Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Korea Office

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

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

E-mail: info@fes-korea.org
www.fes-korea.org

FES Korea Office Flyer

» Home

 

Welcome to Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Korea Office

 

 

90 years Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung


 

Latest news and events


Discussion on “the USA-RoK summit and the Berlin Speech: Prospects for Inter-Korean Relations and Cooperation in Northeast Asia”, Seoul, July 10, 2017

South Korea's newly elected president, Moon Jae In is seeking a solution to the relationship with North Korea. FES Korea organised with the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation a debate on the USA-RoK summit and the visit of President Moon Jae-in to Berlin. Experts on USA, Russia, Japan and European policies were invited to give their views on the outcome of Presidents Moon’s recent activities and the future of the Korean peninsula. Also representatives from academic institutions, civil society organisations and diplomatic corps were invited to the discussion. The participants agreed that the new government should communicate and cooperate continuously with the relevant parties, to resolve the conflict on the Korean peninsula under the rapidly changing world situation. The peace on the Korean peninsula should be considered first and most importantly.


FES – Ministry of Unification Special Seminar on “Experience of German Division and Unification” for government officials (Seoul, 03 to 06 July, 2017)
The Institute for Unification Education of the Ministry of Unification holds a special seminar for government officials from diverse government departments. FES Korea office has been closely collaborating for several years with the Institute on this twice a year. This July, FES Korea office invited to the seminar Maria Palme of Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena. During the two day seminar, fifteen Korean government officials asked various questions about the German division and unification, for example, division of agricultural land, transit system, conversion of energy, employment and pension funds after the unification. The participants learned that East and West Germany recognized already each other before the unification and there ware continuous exchanges between them. Also peace pacts of the international society ware one of the preconditions for the German unification. The culture of solidarity in German society was a driving force for integration after the unification, and it is unable, to make a master plan for unification on the Korean peninsula, because the whole process of the unification would be beyond the circle of foresight.


ITUC-FES Taming Cooperate Power in Supply Chains - Regional Campaign Planning Network Meeting Asia (Seoul, 29 to 30 May, 2017)

High tech Samsung smart phones are being heavily marketed to consumers as innovative and modern. While innovative new technologies are on the rise, conditions for workers are taking a step back in time. In such circumstances, the International Trade Union (ITUC) decided to initiate a global campaign with the title "End Cooperate Greed" targeting global supply chains, exposing the negative social footprint and the hidden medieval working conditions of major corporations.

In this context the ITUC has co-hosted with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Korea office the Regional Campaign Planning Network Meeting Asia from 29 to 30 May 2017 in Seoul. This event has brought together international coordinators and Korean representatives of trade unions, civil society and labour law experts to review the strategies and tactics developed in the campaign as well as to discuss a plan of action for the coming year.

After the two days meeting, it became clear that there are common challenges regarding the organising campaigns at the national level. The discussion has also shown that there is a high potential for media actions against labour abuses and anti-union tactics in the global supply chains. Furthermore, it was also discussed to strengthen the legal strategies for further improvement of campaigns, both at national and regional level. 


KLI-FES International Conference "Work 4.0 and Industry 4.0" (Seoul and Sejong, 3 to 8 April, 2017)

In recent years, Work 4.0 and Industry 4.0 - strategic policy approaches to digitalisation developed by Germany - have been attracting the world's attention. They are evidence that there is a crucial need for in-depth deliberation and the development of possible policy response among academic, policy makers and social partners with respect to the unfolding industrial transformation and its societal implications.

The Korea Labor Institute and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Korea office have jointly hosted an international conference on 6 to 7 April to advance the existing discussions in terms of the topics Work 4.0 and Industry 4.0. In this context the FES Korea has invited two German trade unionists - Sören Tuleweit (IG BCE) and Barbara Susec (ver.di) - as well as two prominent scholars - Prof. Daniel Buhr (University of Tübingen) and Dr. Samuel Greef (University of Kassel) to share their experience and expertise on the digital transformation in Germany.

Participants at the international conference concluded that the multidimensional transformation that digitalisation implies can be shaped through a variety of regulatory frameworks. The establishment of such rules should be based on a broad and inclusive social dialogue in order to lead to sustainable and equitable outcomes. Such a dialogue has to deal with a variety of issues ranging from technical questions of adjustment in production processes and work place transformation to issues of vocational trainining or even encompassing reforms in the education system or social security. It was also found that the different situations of each industrial sectors should be considered dealing with the future challenges of work.

