Ecological Democratic Party

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Ecological Democratic Party
Logo of the ÖDP
Party leader Christoph Raabs
Secretary General Claudius Moseler
vice-chairman Agnes Becker ,
Verena Föttinger
Federal Treasurer Günther Brendle-Behnisch
founding 23/24 January 1982
Place of foundation Wiesbaden
Headquarters ÖDP federal office
Pommergasse 1
97070 Würzburg
Youth organization Young Ecologists (JÖ)
Alignment Green politics ,
eco - conservatism,
value conservatism, growth criticism
Colours) orange ( HKS 8 )
Bundestag seats
Government grants 898,771.39 euros (2018)
(as of April 15, 2019)
Number of members 8.002 (as of July 1, 2020)
Minimum age 14th
International connections World Ecological Parties
EP Group Group of the Greens / European Free Alliance (Greens / EFA)

The Ecological Democratic Party ( short name : ÖDP , 1997–2010: ödp) is a small party in Germany . The party's main focus areas are democracy , environmental policy and family policy .

The ÖDP was founded in 1982 as a federal party and is the legal successor to the Green Action Future (GAZ), the Green List Environmental Protection Hamburg (GLU) and the Ecological Policy Working Group . The party has the strongest voter popularity in Bavaria , where it has received around 2% of the votes in state elections since 1990 and was able to expand the number of its mandates at the municipal level to over 470 by 2017. The ÖDP has had a seat in the European Parliament since the 2014 European elections . Klaus Buchner won the mandate. In the 2019 European elections on May 26, 2019, Buchner was re-elected to the EU Parliament. After his decision to leave the European Parliament, Manuela Ripa took his place on July 16, 2020 .

Content profile

The current version of the basic program was at the federal party congresses on 4./5. May 2013 decided in Coburg . The predecessors were those from the founding year 1982 as well as the basic programs adopted in October 1993, 1997 and 2008. The federal political program , which, in contrast to the basic program , contains specific demands, was adopted in 2002 and continued in the following years.

The current European policy program of the ÖDP was adopted in 2014. According to its own statements, the ÖDP is post - materially oriented and shaped by Christian - humanistic values. The party describes itself as open to people of different religions and worldviews . In addition, according to its claims, it attaches importance to the principles of sustainability and strengthening direct democracy in Germany . The party is striving for a change in the way of life and economy: the “economy of excess and waste” is to be abandoned in favor of sustainable use of resources and “real quality of life”. This message was spread by the ÖDP in the 1980s and then again for the 2019 European elections with the slogan "Less is more" in election spots and other advertising material as its core message.

Environment and energy policy, animal welfare

The central motif of the program is the preservation of the natural foundations of life. She advocates foregoing “economic activity if overriding goals of species and livelihood protection require it”.

The ÖDP rejects the use of nuclear energy because it poses a “risk to man and nature”. The current nuclear phase-out is not consistent enough for her. Renewable energies , on the other hand, are to be promoted more and more cheaply. These are to be financed by avoiding the expansion of airports and the road network. In addition, the party advocates a higher taxation of kerosene and the expansion of local public transport.

The party also advocates “environmentally friendly agriculture with species-appropriate animal husbandry” and “forestry that is close to nature”. The “protection of the natural foundations of life” and animal welfare should be included in the Basic Law as a state goal .

In the opinion of the ÖDP, the limit values ​​for mobile telephony must be lowered, since a “large number of scientific studies from all over the world” have proven that the radiation produced is harmful to health.

Social and family policy

According to the basic program, the "welfare state requirement of Article 20 of the Basic Law [...] must not be shaken". The social systems should also be financed through taxes on energy waste and capital gains.

ÖDP poster for the introduction of an educational salary

The ÖDP regards the family as the “most tried and tested way of life” and the “foundation of our society”.

The ÖDP also applies the “principle of sustainability” to the social system. Sustainability is to be achieved, particularly in the case of youth and old-age security, in that every claim is matched by a service in return (“principle of fair performance”) so that the system is sustainable in the long term.

The ÖDP criticizes the fact that the intergenerational contract was only designed unilaterally in favor of pensioners, while the costs of bringing up children largely remained with the parents . This "socialization" of the benefit of the children has resulted in an economic and ideal devaluation of child rearing and family. Since with this system the next generation has to look after not only their own parents but also the growing number of pensioners without children, the younger generation is overwhelmed. So there is a violation of fair performance between the generations. The consequence is excessive ancillary wage costs and taxes and thus a promotion of unemployment and national debt . Since such a system is not functional in the long term, the principle of sustainability is also violated.

