the political arena.

Please read the full report here.


The Future of Work: Opportunities and Challenges for Women

Paolo Falco (January 2017): Ensuring that women have the same chances to access good-quality employment as men is not only a moral imperative, argues Paolo Falco, Economist at the OECD, in this blog. It is also smart economics, as it can enhance productivity and growth, and lead to a more prosperous future for all.

Please read the full document here.

This blog is part of a series of activities FES London and Fabian Women's Network are running on women and the economy, which will culminate in a conference in Spring 2017. Please see summaries of previous events here and here.

Priorities for women in the digitalisation of the Labour Markets

Chi Onwurah MP (January 2017): In her blog post, Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy, sets our her priorities for Labour's industrial strategy, where the work for gender justice will be a central part, to make the fourth industrial revolution work for everyone.

Read the full document here.

This blog is part of a series of activities FES London and Fabian Women's Network are running on women and the economy, which will culminate in a conference in Spring 2017. Please see summaries of previous events here and here.

(In)equality in the Digital Society - Workshop Summary

Stephen Devlin (December 2016): In November 2016 FES London and the New Economics Foundation (NEF) jointly hosted a workshop in London to discuss and debate new technological trends and how they impact inequality on society. The workshop was attended by representatives from industry, civil society and government, and discussion was stimulated by contributions from Professor Daniel Buhr from the Universität Tübingen, based on research conducted by himself and colleagues, and Annie Quick and Stephen Devlin from NEF. This paper summarises the key points that emerged from the workshop and serves as a basis for further discussion.

Please read the paper here.

May’s Rocky Road Ahead: Why Brexit May Not Happen

Brendan Donelly (December 2016): For many, the momentum behind Brexit has seemed unstoppable since the referendum. A re-united conservative Party will support May's desire to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty by the end of March. However, it would be premature to argue that British withdrawal is a foregone conclusion. May and her colleagues would do well to remember that "normality" has been a poor guide to the course of British politics over the past 12 months. In this paper Brendan Donelly explores the potential stumbling blocks on the way towards Brexit. Cumulatively, they illuminate the political and practical contradictions within the entire project and point towards a potential combination of circumstances in which the proclaimed divorce between the UK and the EU may not take place after all.

Please find the full report here

On the Way to Welfare 4.0?

Prof. Dr. Daniel Buhr (December 2016): Under the title On the Way to Welfare 4.0?, both the status of digitalisation and its effects on the fields of labour market, health-care and innovation policy are examined. This study looks at the opportunities that digitalisation offers for social innovation and provides answers to the overarching question of how digitalisation can result in modernisation of the welfare state. The analysis focuses on a comparison of seven welfare states: Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. In addition to this comparative study, individual country reports are available that look more closely at the status of welfare state digitalisation.

Please find the full report here

Germany’s Industry 4.0 strategy

Wolfgang Schroeder (November 2016): The debate about the digitalisation of production has been given fresh stimulus around the world. No other growth discourse has been so strongly pushed by state technology and research policies and at the same time so closely linked to the entrepreneurial and union players in Germany in recent years as the Industry 4.0 discourse. This paper discusses the conditions, potentials, players and prospects associated with the Industry 4.0 strate­gies. The aim is not merely to generate and use new technical options, but also to examine whether and how the German production model, which, contrary to the disruptive US model for instance, relies on incrementally evolutionary changes, can compete in light of the new challenges.

Please find the full report here

Digitalisation and Low-Skilled Work

Hartmut Hirsch-Kreinsen (2016): This study, prepared for Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung by Prof. Hartmut Hirsch-Kreinsen, shows how low-skilled work remains highly relevant also in a context of advancing digitalisation. Any discussion about the future of work in a context of advancing digitalisation of production must address the central question of the social, societal and economic consequences for workers. But the situation of enterprises, especially the small and medium-sized, should not be neglected either.

