secretary general


Ernst Stetter is the Secretary General of Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) since 2008. He is also a regular commentator on EU affairs in the media and visiting fellow at University of Greenwich, London.

He is an Economist and Political Scientist. He studied in Tübingen and Heidelberg (Germany) focusing on international trade, finance, economic and social policy as well as development issues. In 1980 he obtained his PhD in political science entitled “The Association of ACP-Countries (Lomé I and II) to the European Community and the STABEX-System.”

In 1976 Ernst Stetter began his professional career as a lecturer in economics at the DGB Trade Union Centre for Vocational Training in Heidelberg. From 1980 to 2008 he worked for the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) in various positions. He spent the first four years at the FES as a Consultant in Dakar, Senegal. In 1988, Ernst Stetter was appointed as Head of the Africa Department. In 1994 he started working as Head of the Central Europe Unit. In 1997 he moved to Paris and became Director of the FES Office in France, then in 2003 he was appointed Director of the EU-Office of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) in Brussels.

In 2003 he received the French decoration of Chevalier de l'Ordre national du Mérite.

Statements and speeches

 The brave new world needs to be progressively harnessed.  5th annual FEPS – Policy Network – Renner Institut Symposium (July 2017)

 Millennials 4 Europe! Youth Participation in Democratic Life Launch of the Millennial Dialogue report Italy (March 2017)

 Introductory remarks to New year’s conference with the Fabian Society (January 2017)

 Qui nous dit la jeunesse mondiale?. Launch of the Millennial Dialogue report Senegal (FR) (December 2016)

 Eulogy for Karl A. Duffek at his funeral in Vienna (August 2016)

Speech in English

Speech in German

 Renewal of Social Democratic and Progressive Politics in Europe - The State of the Movement (July 2016)

Speech at The state of Social Democracy in Hannover, Germany

 Renewal of Social Democratic and Progressive Politics in Europe - The State of the Movement (June 2016)

Speech at the Seminar on what next for European social democracy in Helsinki, Finland

 Challenges and opportunities for the new Silk Road: How to enhance cooperation and integration in developing the initiative (February 2016)

Speech at the 1st Annual Conference of the Silk Road Think Tank Association, Shenzhen, China.

 Towards establishing a fair aand sustainable European society (February, 2016)

French Version 

Speech delivered by Ernst Stetter, Secretary General of FEPS, in Paris during one of the conferences of the cycle about equality carried out with FEPS' partner Fondation Jean-Jaurès. 

 Building an equitable and sustainable society (January, 2016)

Speech delivered during the launching of the Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre at the University of Greenwich (London).  

 The Welfare State and the fight against inequality (November, 2015)

Paper inspired by the speech delivered at Columbia University (New York, US) about "The European Social Model as an element of European identity. With special reference to the German case".

 Millennial Dialogue: Launch in Norway (November, 2015)

Speech during the launching of the Millennial Dialogue Study on Norway. 

Greece forward: providing progressives solutions for today and tomorrow (October, 2015)

Speech delivered in Athens in the conference celebrated in cooperation with DIKTIO. 

The Europe of tensions (October 2015)

Speech delivered in Paris about Europe's current political challenges.

Re Launching Europe (September, 2015)

Speech during S&D event in Warsaw (Poland) 

 The social reality of Europe after the crisis (September, 2015)

Presentation in Amsterdam of the report “social reality of Europe after the crisis. Trends, challenges and responses”, which was elaborated within an ambitious research project realized together by FEPS and Policy Network.

Populism in the European political debates  (June, 2015)

Video: Speech during the workshop "Illiberal democracies -what can the European Union in case a member state reguralry and systematically breaches European values and regulations?" at the European Parliament. 

Rebuilding the welfare State in Multicultural Societies (May, 2015)

Speech delivered in Tel Aviv abou this crucial question of the labour movement and Social democracy in general.

Illiberal Democracies and their impact on Europe (November 2014)

Opening speech of the homonymous conference celebrated in Budapest the 27h-28th of November. 

Imaginer L'Afrique: socialisme, developpement et democratie (July 2014)

Speaking points related with FEPS Next Left Project in the framework of the conference held in Senegal.

Not “more” but a “more democratic” Europe! (March 2014)

Lecture delivered at the Conference for the Reconstruction of Europeanism organised by FEPS in cooperation with Fundació Gabriel Alomar in Palma de Mallorca (Spain).


The brave new world needs to be progressively harnessed. 5th annual FEPS – Policy Network – Renner Institut Symposium (July 2017)

and speeches

  • Global Challenges and their impact in the Middle East

    January 10, 2018

    The international conference on the subject of Europe and the Middle East: a New Era in Institutional Management of Peace, Security, and Economic Development, which took place on November 5th, 2017 in Tel Aviv, Israel, was jointly organized, for the second consecutive year, by the Foundation for...

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