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» Events » 2013

Events 2013

In the 2013 Global Think Tank Index, FES stands out once again! 

The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) at the University of Pennsylvania released its seventh annual 2013 Global Go To Think Tanks Report on Wednesday January 22, 2014, at a morning press conference in Washington DC, hosted by the World Bank. The 2013 Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) marks the seventh year of continued efforts by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania (TTCSP) to acknowledge the important contributions and emerging global trends of think tanks worldwide. This Index is designed to help identify and recognize the leading centers of excellence in public policy research around the world.

The report is compiled with assistance from over 1,500 peer institutions and experts from the print and electronic media, academia, public and private donor institutions, and governments around the world and ranks the top 150 global think tanks across.

FES is proud to hit the lists of Global Think Tank Index for year 2013 as top 35th Think Tank Worldwide, 10th best Think Tank in Western Europe, Top 62nd for Defense and National Security Think Tank, 23rd best International Development Think Tank, 5th best Think Tank Network, 2nd best Think Tank with Political Party Affiliation and the 19th best for use of the Social Networks.

For details click 2013 Global Think Tank Index

Study Program on South Korea's political system for a Delegation from Vietnam, December 2-6, 2014, Seoul, Panmunjeom

In cooperation with the Vietnam Office of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Korea Office organized a study program on South Korea's political system, including civil society, for a delegation of the Ho Chi Min National Academy of Politics and Public Administration (NAPP). The NAPP is the main think tank and personnel training institute for the Communist Party of Vietnam and the State of Vietnam. The overarching objective of the visit was to convey the structure and dynamics of South Korea's pluralistic and vibrant democracy to the Vietnamese delegation. The guests from Vietnam held talks and discussed with MPs, the Mayor and ordinary citizens of Seongbuk-gu in Seoul, civil society activists, trade unionists and academics. In doing this, the visit could also contribute to bilateral relations between Korea and Vietnam. At the end of their visit, the Vietnamese guests confirmed they had learned a lot which they could use of the ongoing reform discussions in Vietnam, helping to continue this kind of dialogue and exchange.

Panel Discussion on the Asian Media Barometer South Korea 2013 Report, November 23-24, 2013, Jeju-do

FES Korea Office invited 12 renowned media experts from journalism, academia, civil society and media organizations to a closed two-day experts' roundtable discussion on the current state of the media and, in particular, media freedom in South Korea. The Asian Media Barometer is an in-depth and comprehensive description and measurement system for national media environments in Asia, focusing on different dimensions of media freedom. Unlike other press surveys or media indices, the ANMB is a local self-assessment exercise based on criteria derived from international standards for media freedom. The balanced selection of participants at the roundtable discussion which is responsible for the assessment allows a broad-mined and fair judgment of the media society organizations, helping them in their efforts to improve the media situation, using international standards as benchmarks.

FES awarded DMZ Peace Prize 2013 for its activities in improving inter-Korean relations

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Korea Office, has been awarded the "DMZ Peace Prize 2013" in the category "Exchange and Cooperation" by the Provincial Government of Gangwon Province and the regional newspaper "Gangwon Ilbo".

The jury stated that the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung has been selected for the prize due to its various and continuous activities for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula since the first opening of its office in South Korea in the late 1960s.

Governor Choi Moon Soon of Gangwon Province and the President of Gangwon Ilbo, Mr. Lee Hee Jong, handed over the prize at a special ceremonial event in the Cheorwon on 19 November 2013.

Further prize winners were the Korean Red Cross, which was awarded the "Great Prize" and the Association for South Korean and North Korean Historians. A special prize was awarded to the Committee for Activating Economic Cooperation between North and South Korea.

Christoph Pohlmann, Resident Representative of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Korea, said at the award ceremony: "Having received the DMZ Peace Prize is a great encouragement for FES to continue our efforts to share German and European experiences to the benefit of the situation in Korea."