The ÖDP strives for a balanced distribution of the burden both between parents and childless and between present and future generations. To this end, it is proposed , on the one hand, that the education costs be balanced halfway through higher child benefit and a parenting salary. In return, the next generation should finance half of all pensions. Parents are also entitled to a parental pension based on their higher contribution to child costs. Childless people should finance the second half of the pension themselves with the help of the saved child costs through a compulsory capital insurance and thus relieve the smaller following generation. Since the pay-as-you-go system is based on bringing up children and this is independent of the employment relationship, statutory pension insurance must be extended to all citizens. Voluntary supplementary insurance should continue to be possible.

The ÖDP criticizes the Parental Allowance Act, which has been in force since 2007 , because the amount of the parental allowance depends on the previous income. A tax-financed social benefit, which tends to favor the wealthier, is contrary to the welfare state requirement. This would put low-income parents, young parents still in training and parents with several children at a disadvantage. This contradicts the principle of equality under Article 3 (1) of the Basic Law . The disadvantage of families with more than one child also contradicts the protection requirement of the family according to Article 6, Paragraph 1 of the Basic Law. Therefore, the party supported several lawsuits and constitutional complaints against the income dependency of the Elterngeld and also had a legal opinion drawn up on the question of the constitutionality of the Elterngeldgesetz, which largely confirmed the opinion of the ÖDP. The Federal Constitutional Court did not accept the complaint for decision at the end of 2011; the arrangement of the parental allowance is constitutional.

The ÖDP is largely skeptical about abortions . However, she advocates and supports the legal compromise found and applicable. The ÖDP expects its social program to significantly reduce the abortion rate, as its implementation would largely eliminate the social motivations for this.

Health policy

The legalization of drugs - for example cannabis products - as well as genetic engineering in agriculture and food production are rejected.

In Bavaria, the ÖDP launched a referendum against human cloning .

Educational policy

Tuition fees for the first degree are rejected by the party because they fear that they lead to a social selection. The ÖDP advocates the diversity of the school system. The retention of the tripartite school system is advocated, but at the same time comprehensive schools and school models of independent sponsorships should also be attended. However, up to the 6th grade, lessons should be given to all students together. In addition, the party intends to significantly increase the permeability between the different school types. In the secondary schools , lessons should be as practice-oriented as possible, supported by project lessons and frequent, extensive internships . In addition, the contact with the respective local companies should be intensified in order to increase the future prospects of the students. Another aim of the ÖDP is to achieve a binding, uniform minimum level of school leaving qualifications for all federal states. Furthermore, a so-called modular Abitur is advocated, in which the students can decide whether they want to go for the general university entrance qualification after 13 or after 12 years.

Economic and tax policy

Information stand at the demonstration "Against the ESM - For Democracy in Europe"
(Munich, June 2012)

In the opinion of the ÖDP, the current market economy system will fail because it is geared towards “one-sided material consumption”. The basic principle of sustainability should be the basis of every human activity, since the “resources on planet earth” are limited. Priority must be given to the consumption of energy and raw materials with the associated pollutant taxes. A compensation for this is the gradual reduction of the ancillary wage costs as well as a per capita reimbursement of the ecological taxes . As early as 1983 the ÖDP called for the introduction of a revenue-neutral ecological tax reform . People who act ecologically conscious should receive tax relief, conversely, unecological management should become unattractive due to higher taxes. The value added tax is described as "socially and ecologically blind" and should therefore be reduced significantly. the goal is

"A market economy that deals with non-renewable materials rationally, uses and develops renewable sources, organizes itself in a decentralized manner, expresses economic damage in the prices for energy and raw materials and is induced to take social and ecological responsibility through state frameworks."

- Policy

In its basic program, the party is largely committed to ideas of growth criticism and calls for an economic system without the pressure to grow . A higher quality of life should be achieved with less material expenditure, which requires a change in consciousness.

