Source description last updated: 12 September 2019.

In brief: The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (Friedrich Ebert Foundation) is a German political foundation associated with the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) committed to political education and providing expert advice based on the principles of freedom, justice and solidarity.

Coverage on

Reports, studies

Covered monthly on, for countries of priorities A-C


“The work of our political foundation focuses on the core ideas and values of social democracy – freedom, justice and solidarity. […] As a non-profit institution, we organise our work autonomously and independently.” (FES United States and Canada website: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, undated)

FES promotes: “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, sex 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.” (FES United States and Canada website: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, undated)

“FES’s principal purpose is to provide political education and expert advice. We convey basic knowledge of politics and provide access to current debates. As a think tank that operates internationally, we generate impulses towards a politics based on social democracy – not only in Germany but all over the world.” (FES website: Über die FES, undated, working translation ACCORD)

“We support and strengthen social democracy in particular by means of: [p]olitical educational work; [t]hink [t]anks; [i]nternational cooperation; [s]upport for talented young people; [t]he collective memory of social democracy.” (FES United States and Canada website: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, undated)

Besides its Bonn and Berlin headquarters, FES has 15 state and regional offices in Germany as well as a network of more than 100 offices in other countries (FES website: Über die FES, undated, working translation by ACCORD) that are affiliated to the foundation’s Africa, Middle East and North Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Caribbean, North America and Europe departments, amongst others. (FES website: FES International, undated,, working translation ACCORD)


FES is primarily funded by project-based grants from the German federal ministries but to some extent also by grants from federal states and other public entities and other grants, donations, attendance fees and other types of income. (FES Annual Report 2017, p. 70, undated)

Scope of reporting:

Geographic scope: worldwide

Thematic scope: Foreign and security policy, European integration, democracy, extremism, education, women and gender, migration and integration, social inequality, labour and trade unions etc.


FES publications are written by external experts (e.g. academics, country experts etc.) who often work(ed) in institutions in the relevant countries. The publications come in a variety of formats such as reports, studies, and country analyses. Depending on author(s), different methodologies are used such as surveys based on in-person interviews (see, for example, FES (author: Ali Taher Al-Hammood): The Sunni Arab Intelligentsia in Iraq: State, Nationhood, Citizenship, September 2018, pp. 1-2), written interviews by means of questionnaires (see, for example, FES (AutorInnen: Enri Hide/Megi Llubani): The role of Albania's civil society in countering violent extremism, July 2018, pp. 11-12) or expert analyses with references to published sources (FES (Autor: Mairi John Blackings): Why Peace Fails: The Case of South Sudan’s Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan, April 2018).

Language(s) of publications:

German, English, Spanish, French and other languages

Further reading / links:

Patrik von zur Mühlen: Die internationale Arbeit der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. Von den Anfängen bis zum Ende des Ost-West-Konflikts. Bd. 1. Geschichte der internationalen Arbeit der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. Bonn: Dietz, 2007.

Heisterkamp, Ulrich: Think Tanks der Parteien? Eine vergleichende Analyse der deutschen politischen Stiftungen, 2018

All links accessed 12 September 2019.