Friedrich Ebert Foundation

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Group.png Friedrich Ebert Foundation  
HeadquartersBonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
InterestsSocial Democratic Party of Germany
Member ofCentre for European Policy Studies/Corporate Members, European Policy Centre, Friends of Europe

The Friedrich Ebert Foundation (German: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung; Abbreviation: FES) is a German political party foundation associated with, but run from other places than, the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD).

It was the model for the National Endowment for Democracy.[1] Throughout the sixties and seventies, the FFE devoted half of its budget to financing its international collaboration projects. In its training centers, the FES prepared the future high-ranking officials who would have to start the economic expansion of their respective countries.[2][3]


The FEF, while contributing to the establishment of a Western-style democracy in Spain, worked since the mid-sixties to promote the creation of a socialist party that could counter the supposed influence of the Communist Party (PCE) in Spain. The amounts invested by the German foundation were astronomical. According to Mujal León, they amounted for the period 1975-1980 to 20 million dollars, a large sum at the time.[1]

This attempt met resistance of the main staff of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) in the French city of Toulouse, who soon figured out that this meant losing their independence in the political management of Spain after Franco, and also the elaboration of the ideological discourse and the consequent structures of their own party. The opposition to these designs was fought for three years, until the new leaders of the PSOE in 1972 and 1974, decided to accept and use the political and economic "advice" of the German foundation.[1]

Hans Kühn, Premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, explained the objective very explicitly: "... although the foundation congratulates the social transformations in the colonial states, it can contribute to this endeavor only indirectly by forming emigrants from these countries, who upon their return to their homeland will have to contribute to the emergence of freedom"[4]

In Portugal, the Foundation played a key role in the creation of Mário Soares' Portuguese Socialist Party, which was founded in a German town, and later came to power in Portugal.[5]

IN Latin America, the first local offices opened in 1964 in Chile, 1965 in Costa Rica and 1969 in México, and soon spread throughout the region.[6]


It is financed mainly through grants from the federal budget and the budgets of the various Bundesländer.

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