“We want to give the economy more incentives to strive for the common good and cooperation instead of profit and competition [...] The ÖDP advocates the ecological-social market economy . This should [...] be environmentally friendly (ecological) and people-friendly (social). "

- Policy

The ÖDP strives for a “strict separation of political mandate and economic interest representation”. Donations by companies to political parties should be banned as they represent corruption . The MPs of the ÖDP are not allowed to occupy positions on the supervisory board in order to prevent conflicts of interest. The ÖDP criticizes that the “self-interest of individuals” is the only valid basic assumption in society and politics. This is based on a “radical-liberal school of economics” and has “almost dogmatically prevailed”.

Domestic politics

In the opinion of the ÖDP, referendums and referendums should be facilitated or introduced at local, state and federal level. She also advocates a right to vote from birth, in which the parents should vote on their behalf up to the age of 14. 14 to 17-year-olds should be able to vote independently on application.

In the opinion of the ÖDP, constitutional enemies must be fought clearly. Parties that sympathize with extremists should be banned.

Furthermore, the democratic state must be able to ward off dangers that arise “from the spread of organized crime”. The increasing crime rate is a “challenge for society and the state” because the “citizens' claim to security and integrity” is not being met. Therefore, in addition to the police and the judiciary, moral courage is required, which must replace the “looking away mentality”. The ÖDP also advocates crime prevention, which includes, among other things, an “improvement of social framework conditions” and “education for mutual respect and more legal awareness”. In addition, violence should be avoided in the media.

The party rejected the policies of the former interior minister Wolfgang Schäuble - especially in the course of the fight against terrorism - because, in their opinion, they undermined fundamental rights.

The Bavarian ÖDP aims for the direct election of the Prime Minister of Bavaria . According to the party, there is no real separation of powers between the Bavarian state government and the state parliament . Therefore, the ÖDP Bayern started a referendum in 2012.

Foreign policy

The globalization is rejected from the perspective of the ODP in their existing form, as in their opinion, only a few benefited in the world of it. Furthermore, "the safeguarding of human rights and the establishment of a high degree of welfare and justice in all countries of the world" are required. The party rejects the contents of the Lisbon Treaty because, in its opinion, they undermine democracy and are too neoliberal . In addition, in their opinion, the adoption of the treaty had no democratic legitimacy. The ÖDP called for referendums on the treaty in all EU states, including Germany. For this reason, among other things, she brought an action against the ratification of Germany in 2008 before the Federal Constitutional Court. In terms of foreign policy, the party also advocates a “worldwide ban on ABC weapons ”.



Claudius Moseler, General Secretary of the ÖDP
The federal board of the ÖDP, elected in May 2018

Federal Party Congress

The highest decision-making body of the party is the federal party conference, which takes place at least once, often twice a year. The federal party congress is responsible for the election of the federal executive committee, the federal arbitration tribunal, the federal auditor and the candidates of the federal list for the election of the members of the European parliament. It decides on the statutes, rules of procedure and programs. It includes the delegates of the regional associations and the members of the federal executive board.

Federal Main Committee

The Federal Main Committee is the highest body between the federal party conferences. The members of the federal commissions are elected on it. It is made up of the delegates from the regional associations and the executive board.

Federal Executive

The federal executive, elected for two years, consists of nine members: the federal chairman, the two deputies, the federal treasurer, the federal secretary and four assessors. The first four named form the executive federal board. The federal executive is supported by a general secretary who is not elected by the federal party congress and is therefore not entitled to vote in the federal executive. The position of Secretary General was created in September 2001 and has been occupied by Claudius Moseler since then.

Chairman vice-chairman Treasurer Secretary Assessor
Christoph Raabs Agnes Becker, Verena Föttinger Günther Brendle-Behnisch Klaus von Birgelen Sebastian Högen, Urban Mangold , Kurt Rieder, Jan Altnickel

Ecological council, commissions and federal working groups

The Ecological Council is an advisory body made up of scientists and experts, whose members are appointed for four years by the federal party conference at the suggestion of the federal executive committee. Its task is to provide scientific advice to the organs and mandate holders of the party.

The preparation of draft programs is the task of the Federal Program Commission, while the Federal Statute Commission makes proposals for the further development of the statute. Arbitration tribunals exist at the federal and state levels, which are responsible for settling disputes within a party and for deciding on party exclusion proceedings.

Content-related discussions are held in the thematically structured federal working groups, which are open to all members.

