FES / Washington office / Recent Events

FES Washington Office - Recent Events 2010

Events current year

December 2nd-4th, 2010 | Washington, DC

History Education in Conflict and Transitional Societies


Conference organized in cooperation with The Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR) at George Mason University and the Georg Eckert Institute , Co-sponsored by the United States Institute of Peace

This three-day conference brought together European and American experts for a comparative analysis of the role of history education in conflict and transitional societies. The experts presented national and international initiatives for re-structuring history education and discussed their impact. They also developed different models of impact that history education can have on processes of conflict transformation and management.


October 28th, 2010 | Ottawa, Canada

A Canada-EU Free Trade Agreement:
Public Good or Private Interest?


Conference organized in cooperation with The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) and the Canada-Europe Transatlantic Dialogue at Carleton University

This conference brought together policymakers, business representatives, and researchers with an interest and expertise in Canada-EU and trade relations in order to examine governments’ responsibility regarding the balance between the interests of exporters and investors and those of workers - the balance between the public good and private interest. The event was inspired by the negotiations towards a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union in May 2009. The talks should be completed during 2011. CETA has been described as the most ambitious free trade initiative undertaken by Canada since NAFTA.


October 27th, 2010 | Washington, DC

(Re)Building a New Era of Energy Efficiency:
A Transatlantic Policy Exchange


Luncheon and panel discussion organized in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Washington

Before an audience at the Goethe-Institut, the panelists discussed different means towards retrofitting and modernizing existing buildings in both the United States and Germany. The discussion took on an interdisciplinary outlook, incorporated views from the policy-making side, architects and NGOs. The panelists shared their views on how they envisioned the roles of both incentivizing and mandating efficiency standards for private and public buildings, respectively. The question and answer period raised several important points about mediating factors, such as special regulation in regards to historic buildings or districts, which may deter effective retrofitting.



Monika Griefahn, Former Member of the German Parliament and co-founder of Greenpeace Germany in 1980

Brooks Rainwater, Director of Local Relations, American Institute of Architects

Kurt Shickman, Director of Research, Energy Future Coalition


September 21st and September 22nd, 2010 | Washington, DC and Ottawa

Governing the Far North

Assessing Cooperation between Arctic and Non-Arctic Nations


A two-part conference organized in cooperation with the The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars



The Arctic continues to draw considerable attention from the international community. Both Arctic and non-Arctic nations are grappling with the looming environmental and security challenges that accompany the possibility of an ice-free Arctic. At the same time, they are assessing how to take advantage of the region’s vast economic potential in a sustainable manner. Though much remains to be resolved, there is a growing consensus that issues surrounding the Arctic concern not only Arctic, but non-Arctic countries as well. This conference explored efforts on behalf of Arctic and non-Arctic nations to cooperate on key environmental, security, and economic issues and foster discussion on pressing Arctic governance questions.



September 21st, 2010 | Washington, DC



September 22nd, 2010 | Ottawa, CA


Tuesday, September 7, 2010 | 4:00pm - 6:00pm | Washington, DC


Willy Brandt - Berliner Ausgabe (The Berlin Edition)



Karsten D. Voigt, former Member of Parliament and Coordinator of German-North American Cooperation at the German Federal Foreign Office

Bernd Rother, Willy-Brandt-Stiftung


Event Details
Launched by the Federal Chancellor Willy Brandt Foundation in 1998, the Berlin Edition was conceived as project intended to offer the historically-minded and politically interested audience access to Willy Brandt’s letters, notes, interviews, diary entries, along with manuscripts of speeches and memoranda. The recently completed document collection Willy Brandt – Berliner Ausgabe consists of ten edited volumes covering Brandt’s lifespan from his youth in exile through all stages of his political career, up until the German Unification.

Bernd Rother and Karsten Voigt introduced the newly released Berlin Edition. The discussion was co-hosted by the Wilson Center, the Federal Chancellor Willy Brandt Foundation, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, and the German Historical Institute.

