Korea Office

Rm. 1101,
88 Yulgok-ro,
Seoul 03131
South Korea

Phone: +82 (0) 2 745 2648
Fax: +82 (0) 2 745 6684



» Events » 2014

Events 2014


2014 International Conference on Enhancing Entrepreneurship and Job Creation in Europe and Korea – Current State, Obstacles and Cures (November 21 – 22, 2014)

Both, the EU and Korea, have experienced declining economic growth and rising youth unemployment rates in the past period. However, simultaneously there has been an increasing number of emerging markets. Those provide the South Korean economy with new opportunities. The South Korean government is hoping to use these opportunities to embark on a strategy for a Creative Economy. This should help to reverse the economic slowdown and create new jobs. In this context, the European experience is seen as relevant. This constitutes the background of the international conference, which KDGW, KIEP, and FES Korea Office organised. During the proceedings presentations were made to compare experiences of youth unemployment and policies for job creation, both in Europe and Korea. Mr. Roland Schneider, Senior Policy Advisor from TUAC at OECD in Paris, focused his presentation on youth unemployment in selected European countries. One of the issues raised with particular interest during the discussions were the so called Hartz reforms in Germany. Prof. Dr. Weber, from the University of Munich, introduced research findings and training moduls on young entrepreneurship and start-up companies.



2014 International Conference: “New Challenges and Future Prospects of Peacekeeping Operations” (November 12 - 14, 2014)

Recent conflicts, such as in South Sudan and Mali, show, that traditional nature of armed conflict shifts to a new asymmetric one. Thus creating new security related threats to individual countries, their societies and the international community, also new measures to restore and protect peace must be found. However, as new types of conflict multiply and the post-cold war order appears to be mutating through a phase of increased instabilities the extended engagement of individual powers to guarantee international peace or stability through intervention in local conflicts becomes less likely as their capacities are being seriously stretched. This reveals the critical need to search for new approaches to deal with these dangers to international peace. Therefore, the Korea National Defence University, the Korea Academic Council on the UN System, and the FES Korea Office conducted the 2014 PKO International Seoul Conference on New Challenges and Future Prospects for Peace Keeping Operations (PKO). Focussing on multilateral rather than bilateral or individual solutions, international PKO experts discussed the challenges and prospects of PKO activities in a rapidly changing security environment. One of the recommendations of this meeting was that experts could further discuss the views on regional cooperation in PKO in Eastern Asia and their conclusion channelled into various policy-making processes in national, regional and international (UN high level independent panel on peace operations) levels.

The 4th Korea Germany Urban Forum of the Hope Institute and FES Korea: “Put Education on Work” Work and Growth of the Youth – Seeking the role of community and society (November 10 – 12, 2014)

Youth unemployment is one of the most severe labour market challenges in Korea. Competition amongst young job seekers, irrespective of whether they are university graduates or not, is fierce and the rate of formally employed youth is low. In their large majority young people are unemployed or at best find part-time jobs. However, in Germany the rate of unemployed youth has remained relatively stable at a low level, even throughout the financial crisis of former years. Many researchers in Korea attribute this to the vocational education and training (VET) system. The Korean Ministry of Education has consequently tried to adapt the German experience through various measures. Therefore, the Hope Institute together with FES Korea Office organised the a forum to evaluate these measures and recommend further strategies for supporting, promoting, and designing work-based learning in Korea. Focussing on Germany, Mrs. Veronika Pahl, former Director General of Federal Ministry of Education and Research, analysed the successes and challenges of the vocational education and training system in Germany. Mrs. Svetlana Novikova, consultant for personnel and organizational development working both for employers and trade unions, spoke about the impact of work-based further education in enterprises and businesses. It became clear, that despite many differences, both in the education system and the structure of the economy, there are elements in the German legislative framework, which are relevant for the Korean situation.

2014 International Conference on Humanitarian and Development Assistance to the DPRK

(November 6, 2014)


Providing aids to North Korea, especially programs on agricultural development, public health, and child care, is deemed to reduce North Korean people’s animosities toward South Koreans in the short run, as it noticeably improves life quality. In the long-term perspective, this will desirably simplify the reunification process, once it will be there. Since the Park administration had frozen almost every cooperation program with the North, this annual conference was organized by the Korean Sharing Movement, Gyeonggi Provincial Government, and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung firstly to contribute to a semi-official approach to maintain aid programs for North Korea. Secondly, it was meant to gather representatives of various NGOs, IGOs, and GOs to revive the social network, which had evolved over the last year’s conferences. The participants agreed on the importance of sharing information to further conduct humanitarian aid and development. In this context, the usefulness of this conference was emphasized. However, all participants agreed, that humanitarian and development assistance to the DPRK required a sensitive approach.

Launch Event: Asian Media Barometer South Korea 2013 Report (April, 2014, Seoul)

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), Korea Office, held a launch event on the occasion of the publication of the first Asian Media Barometer (ANMB) Report in South Korea, evaluating the current state of media freedom in Korea. At the event, both local and foreign journalists discussed the results of the ANMB South Korea 2013 Report and put them into perspective with the media environment in other countries, particularly Western Europe. The discussion confirmed the main findings of the report. Please feel free to download the report below or to request a hardcopy (in Korean and English) from FES Korea Office for free.

Download Programm

Download Publication (Korean and English)

International Conference of Korea Labor Institute (KLI) and FES Korea: "Labor Market Reform and Industrial Relations in Germany and Korea" (April 1. 2014, Seoul)

Both Korea and Germany face the challenge of how to raise the employment rate, to improve work-life balance (particularly for women) and to reform their education systems in order to stay competitive and to ensure that their citizens have a fair chance to improve their livelihoods. Therefore, the Korea Labor Institute and FES Korea Office jointly organized an international conference in order to share experience on recent developments and current reform plans in both countries with respect to labor market reform and industrial relations. One focus of the conference was if the recent economic plans of the Korean government can benefit from German experiences concerning labor market reform increasing the employment rate for women and Germany's system of dual professional training as an alternative to an university degree. The German experts cautioned threat too much emphasis on flexibilization of the labor market would increase the risk of precarious working conditions, particularly of women. the German experts also met, among others, with three Members of the National Assembly.

Download Programm

Download Papers (German)

Dialogue program between the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) and the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) (March 17-20, 2014, Seoul and Gyeonggi Province)

Worldwide, trade unions face numerous challenges due to increasing global competition, the consequences of the global financial and economic crisis 2008/2009 and - depending on national circumstances - detrimental legal and political environment for free trade union activities. In order to intensify the bilateral dialogue and cooperation between German and Korean trade unions, an intensive dialogue programm was held between KCTU and DGB to share experiences and to provide mutual solidarity and support for their activities and necessary internal reforms. To jointly plan respective activities of DGB and KCTU, FES Korea Office invited Mr. Frank Zach, Head of Asia Section at the International Department of DGB Head Office, to Korea in order to conduct a dialogue program with KCTU representatives. Both sides exchanged their point of view about recent developments and challenges for trade union movements in Korea and Germany and set up a plan for future collaboration. During the visit, Mr. Zach also met with various trade union delegates to enable an exchange on company and sector level as well.