At the beginning of 2017 there were the following federal working groups:

  • BAK Christians and Ecology
  • BAK women
  • BAK local politics
  • BAK Human Ecological Basic Income
  • BAK Asylum and Integration
  • BAK participation
  • BAK Democracy, Foreign Policy and Europe
  • BAK Family, Social Affairs and Health
  • BAK climate and environmental protection, traffic, energy and radiation protection
  • BAK Agriculture, Animal Welfare and Genetic Engineering
  • BAK Economy and Finance

Federal associations and related organizations

The federal associations are independent organizations that are not subject to arbitration by the party. Membership in a federal association does not require party membership. There are two federal associations in the ÖDP:

  • the Federation of Women,
  • the young ecologists founded in 1992 as a youth organization of the ÖDP; this was also registered as an independent association until 2011.

Until August 2005 there was a student association of the ÖDP under the name Ecological-Democratic Students, or öds for short.


The ÖDP has regional associations in all federal states. At the municipal level there are more than 200 regional associations, mainly in the regional associations of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, which have a large number of members.

Bernhard Suttner (2017), chairman of the Bavarian regional association of the ÖDP from 1991 to 2011
Regional association Chairman Result of the last election of the state parliament Result of the 2017 federal election
Baden-Württemberg Baden-WürttembergBaden-Württemberg Baden-Württemberg Guido Klamt 0.7% ( 2016 ) 0.4%
Bavaria BavariaBavaria Bavaria Klaus Mrasek 1.6% ( 2018 ) 0.9%
Berlin BerlinBerlin Berlin Richard Borrmann 0.0% ( 2016 ) 0.2%
Brandenburg BrandenburgBrandenburg Brandenburg Thomas Loeb 0.6% ( 2019 ) 0.2%
Bremen BremenBremen Bremen NN na ( 2019 ) n / A
Hamburg HamburgHamburg Hamburg Tobias Monday 0.7% ( 2020 ) 0.3%
Hesse HesseHesse Hesse Angela Binder 0.3% ( 2018 ) 0.2%
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Mecklenburg-Western PomeraniaMecklenburg-Western Pomerania Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Daniel Vichel na ( 2016 ) 0.1%
Lower Saxony Lower SaxonyLower Saxony Lower Saxony Carsten Krehl 0.1% ( 2017 ) 0.1%
North Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-WestphaliaNorth Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia Martin shivered 0.2% ( 2017 ) 0.1%
Rhineland-Palatinate Rhineland-PalatinateRhineland-Palatinate Rhineland-Palatinate Johannes Schneider 0.4% ( 2016 ) 0.3%
Saarland SaarlandSaarland Saarland Jorgo Chatzimarkakis na ( 2017 ) n / A
Saxony SaxonySaxony Saxony Dirk Zimmermann 0.3% ( 2019 ) 0.3%
Saxony-Anhalt Saxony-AnhaltSaxony-Anhalt Saxony-Anhalt Michael Freisleben na ( 2016 ) n / A
Schleswig-Holstein Schleswig-HolsteinSchleswig-Holstein Schleswig-Holstein Hildegard Meyer na ( 2017 ) 0.2%
Thuringia ThuringiaThuringia Thuringia Martin Truckenbrodt 0.4% ( 2019 ) 0.5%
Legend: na - not started, NN - office currently not occupied
Felix Leinen , Deputy Federal Chairman 2008 to 2010 and current Treasurer of the ÖDP in Rhineland-Palatinate

Members and voters

Membership formalities

According to the statutes, any person who “has German citizenship or permanent residence in the Federal Republic of Germany, is at least 14 years old and recognizes the statutes and basic program” can become a party member. According to the statutes, female members are automatically members of the Federal Association of Women in the ÖDP , unless they object. The ÖDP has been offering a “trial membership” since August 2002, which makes it possible to be a party member for one year free of charge.

Simultaneous membership in Scientology is incompatible with membership in the ÖDP .

Since the ÖDP advocates a strict separation of business and politics, it prohibits its members of parliament and board members from paid supervisory board memberships “in a profit-oriented company” as well as consulting contracts in Section 14 of the statutes.

Origin and composition of membership

Most of the members come from the middle class. Many students and academics were among the candidates for the 1990 Bundestag election , so that the ÖDP was then characterized as “a clearly academic party of the new middle classes”.

The number of members of the ÖDP was 6,599 in September 2018. Almost two thirds of the members come from Bavaria .


In addition to the federal office in Würzburg , the ÖDP maintains a local political office in Mainz , which is headed by the ÖDP general secretary Claudius Moseler. The party newspaper is called EcologyPolitics . It appears quarterly with a circulation of 6,700. Günther Hartmann is responsible for the editor-in-chief.