Karsten D. Voigt is a German expert in the field of foreign and security policy. From 1999 until 2009 he served as coordinator of German-North American Cooperation at the German Federal Foreign Office. Prior to this appointment, Voigt held positions within the German Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Party of European Socialists, and NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly. He was foreign policy spokesman of the SPD parliamentary group and served as a Member of the German Federal Parliament (Bundestag) for the Social Democrats.
Voigt serves as a board and trustees member of a number of renowned organizations, including the Board of Directors the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) in Berlin, the Board of Trustees of the Aspen Institute in Berlin, the Board of Trustees of the Checkpoint Charlie Foundation, and the Steering Board of the trilateral dialogue project “Global Governance 2020” of the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin. He has also served as chairman of the International Scientific Advisory Board of the Allied Museum in Berlin. In addition, Voigt has been a Member of the Commission for International Relations of the SPD since 1973.
He holds a degree in history, as well as in German and Scandinavian studies from the universities of Hamburg, Copenhagen, and Frankfurt respectively.

Bernd Rother is a vice-executive director of the Federal Chancellor Willy Brandt Foundation since 1999. Prior to his appointment with the Foundation, Rother has occupied positions at a number of distinguished institutions and universities, including the Moses Mendelssohn Center for European-Jewish Studies in Potsdam, the Institute of Social History in Bonn, the University of Hannover, and the Arbeitskreis Andere Geschichte in Brunswik. Rother holds a Ph.D. degree from the Technical University of Brunswik. His main areas of research focus on the history of the SPD und the Socialist International, German and European Workers' Movemen, and history of the Jews in Spain and of the Sephardic Jews.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010 | 5:30pm - 7:30pm | Washington, DC

German Zeitgeist and European Réalité

A Transatlantic View on the State of Politics

FES After-hours with
Dietmar Nietan
Member of the German Bundestag

External Politics: The European Union is currently setting up its new diplomatic corps, the "European External Action Service." As European Policy Expert in the Social Democratic Party, MP Nietan shared his insights on the importance of this service and how it can provide the needed forum for a focused transatlantic relationship.

Internal Politics: Recent polls show a new and growing trust in Social Democratic policies. MP Nietan discussed the new SPD and Green Party state government coalition in his home district state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

MP Dietmar Nietan was re-elected to the German Bundestag in September 2009, representing his electoral district in Düren (North Rhine-Westphalia). He currently serves on the Committee on Affairs of the European Union and as a deputy member on the Foreign Affairs Committee. From 2005-2009, Dietmar Nietan served as Foreign Policy Liaison between the European Parliament and the Social Democratic Party in Berlin.

The conversation was led by Dr. Cathleen Fisher, President and Executive Director of the American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and previously served as Deputy Director of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) at the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Fisher also teaches at George Washington University, and has been an Adjunct Associate Professor at Georgetown University.


Wednesday, June 30, 2010 | Washington, DC

Obama's Multilateral Engagement: What Does it Mean for Democracy and Human Rights in the Middle East?

Panel Discussion in cooperation with the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED).

In this event, panelists discussed the foreign policy agenda of the Obama administration with regards to multilateral engagement, with a special focus on democracy and human rights issues in the Middle East. The discussion also marked the release of the POMED-FES study: "For the Common Good - Revitalizing Multilateral Cooperation for Political Reform in the Middle East".

Suzanne Nossel (Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of International Organization Affairs), Neil Hicks (Human Rights First), Radwan Ziadeh (New York University), and Heather Hurlburt (National Security Network)



Wednesday, June 23, 2010 | Toronto, Canada

Making the Case for Global Economic Governance

Panel discussions, organized in cooperation with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation's New York Office, and the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs.

This dynamic, day-long program took as its point of departure the G20 Leaders pledge to end the recent era of "irresponsibility" by adopting policies necessary to "lay the foundation for strong, sustained and balanced growth." The Honourable Paul Martin, Former Prime Minister of Canada, and Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development at the United Nations, delivered keynote speeches during the event which included a parliamentarians' round-table on global economic governance, a trade-unionists' panel on job creation and social standards, followed by a high-level discussion about creating a more socially responsible global economic system.


Tuesday, May 25th, 2010 | Ottawa, Canada

Afghanistan Disengagement: Balancing Security, Foreign and Domestic Policy Implications. A Transatlantic Dialogue

Panel Discussion in cooperation with the Canadian International Council (CIC).

The multi-national panel discussion provided a public forum in Canada for issues surrounding the disengagement of troops from Afghanistan. The panel consisted of a number of notable figures, including present and past members of the German Parliament, Canadian Members of Parliament and policy experts from the US.

