The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) was founded in 1925 as a political legacy of Germany’s first democratically elected president, Friedrich Ebert.
In response to his own experience in political confrontation, Friedrich Ebert, a Social Democrat who had risen to the highest political office in his country from a humble craftsman’s background, had proposed the establishment of a foundation serving the following aims:
- to further political and social education of individuals from all areas of life in the spirit of democracy and pluralism,
- to facilitate access to university education and to help gifted young people by providing scholarships,
- to contribute to the achievement of international understanding and cooperation.
As of present, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, which was banned by the Nazis in 1933 and re-established in 1947, continues pursuing these aims in all of its extensive activities. As a private cultural non-profit institution it is committed to the ideas and basic values of social democracy.
FES in Germany enhances the judgement and decision-making capacity of citizens through qualification programmes and political education seminars. It does so through a wide network of offices and academies throughout Germany, as well as the head quarters in Bonn and Berlin. FES Public forums stimulate the dialogue between politics and society, it advises persons in leading political positions and mandates.
In addition, fostering the education of talented and socio-politically committed young students and academics is one of the main goals of the foundation. The Scholarship Programme department offers not only financial and material support, but also an extensive programme of seminars, as well as a wide network of former scholars and tutors.