The ÖDP awards the Golden Swallow award to selected people who are committed to ecology or democracy . Prize winners include Franz Alt , Hans Herbert von Arnim , Harry Rosin and Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker . The latter, however, expressly did not accept the award because of the ÖDP, but only in appreciation of the former federal chairman Herbert Gruhl.

Political activity

Parliamentary activity

ÖDP poster against the Temelín nuclear power plant

At the end of 2018, the ÖDP had around 470 mandates at the municipal level, including more than 380 in Bavaria. In the district days in Bavaria it has a total of five members. The ÖDP has not yet been represented in state parliaments and the Bundestag. In 2014 and 2019 Klaus Buchner was elected to the European Parliament. On July 16, 2020, Manuela Ripa took his place.

There is a very strong south-north divide. At the level of the districts and independent cities, the party has so far achieved its best election results in the districts of Ravensburg and Rottweil and in the cities of Passau , Memmingen , Ansbach , Straubing and Bottrop .

The parliamentary work of the ÖDP focuses on the issues of "environment" and "direct democracy". List connections as well as committee and parliamentary groups are most often entered into by the ÖDP with the Greens, voter groups and the FDP , less often with the CDU, CSU, SPD or the Bavarian party .

There are coalitions at the local level, both under the leadership of the Union and with the SPD and the Greens. Former coalitions of the SPD, Greens, ÖDP and other groups were z. B. in Munich and Augsburg referred to as the "rainbow coalition".

Extra-parliamentary activity

Representatives of the ÖDP at the demonstration We're sick of it! 2013.

Members and associations of the ÖDP take part in actions on environmental issues, e.g. B. against genetic engineering , cloning , fine dust , the construction of nuclear power plants and local petitions.

In 1996 and 1997, the ÖDP in Bavaria initiated the referendum "Lean State without Senate" . In the referendum on February 8, 1998, 69.2% of voters voted for the abolition of the Bavarian Senate , which was then dissolved on January 1, 2000. Then the ÖDP announced a referendum, according to which the state parliament should be reduced from 204 to 145 seats. After the Bavarian state parliament had decided to reduce the state parliament to 180 members, the ÖDP refrained from doing so.

The ÖDP also did not introduce the popular initiative to downsize the state government and to cancel four planned locations for nuclear power plants in Bavaria, as the state parliament fulfilled the requirements in part or in full beforehand. The popular initiative to save justly, even at the top , was not approved by the Bavarian Constitutional Court on May 6, 2005 . The referendum on human clones and mobile telephony did not reach the required number of support signatures, in contrast to the again successful referendum for real non-smoker protection! . In addition, the ÖDP has already had laws checked for conformity with the Basic Law and other existing laws several times with the help of lawsuits. The party achieved that the amount of book money introduced by the Bavarian state government for Bavarian schools had to be regularly checked by the state parliament, whereupon it was abolished by the state government. Furthermore, the ÖDP has successfully sued that publicly owned companies (e.g. municipal waterworks) can hide information about public goods, citing confidentiality obligations, as this contradicts the principle of freedom of information .

The ÖDP participates in the alliance “Europe needs more democracy”, founded in April 2012 by the association Mehr Demokratie , in which the Association of Taxpayers , the Pirate Party Germany and the Federal Association of Free Voters Germany also participate.

External perception


The ÖDP is generally perceived as a bourgeois-conservative part of the environmental movement. There were programmatic differences to the Greens primarily in questions of foreign policy (ÖDP approval of NATO and the EC ), the relationship to parliamentary democracy (ÖDP approval of the state's monopoly of violence ), as well as family (more traditional understanding) and abortion (tendency to skeptical attitude).

At the time of the work of the first federal chairman Herbert Gruhl , the ÖDP was mentioned in the same breath from the mid-eighties, especially in left-wing circles with right-wing parties such as REP , DVU and NPD . This intensified with the result of the state elections in Baden-Württemberg in 1988 , when the party was able to achieve a notable result at a national level for the first time with 1.4%. After Gruhl's resignation from the Federal Presidency in 1989, the allegations of legal lobbies gradually calmed down, although some of them are still being raised from the political left , for example by the former Green politician Jutta Ditfurth . Prominent right-wing extremists soon withdrew, like the party co-founder and deputy federal chairman Baldur Springmann after just a few months, or were later excluded from the party, like the Holocaust denier Ursula Haverbeck . After leaving the party in 1991, Gruhl identified the ÖDP as very close to the Greens.

