What challenges do young people face in the European neighbourhood? How can we defend democracy in these illiberal times? And how can we make international solidarity work to strengthen democracy and the rule of law?
The 1st FEPS – FMS Neighbourhood Dialogue is taking place on June 29th in Belgrade, marking the end of a 2-year long project focusing on how we can deepen democracy in the European neighbourhood. Join us for this unique opportunity to meet and discuss with 40 young activists from Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lebanon, Morocco, North Macedonia, Serbia, Tunisia and Ukraine!
The event is organised with the cooperation of the Centre of Modern Skills (CMV).learn more
This year’s FEPS-Fabian Summer conference will focus on both domestic and international policy priorities for the next Labour government, examine the impact of the European elections, and will ask what comes next in the Brexit process.
Programme soon available
Europe had a strategy to attain smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and deliver wellbeing to its citizens. At the doorstep of 2020, our society is increasingly polarized, social inequalities are on the rise. What went wrong? Should we blame the financial crisis? Bad politics? Bad policies perhaps?
Europe made some steps forward on becoming more sustainable and smarter but an inclusive economy is still a distant point on the horizon.
Is it time to construct a sound EU-wide plan to tackle inequality? How to design it?
The FEPS and Solidar event "Inequality 2020" will be the occasion to reflect on how growing inequalities have shaped the European society over recent years and think about the next agenda to contrast social exclusion, unemployment and inequality at large.
At the Brussels Press Club, we will host two French sociologists, Alexis Spire and Cédric Hugrée, of the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), authors of the book “Les classes sociales en Europe - Tableau des nouvelles inégalités sur le vieux continent”, which will be available in English only at the end of the year. In their research, they make use of various data sources and of a new socio-professional classification (European Socio-Economic Group ESEG) introduced by Eurostat in 2016. This allows for a rather accurate job-related identification of the social class: working class, middle class, upper class.
FEPS Suggested Readings:
The European Elections 2019 have become a turning point. Naturally, ahead of the vote, there have been many claims made already about how they would be critical. But since these phrases return every 5 years, possibly not too many have taken them too seriously. But then in the end, against many odds, on 26th May 2019 shortly before midnight it has become evident it was vote different to any other. The anticipation was therefore accurate, as this time history actually has been made.read more
Millennials aged 18 to 35 make up roughly a quarter of Europe’s entire population. But do Europe’s leaders listen to their voices and respond to their needs? Do they know their hopes and dreams for the future? Are leaders encouraging this generation to exercise their growing political power? To address these burning issues FEPS in cooperation with ThinkYoung and partners (Institut Emilie Vandervelde, Stichting Gerrit Kreveld, BCW, The Coca-Cola Company and Microsoft) produced and launched a report that captured Millennials’ views on the big challenges facing Europe at a decisive moment for the European project and just as the 2019 European elections arrive.read more
Since its first edition in 2011, Call to Europe has become the signature conference of FEPS and a reference point for the progressive family in Europe. This is due to its capacity of bringing together a unique multi-stakeholder community of progressive politicians, civil society and media to discuss issues of common concern and develop concrete and positive responses to contemporary European challenges in the most interactive and inclusive way.read more
A place where Ernst Stetter (Secretary General of FEPS) shares his fresh thoughts about Brussels, Europe and beyond.read more
2018 may represent a turning point in the global governance of migration. The United Nations member states, in fact, are currently negotiating what it may become the first multilateral agreement on migration, the Global Compact on Migration, that should be officially adopted in Casablanca next December.
To reflect on one of the main challenges of the present and the future and to contribute to the general debate around the many aspects of this crucial topic, the Foundation for European Progressive Studies has established a high-level working group – chaired by former Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato and composed of academics, experts and practitioners from Europe, Canada, Mexico, India, Senegal, and Australia – who wrote a progressive proposal presenting a new progressive narrative on global migration, based on the fundamental principle of solidarity and respect of human rights, as well as on a real and deep understanding of the current political environment in many Western states. The result of this work will was presented in a conference in New York, during which participants will be also asked to reflect on the ways to implement the Global Compact in the years to come.