FES Alumni Meeting "Germany after the federal eclections and the european financial crisis" with Prof. György Széll, November 19 2013, Seoul

At the fall meeting of the FES Alumni Association, Prof. em. Dr. György Széll (University of Osnabrück) gave alecture on the political situation in Germanz after the federal elections and its impact on the European financial crisis. In the following discussion, FES Alumni voiced their conderns concerning the handling of the crisis bz the EU institutions and national European governments. Another main issue of the debate was the situation of German and European Social Democracz which still seems to be a state of crisis. This event was held in Koreana Hotel, Seoul.

KSM-FES International Conference "Humanitarian and Development Assistance to the DPRK", November 7, 2013, Beijing

This year's international conference on "Humanitarian and Development Assistance ti the DPRK", was hosted by the Korean Sharing Movement (KSM) and Gyeongju Province and supported by FES korea Office. The conference aimed to improve cooperation and coordination between international resident agencies and organizations providing humanitarian assistance to the DPRK and South Korean NGOs working in North Korea. Participants at this closed conference were able to agree on a number of areas for mutual cooperation and exchange. This should improve the effectiveness of international and bilatral North-south humanitarian assistance to the DPRK in the mid- to lomg-term.

KCTU-FES Intern. Conference "Local and Community Activism of Industrial Trade Unions", 29 October, 2013, Seoul

The Korean Confederation of Trade Union (KCTU) and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), Korea Office, were planning an international conference on the topic of "Local and Community Activism of Industrial Trade Unions" on October 29, 2013 in Seoul. The aims of this conference were to apprehend the activities of unionists from Europe and the US and to get the lesson from best practices and negative experience through a variety of topics.

As a conference presenter, Mrs. Henriette Mortensen, Advisor of the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) from Denmark, and Stephan Lerner, Activist of Service Employees International Union from the US, participated in the conference to exchange their experiences with Korean trade unionists.

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IndustriALL Global Union Regional Workshop "Organizing and Campaigning", October 16-17, 2013, Seoul

The IndustriALL Asia Pacific Regional Office and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung organised the IndustriALL Asia Pacific Regional Workshop on Organising and Campaigning in Seoul, South Korea.

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IDP-FES Seminar on "Good Society and Economy of Tomorrow", October 15, 2013, Seoul

The Institute for Democracy and Policies (IDP) and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) hold the seminar which is the discussions in German and European Social Democracy on how to create a "Good society" and how to overcome neo-liberalism by establishing a "Decent Capitalism" on the national, regional and international level have gained attention and relevance in Korea.

Two renowned social democratic intellectuals from Germany, Dr. Christian Kellermann (SPD Head Office) and Dr. Henning Meyer (Editor of "Social Europe") participated as presenter in this seminar.

In addition to that, the two experts had further talks with leading Korean politicians and academics.

WSS-FES Korea's First Economy of Tomorrow Seminar "Towards a Good Society and Decent Capitalism", October 14, 2013, Seoul

Welfare State Society and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), Korea Office, have started to cooperate in order to bring together a broad-based "rainbow coalition" from various social and political sectors in order to further develop the debate on "Good Society" and "Decent Capitalism" in Korea. This initiative forms part of the "Economy of Tomorrow" project FES is pursuing with different partners in Asia and Europe.

The purpose of this first "Economy of Tomorrow Seminar" is to discuss basic concepts and ideas in order to establish common ground for deve3loping concrete Korean policy ideas and political recommendations at a later stage.

Two renowned social democratic intellectuals from Germany, Dr. Christian Kellermann (SPD Head Office) and Dr. Henning Meyer (Editor of "Social Europe") provided their ideas and concepts for these debates.

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PSPD-FES Conference "Towards a Good Society and Decent Capitalism", October 11, 2013, Osong

In the last few years, domestic socio-political debate in Korea has been dominated by two topics: The expansion of the welfare state and "economic democratization", i.e. regulating the chaebol and increasing the number of decent jobs instead of precarious employment.