In 1989 the ÖDP passed a "fundamental resolution to demarcate the ÖDP from the right-wing parties", which remains unchanged to this day, which states, among other things: "Nationalism is the exaggerated, intolerant manifestation of national consciousness. He strongly contradicts the basic program of the ÖDP, which is committed to worldwide solidarity, peace and democracy. "

In “ new right ” magazines the party is classified as “ left ” or “left Catholic” after its split . The ÖDP itself has been avoiding the terms “ conservative ” and “ value conservative ” in self-portrayals since the mid-1990s and sees itself positioned in the political center .

Due to the fact that the party initiated numerous referendums in Bavaria , it was characterized by the world in 2001 as "a kind of Bavarian APO ".

Scientific evaluations

To this day, the assessment of political scientists as to whether the ÖDP can be described as more “right of center” after 1989, which Heidelberg political scientist Jürgen Wüst affirmed in 1993 , has remained inconsistent . In this regard, he mentioned a proximity to positions of the philosopher Robert Spaemann . Due to the repositioning of the party in terms of personnel and content, a clear “shift to the left” is sometimes emphasized for the ÖDP and it is also positioned as the “left center”.


For some time the journalist Franz Alt was a prominent advocate of the ÖDP

For a long time, one of the most prominent supporters of the ÖDP outside the party was the journalist Franz Alt , to whom Gruhl confided his growing differences with his former party, the CDU, at the end of the 1970s. Since the party was founded, Alt, who himself remained a member of the CDU until 1988, has spoken out positively about the ÖDP several times, for example in the run-up to the 2002 Bundestag election . When Alt wrote an open letter to the then CDU General Secretary Heiner Geissler on the occasion of his resignation, he recommended reading the basic program of the ÖDP to the supporters of his former party.

The idea of ​​an ecological tax reform developed by the Swiss economist Hans Christoph Binswanger was taken up by the party. The party critic Hans Herbert von Arnim represented the ÖDP in its constitutional complaint against the reform of party funding.

Relationship with other parties

The party founders of the ÖDP were also partly involved in the creation of the Greens. They left the party because they gradually perceived the Greens to be too “left-leaning” and accused them, among other things, of “pink-red utopianism”. In addition, the ÖDP rejected the radical grassroots party structure of the Greens at the time (rotation of mandate holders, separation of office and mandate , etc.).

After the repositioning of the ÖDP in 1989, there were efforts within the party in the following year to merge with the Greens and Alliance 90 . At the local level there were parliamentary groups and joint lists with the Greens, for example in Zweibrücken in 2004 and in the Biberach district .

After the failed attempts at federal level to persuade the ÖDP to join forces with the Greens, the differences were increasingly emphasized. The ÖDP accused the Greens of "lazy compromises" in phasing out nuclear power . Furthermore, the ÖDP criticizes the fact that the GREENS bow to the interests of the economy because they accept company donations. There are programmatic differences between the two parties on drug legalization, the abortion debate and the Lisbon Treaty .

In mid-2004 there were cooperation talks with the German Family Party (FAMILY). In the Saarland state elections in 2004 , ÖDP members ran on the lists of the family party, it reached 3.0 percent. In the 2005 Bundestag election , the ÖDP decided not to run in favor of the family party. In the state elections in Baden-Württemberg in 2006 and in Rhineland-Palatinate in 2006 , the family party renounced in favor of the ÖDP.


GAZ program

Prehistory and origin

The founding of the ÖDP goes back to Herbert Gruhl . In 1969 he moved into the Bundestag for the CDU and became the environmental policy spokesman for his parliamentary group. In the early 1970s, he was the first member of the Bundestag to give a speech on the subject of “the environment”. In 1975 he became better known for his book A Planet is Plundered - The Horror Balance of Our Politics . The differences between him and the CDU grew in the period that followed, especially in environmental policy : he was the only opponent of nuclear energy in his parliamentary group and, with his goal of anchoring the topic of "environment" in the CDU's program, encountered only minor ones Feedback in your own party.