For Korean experts and participants this event has provided an opportunity to hear about the experiences and policy responses of Germany. Furthermore it has contributed to initiate productive discussions on Korea's fourth industrial revolution and its impacts on the labour market and industrial relations.  


Hope Institute-Ansan City-FES Forum on "The remembrance culture from the bottom up and the role of local government" (Seoul and Ansan, 19 to 25 March, 2017)

Remembering the past for the future is an important part of the democracy. A historical appraisal can contribute to further understanding of the current social and political challenges we face.

To share the experiences of the culture of remembering from Germany and Korea, particularly with a focus on memorial initiatives of civil society in cooperation with the local government, the Hope Institute co-hosted with the Ansan City and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Korea office an open forum on "The remembrance culture from the bottom up and the local government".

In this context, the FES Korea has invited two German experts: Dr. Michael Parak (General Secretary. Gegen Vergessen - für Demokratie e.V.) as a representative of an NGO, which has been combining historical remembrance work with practical engagement for democracy, and Tim Renner (former State Secretary of Cultural Affairs, Berlin) representing the perspective of the German capital and local politics. Additionally Dr. Parak has also spoke on the relevance between remembrance and democratic development at a forum in the historical meaningful city Gwangju where the Massacre of May 1980 took place.

In Germany, there is a diversity of interaction between citizens and local authorities and a well-established tradition of political participation. However, in Korea the strong focus on a top-down policy approaches leaves little space for such changes. Despite this circumstances there is still a potential for further productive discussions on the remembrance culture due the growing interest among Korean citizens.      


FES Forum on "Consumer Protection in the Digital World" (Seoul, 7 February, 2017)

One of the initiatives of the German G20 presidency focuses on enhancing consumer protection in the digital world through global regulation. In this context the German Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection Ulrich Kelber visited Korea in early February to engage a dialogue with the Korean government on the German initiative.

An important aspect of the approach the German government has taken is to involve civil society and consumer protection organisation in the development of the global regulation. Therefore, as part of the programme of the ministerial delegation the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Korea office held a forum on "Consumer Protection in the Digital World". This forum brought together representatives from civil society and consumer organisation within the ministerial delegation. They discussed the current state of legislation on consumer protection in the digital world in Germany and Korea and identified challenges that need to be addressed in order to improve consumer protection. The discussion has shown that there is a high interest and potential for both Germany and Korea to share information and exchange views on consumer rights and protection issues. It also made clear that beyond national legislation and international regulatory framework will further enhance consumer protection.


 Photo Exhibition "Instants of Peace" organized by Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Goethe Institute in Seoul und Civil Peace Forum, (November 28 - December 20, 2016)


KDGW-FES-KIEP International Conference on "Change and Innovation in the Economy: Experiences and Perspectives from Germany and Korea" (Seoul, 24 to 26 November, 2016)

The global society and economy is going through common and substantial challenges such as digitalization, climate change, rising inequality and population aging.

In order to approach these challenges that arise from change and innovation through the perspective of global mega trends, the Koreanisch-Deutsche Gesellschaft für Wirtschaftswissenschaften (KDGW) co-hosted with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Korea office and the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP) the International Conference on "Change and Innovation in the Economy: Experiences and Perspectives from Germany and Korea" which was held in Seoul on 25th November, 2016.

The FES Korea office has invited two international experts on global mega trends: Prof. Daniel Buhr (Department of Policy Analysis and Political Economy, University of Tübingen) and Prof. Andrew DeWit (School of Economic Policy Studies, Rikkyo University). Prof. DeWit has delivered a keynote speech by pointing out the global mega trends at work and the governmental efforts for "Industrie 4.0" in Germany and "Creative Economy" in Korea. Prof. Buhr and Mr. Sven Schwersensky (Resident Representative, FES Korea) have contributed to the discussion to understand how these issues operate in both economies and which policy respronses are being envisaged. Especially the German Ambassador Mr. Stephan Auer has addressed the potential and importance for cooperation between the two countries with respect to the new era of innovation.