Please read more here

For a better tomorrow: Why basic values are essential for Social Democracy

Jochen Dahm, Meik Woyke (2016):  Social Democracy stands for freedom, justice and solidarity and guarantees basic rights for everyone: rights that protect and empower. Basic rights that are enshrined in the Constitution and function in practice. Basic rights in political, social, economic and cultural life. A society that guarantees such rights is a Good Society.

Please read more here

The Future of Post-Brexit Germany–UK Security Relations

Sarah Lain (July 2016): On 11 July 2016, RUSI and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) hosted a half-day workshop aimed at bringing together leading German and UK security specialists as well as members of the UK Parliament and German Bundestag to discuss key aspects of European security. This was a timely event, taking place less than three weeks after the UK referendum on membership of the EU, which resulted in an unexpected vote in favour of Brexit.

This report summarises the major conclusions and talking points of the day’s discussions and also suggests areas on which policymakers should focus their attention. It highlights knowledge gaps and areas of defence and security policy that warrant further research in order to inform more effective policy, particularly in light of Brexit, and the challenges that these present to both the UK and EU governments.

Please find the full report here.

A Generation Apart - Were Younger People Left Behind by the EU Referendum?

Katy Owen and Caroline Macfarland (July 2016): Youth participation in the EU referendum and the drivers behind the attitudes towards Europe of younger people are central topics for this analysis by CoVi and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung London. Drawing on post-referendum polling conducted with Opinium Research, the report shows that the overwhelming majority of young voters opted to Remain in the EU. This preference is reflected in wider social attitudes and identities as outlined in the report. An analysis of the media coverage during the referendum campaign shows, that the tone of the debate and the issues covered were not able to engage younger voters. The public debate did barely touch on topics of great significance to young people. In order to bridge the generational divide in voting patterns, the authors call for a re-examination of voting rules and procedures. They stress the need for innovative ways of rebuilding UK’s electoral system which can boost youth engagement in politics and public affairs.

Please find the full report here.

Defend Europe by Making It Better

Frank-Walter Steinmeier (July 2016): In his article, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier looks ahead to a European Union of 27, calling for a better, more flexible and more responsive EU. “We are committed to making Europe better and to making it listen more to the needs of its citizens. This is the direction taken by the proposals put forward by the French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and myself last week”.  While recognizing the imperfections of the EU, Frank-Walter Steinmeier highlights the numerous benefits that an EU membership brings, as well EU’s central role for peace and prosperity on the continent.  He argues that the EU is the solution to people’s sense of lack of control, rather than the problem.

Please find the full article here.

Social Europe - Breakthrough or Breakup?

Reiner Hoffmann (June 2016): The EU is facing the most severe crisis of credibility and legitimacy in its history. The crisis in the financial sector and the economy is far from over. The reason for this lies, inter alia, with the false prescription of austerity politics to foster economic recovery. Not least the federal German government has contributed to turning the economic crisis for broad swaths of Europe into a full-blown social crisis.

In his report, Reiner Hoffman argues that if Europe wants to regain the trust of its citizens, then Brussels must finally put the primacy of politics above that of the market and shift social cohesion and social democracy to the centre of its policy-making. The author maintains that people’s confidence in the EU can only be regained through a sustained improvement in people’s living standards and working conditions and the strengthening of EU’s democratic processes – and not by dismantling employment and social protection.

Please find the full report here.

A Unique Contribution

Nick Donovan (June 2016): The Panama Papers have put questions of wealth, tax and inequality right back at the top of the political agenda. In ‘A Unique Contribution’, Nick Donovan calls for a one-off levy on the passive worldwide wealth of Britain’s super-rich, which takes a more stringent approach with those who have used tax havens or domestic tax avoidance schemes.

The report argues a one-off levy would be a much fairer way to pay down the deficit than the chancellor’s continued programme of public spending cuts, and would also address growing public concern about spiralling inequality.

Please find the report here.