On July 12, 1978, he finally left the party and parliamentary group. The following day he founded the Green Action Future (GAZ). In the political magazine Report of Südwestfunk , he then read an open letter to the CDU chairman Helmut Kohl . In it, he accused him of a lack of sensitivity in questions of human survival and declared that he was leaving the CDU. The GAZ, whose chairman Gruhl became, was the first nationwide party to focus on ecology . On March 17 and 18, 1979, on the occasion of the forthcoming European elections on June 10 of the same year in Frankfurt am Main , the GAZ participated in the formation of the joint electoral list of the Other Political Association (SPV) - The Greens . Gruhl and the later Green politician Petra Kelly were chosen as the top candidates. In the European elections, this association received 900,000 votes and 3.2%.

The GAZ took part in the founding of the Greens in 1980 , but formally retained its independence. With her conservative and post-material positions, however, she soon fell behind and complained that the influence of political forces on the far left had become too strong. As at the party conference in Dortmund on 21./22. June 1980 the left wing of the party finally won the upper hand, the GAZ withdrew from the party alliance.

Then formed with other environmental groups such as the green list Schleswig-Holstein and Bremen Green List , which also felt the Greens to the left, the Green Federation , which was a loose association with the aim of a party founded and later in Ecological Federation renamed has been.

The time under Herbert Gruhl (1982–1989)

Party logo from 1982 to 1997

On January 23 and 24, 1982, the Ecological Federation in Wiesbaden finally founded the Ecological Democratic Party . The party congress also adopted the party's first basic program. The first regional associations were founded in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg in October 1981 . At the first public federal party conference, which took place on March 6th and 7th in Bad Honnef , Gruhl was elected the first federal chairman. At the time of its founding, the ÖDP had around 1750 members. In February 1987, the ÖDP student organization, Ecological-Democratic Students (ÖDS), later Ecological-Democratic Students ( ÖDS) , was founded in Bonn , initially as a pure university group. The umbrella organization of the same name was founded at the Saarbrücken party congress in 1989.

In the first few years of its existence, the ÖDP was viewed critically by the political left and was accused of lacking a demarcation from right-wing forces. In this context, the ÖDP was often accused of eco-fascism . Gruhl was accused of approaching more and more nationalist ideas because he believed, among other things, that uncontrolled immigration would bring ecological problems with it. Gruhl himself denied having changed his positions since the founding of the GAZ in 1978 and refused to allow a "direction dispute" to be forced upon him, for which "ammunition [...] was partly from the Greens, but mostly from the ridiculous far left standing groups ”. However, since most of the members of the ÖDP shared these allegations and brought them into the party, they passed a "fundamental decision of the ÖDP to differentiate themselves from the right-wing parties", which, according to the protocol, was adopted in February 1989 at the federal party conference in Saarbrücken with a "large majority". The resolution specifically differentiated it from Republicans, NPD and DVU and was basically directed against the political occupation of topics such as “national consciousness”, which Gruhl and some members saw as a rejection of Germany's reunification option. Herbert Gruhl resigned because of these events and because of personal differences. The new federal chairman of the ÖDP was Hans-Joachim Ritter .

The time under Hans-Joachim Ritter (1989–1993)

Hans-Joachim Ritter , Federal Chairman of the ÖDP from 1989 to 1993

Shortly after the 1990 Bundestag election , Herbert Gruhl resigned from the ÖDP, which he saw as a “Christian fundamentalist party”. A group of around 300 members also left the party and joined the newly founded Association of Independent Ecologists in Germany (UÖD) . In 1991 the incompatibility of simultaneous membership of the UÖD and the ÖDP was decided.

Under the new ÖDP chairman Hans-Joachim Ritter, efforts were made to join forces with the Greens and Alliance 90 . While parts of Bündnis 90 were open to the ÖDP, the “three-party alliance” failed mainly because of the resistance of the West German Greens.

On September 5, 1992, the youth organization Die Junge Ökologen (jö) was founded in Backnang , after various youth initiatives close to the mother party had already existed at the regional level.

ÖDP logo from 1997 to 2007
ÖDP poster from 1999

Turbulence (1993-2000)

After Hans-Joachim Ritter had founded the ÖDP-related Foundation for Ecology and Democracy in 1992, of which he has been chairman, he decided in 1993 to give up his position as ÖDP federal chairman in order to avoid conflicts of interest with his new position. Bernd Richter became his successor .