High Level Seminars
Rome, 1-2 March 2018
Dakar, 16-19 May 2018
New York, 22 September 2018
Public Conference in New York (21 September 2018)
Watch the interviews with the speakers:
See the photos of the eventread more
In the summer of 2015, migration became a key issue within European politics. Although the number of refugees and migrants entering the EU has decreased since then, the topic gained even more importance on the political agenda. There have been several European summits, policies were drafted and the EU Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), consisting of over three billion euros, was created.
These current policies are based on the idea that by increasing development in African countries, through for example job creation, the need for African youngsters to migrate to Europe will reduce. But is this really the case? Many academics claim that economic development in African countries gives potential migrants the capabilities for their migration aspirations, as it provides migrants with the financial means to migrate. Again, what is true? And also, what would be an alternative to this policy directive?
Alarming is that the voice of Africans themselves, living in the countries of origin and the diaspora living in Europe, are not included in the European debate on migration. This debate now focuses on European perspectives of how to deal with the incoming groups of migrants. To fill this gap FEPS and FMS are carrying out a research that focus mostly on Ghana and Tunisia, two countries of origin for irregular migrants, to research the incentives for migration and policies targeting this. Why do people want to migrate? What is the importance of migration for them? And how can we make migration beneficial for all?
In this magazine, we will keep you updated on our progress and the outcome of the research!read more
Ahead of the upcoming climate summit in New York in September FEPS together with its partners is setting up a steering committee in order to be able to reflect on and test ideas of guiding proposals to be presented on this topic.
The group will be chaired by Teresa Ribera, Minister for the ecological transition in Spain and will bring together expert policy advisers, political representatives, civil society activists, academics and other key stakeholders in the climate justice debate.
10th -11th April - First meeting of the steering committee in Madrid
24th – 25th June - Second meeting in Brussels
20th September - Third and final meeting with high-level side event open to the public in New York
FEPS with the support of the Fondation Jean-Jaurès, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung New York office, Foundation Max van der Stoel, fundación Pablo Iglesias and the Environment and Development Resource Centre (EDRC).
Climate change is gaining more understanding and thus more prominence in worldwide debates. The Paris agreement brought international agreement to a clear objective. Since then the IPCC report published last autumn warned that there is a crucial twelve-year window of opportunity for action against global warming to be effective. Nevertheless influential actors still threaten to derail these agreements and negate the science of climate change.
In Europe we are witnessing social challenges in regards to climate change; the ‘gilets jaunes’ movement in France has brought about social unrest, based on inequalities but the introduction of a diesel tax was the catalyst. Indeed populists are now commandeering the issue and taking it off track; there is resistance to transition from declining industries such as coal, despite many people recognising that the industry is economically viable and is a major contributor to dangerously high levels of air pollution in cities. Many people in influential positions are already banking against climate issues, favouring a narrative of jobs and economy for today, climate later. Worryingly these political movements are expected to achieve a good result in the European elections, changing the political landscape in Brussels and the agenda setting of the Union which has always been a key actor in climate policy.
Internationally the current Presidents of the USA and Brazil are case examples illustrating already the extent of the destruction that is possible, when bypassing the objectives of the Paris agreement; all to the detriment of the most vulnerable in society and those least able to oppose the policies. Moreover they are also usually the ones who have contributed least to climate change. Another pertinent example is the drying up of Lake Chad. There is still no common climate strategy in the region of Lake Chad or policies of how to allocate the water in the region.
Interestingly the World Economic Forum in Davos again this year recognised that climate risk is a top issue however the response to address this is insufficient.
Climate change is affecting our biodiversity, weather patterns, agriculture etc and is increasing security issues. Droughts, forest fires and flooding are becoming more common and it is wreaking havoc on our societies and our natural environment.
As Secretary General Antonio Guterres expressed at the COP 24“Climate change is the defining issue of our time and now is the defining moment to do something about it.” People are suffering the consequences of climate change already and many are calling for urgent action. Progressives need to be prepared and offer sound policies.
Opportunity for Progressives:
Defending social justice, fighting inequalities and caring for our common well-being are traditional progressive values. Despite having a decent record of implementing climate policies on paper compared to other political movements, there is still a lot that progressives could have done and still choose not to. They need to do more if they are to ensure that they are the most credible and well-placed movement able to harness the right narrative and bring about effective change for people and planet.