In this context, the discussions in German and European Social Democracy on how to create a "Good Society" and how to overcome neo-liberalism by establishing a "Decent Capitalism" on the national, regional and international level have gained attention and relevance in Korea.

Two renowned social democratic intellectuals from Germany, Dr. Christian Kellermann (SPD Head Office) and Dr. Henning Meyer (Editor of "Social Europe") provided their ideas and concepts for these debates.

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KDGW-FES-KIEP International Conference "Harmonizing Social Welfare and Economic Growth", September 26, 2013, Seoul

With Korea being a relative newcomer in the field of social welfare, Korean academic and policy circles are in search of a unique Korean model of social welfare, which hopefully does not slow down Korea's economic growth dynamics. In doing so, experiences of selected European countries could provide valuable lessons. Against this backdrop, the Korean-German Academy of Economics and Management (Koreanisch-Deutsche Gesellschaft für Wirtschaftswissenschaften, KDGW), in cooperation with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and the Korean Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP), were hosting an international conference under the title "Harmonizing Social Welfare and Economic Growth: European Experiences and Implications for Korea." Prominent Korean and European scholars and policy-makers were invited to present their thoughts at this international conference.

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Information Brochure on South-North biography dialogues, June 2013, Seoul

FES Korea and Korea dialogue Academy have launched a program of "biography dialogues" between ordinary citizens from South Korea and refugees from North Korea living in the South. These biography dialogues aim at fostering social integration of North Korean refugees into South Korean society by increasing knowledge about each other's life stories and therby overcoming deeply rooted prejudices. The biography dialogues are modelled after a successful initiative in Germany which has practiced by the "Ost-West-forum" between East and West Germans for over 15 years. We hope that this initiative can contribute to preparing Korean society for an eventual re-unification of the Korean Peninsula.

FES and Korea Dialogue Academy aim at holding these biography dialogues with like-minded partners throughout Korea. This information brochure has been developed in order to provide basic information about the method and applicability of the biography dialogues. If you are interested in the initiative, please feel free to get in touch with FES Korea Office or Korea Dialogue Academy anytime.

Information Broshure on Nord-South biography dialogues (Korean)

Seoul Metropolitan Government-Eco-City Forum-FES Conference "
Structural Change and Sustainable City Development", June 13, 2013, Seoul

Industrialization takes its toll in all industrialized countries. Cities get cloaked in smog, traffic jams congest the streets and energy production in most parts of the world remains either a dangerous technology or takes a big share in polluting the environment.

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, together with the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Eco-City Forum, held a conference in Seoul City Hall, on how to organize a sustainable development in urban areas. It focused on how Germany handles its “Energy Transition” (energiewende) and, how it affects industries and employment.

The conference was visited by over 150 participants and led to fruitful debates within the audiance.

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Hope Institute-FES 3rd Korea-Germany Urban Forum "Green Economy with Citizen Partizipation in Germany", June 11-14, 2013, Seoul

Together with the Hope Institute, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung will hold the 3rd Korea-Germany Urban Forum in which the partners focused on the issue of changing the economy as well as urban centres towards a green future.

Change is inevitable, but whilst doing so, the planning of it can not be done without those who are affected by it the most: The citizens. Therefore this event focused not only on how to change policies and how to move towards a greener future, but also tried to connect the “hard policies” with the necessary participation of citizens of a lively democracy.

For almost a week twoo experts from Germany, Ptof. Matthias Koziol from Brandenburgisch-Technische University cottbus and Mr. Juergen Hartwig from Freiburg visited many sites in Seoul metropolitan area and in Suwon to exchange views and solutions to problems in modern urban development as well as the implementation of mechanisms to enable citiens to participate.

Especially the energy sector and the way buildiing are constructed played a major role. With respect to the case of Freiburg, the potential role mode of a ecological-participatory city quarter like "Vauban" received a lot of attention.

