Houses of Parliament

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.

The Good Europe Project - creating a modern rationale for Europe in the 21st Century

The European Union is in a rather worrying state and faces serious challenges. Some problems are currently reflected in the actual debate about the British EU-membership. In order to develop  an alternative modern vision for Europe, FES London and Compass are planning an international conference on “Good Europe”.

But reflecting on Europe’s future does not need a specific day. If you want to share your idea of a European Union you really want, visit www.goodeurope.org and engage in the debate. In seeking a positive agenda we ask: what is the vision and purpose for the EU in the 21st century? What are the policies needed to implement this vision and how do we make it happen? The input will be used directly for the conference and results will be published afterwards.

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.

British-German Dialogue on Security and Defence Policy

Sarah Lain (December 2015): On 30 November 2015, the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung hosted a day-long workshop aimed at bringing together leading German and British security specialists as well as members of the UK Parliament and Bundestag to discuss key aspects of European security. The day’s events covered three sessions: European defence, as seen from Berlin and London; the migration crisis; and a review of European security relations with Russia. This report summarizes the policy recommendations that derived from the discussions during the day.

Please find the full conference report here.

ICE and Voice 10 years on - The Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations in the UK and Europe

Joe Dromey (November 2015): Both voice and consultation have been shown to be linked to numerous positive outcomes for employees as well as employers, according to the recently published report “ICE and Voice 10 years on” by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung London and the Involvement and Participation Association (IPA). The publication focuses on the Information and Consultation of Employees (ICE) Regulations, deriving from an EU-directive introduced in the UK in April 2005.  

The report finds that there is a clear need for improvement in terms of voice and consultation in the UK. In comparison, most EU member states have far stronger rights for information and consultation. In many countries, such as Germany and France, these rights predated the ICE-directive. In others, such as Denmark, existing rights were strengthened.

In the case of the UK, the ICE regulations could form part of the solution to its voice deficit. From supporting employment engagement and boosting performance and productivity to improving decision-making, employee satisfaction and wellbeing – effective arrangements and instruments for voice and consultation have many proven positive implications. The report outlines a number of ways how the regulations could be reformed to better promote a collective employment voice at work.

Please find the publication here.

Who's breadwinning in Europe? A comparative Analysis of Maternal Breadwinning in Great Britain and Germany

Giselle Cory and Alfie Stirling (October 2015): Traditional ideas of gender roles and the labour market participation of women have been changing in the last decades. Moreover, trends in earnings and living costs have necessitated dual-earning in couple households. In fact, 31.4 per cent of mothers in working families across Europe are breadwinners, earning more than 50 per cent of a family’s income, as this new report by FES London and IPPR shows. However, different attitudes in family and public policies result in varying characteristics, opportunities and challenges. Policies in both countries need to keep up with these changing family structures and ensure that all families are supported to balance work and care.

The report explores trends, patterns and characteristics of maternal breadwinning in Great Britain and Germany. Furthermore, it expresses influential policy recommendations in childcare, parental leave, flexible working and taxation.  

Please find the publication here.

Tax for our Times: How the Left can reinvent taxation

Daisy-Rose Srblin (Edt., July 2015): This collection of essays, published by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung London and the Fabian Society, explores how the left can reimagine a tax system for modern times, more progressive, more transparent and more efficient, and helps to shape a fairer society and a more productive economy.

In a globalised world, taxation is no longer an issue within national borders alone. This is why the collection draws on international comparisons throughout. Importantly, it considers how to bring the public into conversation. Tax reform should neither be locked away by politicians from public view, nor left to the expert few: it needs to be put back in the hands of many.

Please find the publication here.

Progressive Politics and the Question of English Votes for English Laws

Colin Miller (April 2015): The question of English Votes for English Laws (EVEL) presents progressives with political and constitutional challenges. This paper, published by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and Compass, is based on consultation with MPs and constitutional experts. It recommends a solution based on three elements: dealing with EVEL in an appropriate matter, implementing a deep rooted process of localism and devolution and establishing a constitutional convention that examines the complex question of the relationship between the nations, regions, local government and neighbourhoods and the replacement of the House of Lords with a House of Nations and Regions.

Please find the publication here.