The Irish General Election of 2016

Theresa Reidy (June 2016): It took ten weeks for a government to be formed after the February general election in the Republic of Ireland. Eventually Fine Gael is leading the new minority government and is supported in office by nine non-party politicians. Everything about the new political set up in the Irish government is unusual - no political party emerged as the clear ‘winner’ of the elec­tion. The Labour party even lost tremendously 30 seats compared to 2011.  The future of political decision making in Ireland is uncertain. If the government will be sustained for a full term, only time can tell.

This report by Theresa Reidy provides an overview of the results and outcomes of the February 2016 general election in Ireland. It highlights some of the main events from the election campaign and frames the results in the context of political developments in Ireland over the past decade.

Please find the report here.

A Shared European Home - The European Union, Russia and the Eastern Partnership

The conflict in and around Ukraine has called into question the premises of the EU's Eastern Policy. In a new FES Perspective, eleven authors from the EU, Georgia, Russia and Ukraine advocate for a pragmatic policy of the EU vis-à-vis its eastern neighbours: The deep crisis in EU-Russia relations should not prevent Brussels from seeking cooperation in areas where mutual interests coincide. Opportunities exist in the economic sphere, in technical and scientific cooperation, in civil society exchange, and in global politics. 

Economic cooperation is especially important in this regard: The interdepence between the EU and Russia could not prevent the conflict, but it played its role in preventing worse scenarios. Trade and mutual investments do not form a "magic wand" that guarantees friendly relations or modernization - but they can be seen as a "safety net" that should not be given up, and should be strengthened again as soon as the oppportunity arises.

The FES Perspective authored by Elena Alekseenkova, Henrik Hallgren, Hiski Haukkala, Felix Hett, Anna Maria Kellner, Igor Lyubashenko, Florence Mardirossian, Tatiana Romanova, Tornike Sharashenidze, Maryna Vorotnyuk, and Julia Wanninger can be downloaded here.

From Hybrid Peace to Human Security – The Berlin Report

FES London and LSE (February 2016): Europe in the twenty-first century finds itself in the midst of interlocking crises. The EU as a new type of 21st century political institution should be equipped with a set of second generation human security instruments, as the Berlin Report states. This report is the result of a joint project of FES London and the LSE and provides a new framework for a common European Foreign and Security Policy, aiming at the stabilisation and sustainable resolution of ongoing conflicts.

This report is a contribution to the European Union’s current process of strategic reflection on its external relations. It proposes that the European Union should adopt a second generation human security approach to conflicts, as an alternative to Geo-Politics or the War on Terror. It takes forward the principles of human security and adapts them to 21st century realities. Please find the full report and the set of background papers in the From Hybrid Peace to Human Security section of this webpage

90 years Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung turned 90 years in March 2015. Find a short video about our foundation and work below.

Social Democratic Values in the Digital Society

Thymian Bussemer, Christian Krell, Henning Meyer (January 2016): The Digital Revolution is reshaping our societies and the pace of change is set to accelerate even further. The world of work in particular is increasingly transformed by new technologies and continuous innovation. This exemplifies a crucial point: the Digital Revolution is not primarily a technological but an economic and social issue. The crucial question then is: what should a Digital Society based on social democratic values look like? This paper, published jointly with Social Europe Journal, analyses the key conflicts and provides policy guidance for decision-makers.

Please find the paper here.

Outward to the World: How the Left's foreign policy can face the future

FES London and Fabian Society (Edt., December 2015): With Russia flexing its muscles, Isis a rising threat and a refugee crisis caused by failed states and civil war, international affairs are at the top of the political agenda. But the left’s foreign policy debate has been defined more by the battles of the past than the challenges of the future.

It is more important than ever that the left sets out a forward–looking vision of Britain’s role in the world. ‘Outward to the World’, published in co-operation with the Fabian Society, maps out a practical but progressive foreign policy from first principles, developing the building blocks of a practical idealism: a new account of globalisation, a reinvention of the European security order, a political vision for de-escalation in the Middle East, a different account of what multilateralism means in the world.

Today’s left needs to reunite around a new internationalism – which develops a story about the changes in the world and a programme to respond to them, informed by its values.

Please find the report here.