The discussion on phasing out coal is extremely hard, especially in countries like Poland, where around 80% of energy comes from coal. In the UN Climate Talks taking place in Katowice, the Polish...
Why the climate conference COP24 in Katowice is an important milestone for achieving the 1.5°C target
On FES Connect, Manuela Matthess reminds us of what's going to be most important at the upcoming climate change conference in Katowice.
Podcast highlights international perspectives on debate around the economic relevance of care work.
The Global Policy and Development Department deals with the following range of topics:
We look forward to exchanging ideas with you. You can find your contact persons here.
In the 21st Century the world is confronted with many challenges. Social inequality is on the rise, natural resources are being exploited unchecked. Many communities are shaped by corruption, violence, and war. In order to deal with these problems, a deep structural change on an economic, ecological and social level is needed. This change must also put democratic participation and civil conflict resolutions front and center.
The activities of the Global Policy and Development Department therefore aim at developing concise alternative policies aimed at a just global transformation, together with our worldwide partners. Further, the department works at sounding out chances for balancing diverse interests in a way that is fair for all.
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Freedom, justice, and solidarity – the basic principles of social democracy ought to apply to the global economy as well. Therefore, we stand for an equitable trade regime worldwide and take position against illegal finance flows and for equitable group taxation. Lastly, we also support strong trade unions.
Human peace and security can only be enduring when they are built upon a foundation of law and justice. Therefore, we advocate for binding rules regarding security policy, for instance in arms control. In addition, we want prevention and international solidarity to be the main focus of peace policies. To this end, we provide arguments and stimulate international debates.
Without trade unions there is no social democracy! For this reason, we support workers’ representations worldwide in their efforts to operate in a representative, democratic, independent, competent and effective manner. Additionally, we work on ensuring that trade union positions influence political and economic decision-making processes.
Despite of technological innovations and globalized structures, many people are denied social and societal participation. Amongst other things, we advocate for a system of basic social protections that will guarantee every person’s right to social and material security and a life in dignity. A further important concern of ours is the social and political acknowledgement of the un- and underpaid Care Work, which is done mostly by women. The fact that this work is largely ignored by the economic system constitutes an injustice that embeds and reproduces gender imbalance on a structural level.
Migration and flight are global phenomena that affect all countries and continents. Only when we understand why people leave their homes can we shape migration globally.
The International Theme Week, entitled “Time for Justice”, shows ways of making the world a place of more justice, more solidarity and more social-mindedness. Across Berlin, podium discussions and workshops are held, films and exhibitions are being shown. Key topics of the past years: “Justice at Work”, “#justainability – Paths Towards Just and Sustainable Societies” and “People on the Move”.
The Tiergarten Conference is the primary foreign and security policy conference held by the FES. Every year, politicians and civil society experts get together and not only discuss new trends in international affairs, but also carry their discussion to the German public.
In cooperation with Urania Berlin we organize an event series on peace and security in times of global upheaval and a political café on Sundays. The participants discuss sociopolitical topics with well-known figures from philosophy, science and society.
The challenges of the global work environment are enormous. The mass violation of workers’ and union rights, the large percentage of informal employment, and the vast amount of people who live in poverty even though they have work are just a few keywords. These and other issues show that creating a socially equitable work environment must make up a larger part of the political agenda than heretofore. The discussion group “Decent Work Worldwide!” under the chairmanship of Stefan Rebmann, MdB, brings together parliamentarians as well as representatives from unions, civil society and the science community. Its goal is to follow debates from this field of topics, to carry these debates into the German political environment and to develop answers to the current challenges.
This discussion group, under the chair of Edelgard Buhlmahn, Vice President of the Bundestag, is composed of parliamentarians, practitioners, scientists, and civil society experts. It offers starting points for debates, develops political options for action, and enables networking opportunities between political decision-makers and experts in the area of crisis prevention and peace promotion. Most recently, the group published a position paper on promoting peace and a just globalization internally and externally, which calls for policies acknowledging the interdependency of internal and external peace. In 2013, the policy paper “Cornerstones of a Strategy Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation” was published. It demanded that the German crisis prevention engagement needed to be significantly increased, as well as strategically oriented.
Since 2011, the discussion group “Climate Change and Development” has been dealing with questions on climate and energy policy– mostly in an international context –under Dr. Bärbel Kofler, MdB. The participants hail from civil society, unions, scientific or political backgrounds. In the past years, the group has addressed various topics, such as: Climate financing, the potential of Low Carbon Development Pathways regarding, for instance, poverty reduction, climate change and human rights, the meaning of the German energy revolution for countries of the Global South, and climate change and crisis prevention.
With our international discussion group “Monopoly on the Use of Force 2.0?” we want to raise awareness of the –theoretical – base of international security infrastructure, namely national monopolies on the use of force. The group analyses the current state of these monopolies and develops progressive policy recommendations in order to ensure both human security and a just international order. The group presents its assessments and analyses both in the publication series Think Pieces as well as in conference reports.
In 2009, the European Union assumed responsibility for trade policy as a field of political action with the Treaty of Lisbon. However, discussions surrounding primarily the free trade agreements CETA and TTIP have reintroduced the topic back into the national agenda in many European states. In the discussion group “Trade”, under Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel, the FES brings together parliamentarians, union representatives and experts from think tanks and civil society. The group discusses guidelines for a progressive trade policy of the 21st Century. For instance, topics include democratic legitimacy and control of trade policy, the relationship between bilateral trade agreements and the multilateral WTO system, and development policy aspects of trade. In addition, questions of coherence regarding other policy fields are discussed, especially in the light of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
A civil society perspective on the Global Sustainability Agenda
Eradicate poverty, end wars, stop the destruction of the planet: Nothing less was the international community's goal with Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Agenda is supposed to influence national, regional and global policies. Progress of the implementation is monitored through voluntary, annual governmental reports. However, a critical civil society perspective is necessary. Therefore, the FES supports the Reflection Group on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a coalition of civil society organizations that has critically monitored the Agenda since its inception.
When the first governments presented their reports at the UN in New York within the framework of the High Level Political Forum, the Reflection Group presented their Spotlight Report on Sustainable Development that stressed the rich North's responsibility regarding the attainment of the sustainability goals. The report makes it clear that these global sustainability goals will not be reached unless there is a sharp turn of course regarding, for instance, trade and taxation policy, arms exports, and corporate diligence regarding human rights. The core messages of the report, which will be appearing annually in the future, will be discussed at various conferences and workshops.
Perspectives, studies, analyses: The FES regularly releases publications on international subjects. Our newsletter provides information about the most recent ones. To subscribe, just send us an email:
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