Why creating a European foundation?
The first idea was do endow the European Union with an instrument that showed its ability in the member States. The political foundations that do exist in Europe at the national level proved the relevance of acting as “laboratories” and contributing – influencing sometimes – to the political debates within their countries. Hence the importance for the European social democratic family to benefit such an instrument at the European level, to bring their political thinking at a moment when the choice of a future for Europe is crucial. In this regard, FEPS also aims at actively bridging the gap between the citizens of the EU and their institutions, which they often consider as distant and disconnected, by acting as a meeting point and a facilitator.
What relationship does FEPS have with the PES?
FEPS joins the same logic as many national political foundations and that could be summed up in the following motto: “close to, but independent from”. Clearly affiliated with the Party of European Socialists which initiated its creation and is member of FEPS, the Foundation remains a distinct organisation with its own priorities. Of course, the nearness of FEPS to PES and its assumed political identity are the added value of the Foundation and gives credit to its action.
What is the relationship between FEPS and the national foundations?
FEPS not only aims at providing the European dimension to the debates that are led by the national foundations in their respective countries, but also at opening and facilitating the access to the European sphere. Neither does FEPS want to organise the activities of the national foundations, nor does it aims at acting as an umbrella organisation: FEPS shall serve as a platform to those who wish to work together on the European level.