Climate Justice therefore is a key endeavour of our times and progressives need to be leading on this issue, even more so against the current civil society backdrop which is calling for more and urgent climate action. Consequently Progressives should be setting the agenda on this, the opportunity is New York, this September 2019.
Therefore FEPS, as the Progressive European foundation will hold a high-level conference on the fringe of the United Nations General Assembly entitled “UNited for Climate Justice” on 20th September 2019. In order to prepare for this a reflection group or steering committee will be brought together which will help identify a guiding set of proposals to be presented there.
The concept of climate justice frames climate change as a political and ethical issue.
It recognises that environmental injustice stems from social and economic injustices within our societies. The fact that it is the most fragile and vulnerable, the most marginalised and disadvantaged who are affected most by climate change and the least able to deal with its consequences. Furthermore it considers climate change is further exacerbating already existing inequalities. The idea is to consider the fairness of this often disproportionate impact of climate change on different sectors of our societies in both developed and developing parts of the world. It acknowledges that sustainable choices are not accessible to all equally.
Existing data proves there is a direct link that disasters affect the most fragile states most of all and fragility affects where disasters happen. There are limitations to the current political responses to rising climate instability and the need for systemic change if we are to truly address the issue.
The meaning and definition of climate justice has various strands and interpretations, with two main approaches; the main difference being about who bears the responsibility of polluting, i.e. the ‘industrialised north’ and developed or newly-developed countries, contrasting with who are the victims, i.e. the poor ‘global south’. Then the questions about burden-sharing, prevention and having effective capacities to adapt come into play. Whether the burden should be equal or whether a higher amount of responsibility should be accepted by those parties who have polluted more and are better equipped to deal with the challenges and whether they should provide more to help the global south to be better adapted.
There is also of course a legal element to this debate about legal justice and litigation on climate-related issues. This is something that is gaining much more ground in recent years with some positive examples and developments in the legal arena.
Whilst acknowledging these varying strands of climate justice theory this initiative will mainly focus on how to bring about key changes that will raise ambition, financing and help create long-term, solid and holistic ambition, this in responsibility-bearing states but also by empowering and enabling more capacities in an equal manner globally.
Focus of the initiative:
The substance of this initiative aims to bring about fresh-thinking into the core of this debate. The fundamental objective is to create a sound narrative of raising notably political ambition on climate action. The approach should be holistic and global-orientated with key policy proposals and guidelines as the output. It should be above-all, forward-looking. Yet it also needs to answer to the urgency of the current situation. Viable policies and alternatives should be brought forward and tested.
As a progressive political foundation FEPS can offer a space that enables different stakeholders to come together; academics, policy experts with civil society, political representatives and other various stakeholders.
The discussions should consider commitment and accountability, political leadership where momentum can come from, how to move from analysis to action and how to ensure sustained leadership. How to avoid talking and acting in silos and move to a multi-disciplinary approach and how to share the knowledge in a multidisciplinary approach. Having in mind that this is not intended to be about duplication or about creating new tools, it is about enhancing existing ones and using them better.
The summit itself will play a big role in keeping momentum alive; scaling-up ambition and continuing to work together to stop the climate issue being derailed. There will be some importance given to speaking with a common voice, with a common plan forward on the international stage in New York. Climate security may also be a large part of the discussions but it’s not yet clear what place it will have on the agenda at the September summit.
With the support of Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres FEPS was advised to set up an annual fringe event in the framework of the UN General Assembly, which takes place annually in New York in September. FEPS carried out its first initiative of this kind last year, 2018 and the topic was on migration. The steering committee and the proposals gave successful output in helping ensure the migration compact came about. This year and especially considering there will be an extraordinary summit for climate change on the 23rd September, FEPS decided to hold its annual UN fringe conference on the topic of climate change. The title will be “UNited for Climate Justice”. This will be done with the support of several partners; the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung New York, the Fondation Jean-Jaurès, Foundation Max van der Stoel, fundación Pablo Iglesias and the Environment and Development Resource Centre (EDRC).
 Prof. R Ladrech, 2017 https://www.feps-europe.eu/Assets/Publications/PostFiles/466_1.pdfread more