KLSI-FES Symposium on "EU-Korea FTA's Labour Standards Provisions and their Implementation Status" (Seoul, 23 November, 2016)

This year the European Commission has ordered an independant evaluation of the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement on the occassion of its first five years of implementation. A special feature of the EU-Kore FTA is the sustainable development clause and in particular its reference to core labour standards. This is the reseason why the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) has been discussing the implementation of this chapter with its Korean and European trade union partners. As a result of this discussion a study was commissioned and conducted by the Korea Labor & Society Institute (KLSI).

In order to present and discuss the findings of the study the FES Korea office in cooperation with the KLSI has hosted a joint symposium which broad together Koran trade unionists and labour experts as wel as representatives from EU member states diplomatic missions in Korea on November 23, 2016.

The co-authors of the study have emphasized that the Korean government should make an additional effort to implement the international core labour standards. The participants also agreed that such a dialogue is meaningful both for Korean and European side.


FES Economy of Tomorrow Regional Conference and Vocational Training (Seoul, 10 to 15 October, 2016)

The Fourth industrial revolution is underway and traditional notions of job security are challenged. We need a social and democratic perspective which can shape the political economy of the future. We need a new economic model which is more inclusive, can create meaningful jobs and put welfare of workers at the centre. A change coalitions or discourse alliances are ways to adress the emerging trends.

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung India office, in collaboration with the Korea office have invited experts from ten Asian countires to look into these aspect at the FES Economy of Tomorrow Regional Conference in Seoul. The project coordinators of the regional offices reformulated the focus for the next phase of the project, with identification of the three concrete work lines, namely urban transformation, digital transformation and energy transformation.

The democratic spaces are shrinking, at the same time, societies are becoming more culturally diverse and pluralistic in nature. There is an inertia in terms of policy dialogues and the communication channels seem to be saturated. To this effect, the team got introduced to Political Discourse Framing and Transformative Change Making methods during the conference.


Study Visit Programme on "Trade and Sustainable Development and the EU-Korea FTA for a Delegation of Representatives from Vietnamese Government, Trade Unions and Civil Society, co-organized by FES Hanoi and FES Seoul office (Seoul, Sejong, 18 to 24 September, 2016)

Last year Vietnam becam the second Southeast Asian country, after Singapore, to seal a trade agreement with the EU. The EU-Vietnam FTA contains a Trade and Sustainable Development Chapter to protect and promote labour rights and lays out comprehensive rules for climate and enviromental protection.

In cooperation with the Vietnam Office of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, the Korea office organized a study visit programme on "Trade and Sustainable Development and the EU-Korea FTA" for a Delegation of Representatives from the Vietnamese Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), Vietnamese General Confederation of Labor (VGCL) and Civil Society such as People's Aid Coordinating Committee and Centre for Development and Integration.

The overarching objective of the visit was to convey the five year's experiences gained in the implementation of the EU-Korea FTA, particulary in the field of sustainable development with a focus on labour issues and civil society participation in the implementation of the  Trade and Sustainable Development Chapter to the Vietnamese delegation.

The guests from Vietnam held talks and discussed with the Korean members of Domestic Advisory Group of the EU-Korea FTA, civil society activists, trade unionists and academics. At the end of their visit, the Vietnamese guests confirmed they had learned a lot which they could use of the ongoing discussion in Vietnam, helping to continue the dialogue on sustainable development aspects of trade relations between EU and Vietnam.

 

Latest publication



Cultural heritage protection policy of Germany and restoration after German Reunification
Ahn, Doo-Soon

In Korean language


Searching for Provisional Energy Transition Design at Local and Sectoral Scale
Energy and Climate Policy Institute and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

In Korean language


A Study on the Conflict in the Process of Renewable Energy Supply and Search for Solution: Phase 2
Energy and Climate Policy Institute and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

In Korean language


A research on labour in social service - With a focus on four voucher schemes
Korean Women Workers Association and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

In Korean language


'Herv(herstory+vision)' looking at the past, the present and the future of Women's Social Rights Movement
Korean Women's Association United and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

In Korean language


I've had enough of THIS!
Korean Women Link and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

In Korean language 


My Unfair Job-Seeking Stories
Korean Women Link and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

In Korean language


Female Workers' Labour Union Participation by the Life Cycle
Korea Labour & Society Institute and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

In Korean language 


EU-Korea FTA's Labour Standards Provisions and their Implementaion Status
Korea Labour & Society Institute and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

In Korean language


Mind the Transformation Trap. Laying the Political Development for Sustainable Development
Marc Saxer

In Korean language