“We want to dare more democracy. (…) We want a society that grants greater freedom and demands more joint responsibility.” Willy Brandt, 1969
The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung’s work on political education aims at promoting active citizen participation in all aspects of public life. Dealing with the broader concepts underpinning a democratic society – such as citizenship, the role and responsibilities of the government, party pluralism, independent media etc. – political education intends to encourage individuals to become independent members of society, assume their personal, political and economic responsibilities as citizens, respect individual worth and human dignity, and participate in civic affairs in a thoughtful and effective manner.
Building on the legacy of Friedrich Ebert, Germany’s first democratically elected president (1919-25) and former head of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Foundation puts particular emphasis on promoting social democracy. The notion of social democracy is rooted in the three core values neccesary to establish and maintain a just society – freedom, equality and solidarity.
The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung’s political education programme works with young Syrians to provide forums for open debate, gain historical knowledge and a deeper understanding of contemporary political and social issues, and develop their skills as active and responsible citizens. At the core of these efforts lies the Syrian Young Leaders Program (SYLP), a FES-designed training scheme for a selected group of young adults with the motivation and capability of assuming leadership positions in politics and public life.