Hans-Ulrich Klose (Member of the German Parliament and Coordinator of German-American Relations)

Niels Annen (German Marshall Fund), Claude Bachand (Member of the Canadian Parliament), Paul Dewar (Member of the Canadian Parliament), Brian Katulis (Center for American Progress) and Hon. Keith Martin (Member of the Canadian Parliament)

Panel Ottawa DewarKatulis Ottawa


Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 | Washington, DC

The Path to Financial Regulation - Go Local or Go Global? A View from Europe

Luncheon Discussion in cooperation with the George Washington University's Center for International Business Education and Research, and GW's German Club.

Hosted by the George Washington University, Members of the German Parliament Hubertus Heil and Joachim Poss discussed the topic of financial regulation with undergraduate students from the schools of international affairs and business. Highlighting the importance of state and supranational legislation to encourage healthy economic practices, MPs Heil and Poss attempted to deconstruct the dichotomous nature of finance regulation. Discussion covered topics ranging from the roles of the EU and G20 to the effect of Germany’s exportation-oriented economy on its neighbors and trading partners. In reference to the upcoming G20 summit later this year, MPs Heil and Poss also discussed the potential future of a bank levy, as currently debated in the Bundestag, outside of Germany. While emphasizing both the diverging and shared concerns of European and American countries, MPs Heil and Poss noted that the success of domestic fiscal policies is dependent upon the global economy and vice versa.

Hubertus Heil (Member of the German Parliament), Joachim Poss (Member of the German Parliament), Pia Bungarten (FES DC) and Margaret Gonglewski (GWU)


Friday, March 19th, 2010 | Washington, DC

At the Crossroads: NATO Nuclear Policy

Luncheon Discussion

The Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Atlantic Council hosted a panel discussion on the future of NATO Nuclear Policy, based on the recent publication of two reports from FES/SIPRI and the Atlantic Council's Strategic Advisors Group on the issue.

Since its inception the NATO alliance has contained a robust nuclear aspect that served to deter potential adversaries while at the same time assuring the Allies of NATO. However, the role of nuclear weapons within the Alliance has been thrown into a new light as NATO has taken on new missions and is looking to its future through the development of a new Strategic Concept that will guide the Alliance in the decades to come. The panel discussion focused on issues related to these changes, including the need to revise current NATO nuclear policy, the role of U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe, as well as NATO nuclear policy as part of regional and global nuclear disarmament.


Ian Anthony (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute), Hon. Walter B. Slocombe (Former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Atlantic Council Board Secretary), Daryl Kimball (The Arms Control Association), Jan Lodal (Former Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Atlantic Council Board Member)


March 9th, 2010 | Washington, DC

Is a Green Recovery Possible? Climate Policy in the "Great Recession"

Luncheon Discussion

A delegation of Members of the German Bundestag, including Bärbel Kofler, Matthias Miersch and Dietmar Nietan, debated current climate policy issues with American experts during a luncheon discussion in Washington, DC. President Obama recently promised to create clean energy jobs. But Germany has the knowledge and know-how of over a decade of progress in this area.  The  German "Renewable Energy Act", implemented in 2000, has been credited with creating around 300,000 new "Green Jobs". Hence the German expertise is in demand, especially in the United States. However, there are obvious differences between the two countries that create challenges to passing climate change and renewable energy legislation in today's difficult economic climate.  While Americans can be more concerned about keeping today's jobs at the expense of creating more jobs for the future, Europeans have invested in more sustainable jobs development. 

Alexander Kallweit (FES Berlin), Thorben Albrecht (SPD), Emily Peckenham (FES Washington) and Pia Bungarten (Director FES Washington) joined the discussion as well.


March 8th, 2010 | Washington, DC

Green Jobs: Silver Bullet or One Step towards Sustainable Job Creation?

Luncheon Discussion

A delegation of Members of the German Bundestag, including Bärbel Kofler, Matthias Miersch and Dietmar Nietan, debated the current economic situation in the U.S. and Germany with American experts during a luncheon discussion in Washington, DC. The discussion focused on "Green Jobs" and the prospects for an economic recovery that includes job growth. Most of the experts agreed that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act helped in saving jobs and that the economic growth in the second quarter of 2009 was entirely due to the stimulus package. $60 billion was allocated to "Green Jobs" in the stimulus bill. However, the U.S. Administration has not yet embraced the potential of this sector beyond rhetoric. The difficult task of creating a sustainable economy still has to be tackled. 

Alexander Kallweit (FES Berlin), Thorben Albrecht (SPD), Knut Panknin (FES Washington) and Pia Bungarten (Director FES Washington) joined the discussion as well.