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Korean-German International Conference "Internal Unity", June 5, 2013, Seoul

Germany started its diplomatic relations with Korea 130 years ago and 50 years ago, the first nurses and mines from South Korea came to Germany to earn their living. To celebrate those anniversaries the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and the other three German political foundations in Korea as well as the National Unification Advisory Council (NUAC) and the Ministry of Unification invite to a conference on “internal unity”.

The main focus was on the issues the integrational aspects of  German and a potential Korean reunification of the Koreas. The integration of two different models of society and the problems related with such a situation are at hand.  Since Germany has experienced a sudden reunification, speakers will talk about the solutions that have been used to solve inevitable societal tensions and problems.

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Conference Proceedings (Korean and German)


FKTU-FES International Seminar "How to Resolve Precarious Work Issues in Korea", May 16, 2013, Seoul

The 1997 Asian financial crisis and the 2007 global financial crisis have significantly worsened the job security of workers in Korea. The flexibilization of the labor market has become a norm, creating huge number of precarious workers with less rights, constant fear of job loss and no proper access to social security. As of August 2012, the number of precarious workers in Korea amounted to 8.4 million, accounting for almost half of the total working population. Against this background, the Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU) and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), Korea Office, jointly organized an international seminar in order to review the current situation of precarious workers and discussed ways on how to resolve the issue by sharing and exchanging views with oversea experts from Germany and local trade unionists. 

KDA-FES Biography Dialogue Evaluation, May 9., 2013, Seoul

After holding three biography dialogues in cooperation with the Korean Dialogue Academy (KDA), FES Korea and its partners went further on with the project. In a half day workshop in KDA all those involved as well as partner organisations interested in the biography dialogue evaluated the ealier workshops.

Many different organizations concerned with a Korean reunification, as well as former participants and religious organisztions talked about the future of the programme. Participants concluded, that those dialogues may be the foundation of a mutual understanding of two Koreas and that such an understanding is necessary for a peaceful reunification. Following the workshop it is clear that the partners are willing to continue to disseminate the method so it can be used on a broader scale throughout the country.

KHMU Delegation to Meet Trade Union ver.di in Germany, April 22-26, 2013, Berlin

For the second time after a visit in 2009, five representatives of the Korean Health and Medical Workers' Union (KHMU) got together with the German United Services Trade Union ver.di for an exchange of  information and experiences. The working conditions of hospital workers as well as the managerial system of German hospitals in particular are of major interest to the delegation. Other topics, such as German hospital accreditation standards and the political activity of the DGB and ver.di, are also addressed in order to get impules for future strategies. The visit was in line with a regular exchange between KHMU and ver.di, following the visit of the latter to Korea in 2010.

KDA-FES Biography Dialogue, February  23-24, 2013, Kapyeong

In order to create understanding and share experiences, Noth Korean refugees now living in South Korea and South Korean individuals participated in a two-day workshop co-organized by FES Korea and Korea Dialogue Academy (KDA) in Kapyeong. By talking about their personal histories, the participants learned about each other's struggles coming to South Korea and facing discrimination and hardships. As various ages and occupational groups were involved, the round of talks resulted in a variety of moving stories, leading to an enlightening expericence for all participants.

The biography dialogue round was held for the third time so as to foster integration and to overcome prejuices between North and South Koreans.

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung one of the leading global think tanks

According to the Global Think Report 2012 recently published by the University of Pennsylvania, FES has again been assessed as one of the most influential Think Tanks in the world. Globally, FES is ranked number 37, amongst the Non-US Think Tanks, it is holding number 18. Through its vast international network specifically in developing countries, FES is perceived as a very important organization in framing and shaping development cooperation: in the category of International Development Think Tanks, FES is on rank 24. But also the quality of its policy proposals is widely appreciated: within Think Tanks with most Innovative Policy Proposals FES is even on rank 23.

For more detailed information access the report published under:

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