In the Bavarian state elections on September 25, 1994 , the ÖDP achieved its best state election result to date with 2.1%. Thereafter, however, the party fell into a downward trend and lost votes in many elections. Outside of Bavaria, the ÖDP also lost many of its municipal mandates. While membership increased in Bavaria in the 1990s, it declined in the other federal states. In addition, the federal chairmanship has changed frequently since 1993: Richter was defeated by Hans Mangold in a battle vote in 1995 , who in turn was replaced by Susanne Bachmaier in 1997 .

In 1997 a new logo was created, the abbreviation of the party was written in lower case letters and a new basic program was adopted.

In 1996 and 1997, the ÖDP in Bavaria successfully initiated the popular initiative “Lean State without Senate” . At the end of 1998 the number of members reached its highest level to date with almost 7,200. In 1999, the ÖDP in North Rhine-Westphalia successfully sued the state constitutional court against the five percent threshold in the local election law, which was then deleted without replacement.

Consolidation (2000-2004)

At the end of 2000 Uwe Dolata became the new federal chairman. In 2001, through its mobilization in Lower Bavaria (primarily in the form of citizens' petitions), the ÖDP caused E.ON to terminate the supply contracts with the nuclear power plant in Temelín in the Czech Republic .

At the ÖDP federal party congress on March 8th and 9th, 2003 in Coburg , there was a voting vote between the national chairman Uwe Dolata, who has been in office since 2000, and his deputy Klaus Buchner , which Buchner was able to win with 120-68 votes. While Dolata had advocated concentrating the ÖDP on Bavaria , Buchner had pleaded for the party's nationwide commitment to continue. Dolata then belonged to the federal executive for a year and a half as deputy federal chairman. On November 29 of the same year, the party alliance WEP was founded in Mainz on the initiative of the ÖDP , in which the ÖDP and its partner parties from other countries have been members since then.

The ÖDP brought together against the passed law on party financing, which stipulated that only parties that received more than one percent of the votes in at least three federal states would benefit from election financing, and which would have come into force on January 1, 2005 with the constitutional lawyer and party critic Hans Herbert von Arnim , who represented and represents the party in this legal dispute as a lawyer, an organ dispute before the Federal Constitutional Court , which the GRAUEN had joined. With the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court of October 26, 2004, the ÖDP's application was considered to be well founded and the law was declared unconstitutional.

Development since 2004

ÖDP information stand at the beginning of 2006 in Karlsruhe-Durlach for the state elections in Baden-Württemberg

There were cooperation talks with the German Family Party with regard to the Saarland state elections in 2004 and the early federal elections in 2005 . The ÖDP and the Family Party filed a lawsuit against the early federal elections in 2005 before the Federal Constitutional Court, as the deadline for collecting support signatures was drastically reduced. The Federal Constitutional Court dismissed this action in August 2005. As part of the agreement, the family party decided not to run for the state elections in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate on March 26, 2006 and supported the ÖDP. The cooperation between the ÖDP and the family party was terminated at the federal level, after which the latter withdrew its resolutions for a merger at the end of 2006.

In the state elections in Saxony-Anhalt in 2006 , the ÖDP participated with the animal protection party , the GRAUEN and voter communities in the list connection Justice, Environment, Animal Welfare . The alliance received 0.8% of the vote.

On March 27, 2008, the ÖDP sued the Federal Constitutional Court against the EU reform treaty . According to Federal Chairman Buchner, "[the contract] contradicts our German constitution in many respects." For the Bavarian state elections on September 28, 2008 , the ÖDP stood under the name Ecological Democratic Party / Alliance for Families . By interim order , the ÖDP had the Bavarian Youth Ring forbidden to activate the Wahl-O-Mat for the state election because the ÖDP wanted to be taken into account. The Bavarian Youth Ring only provided for parties that are already represented in the state parliament or that had reached more than 3% in the last Sunday questions . Since seven other small and small parties could have forced participation on the basis of the reasons given by the Munich Administrative Court, the Bavarian Youth Ring waived the publication of the Wahl-O-Mats.

At the beginning of December 2009 , the referendum initiated by the Bavarian ÖDP “For real protection of non-smokers!” Attracted around 1.3 million signatures (13.9%). Since the required 10% hurdle was passed, a referendum on this topic took place on July 4, 2010, which was approved with 61% of the votes and a voter turnout of 37.7%. Since May 2010 the old spelling ÖDP has been used instead of ödp. In November 2010, Sebastian Frankenberger was elected federal chairman; he replaced Buchner, who had not run for reasons of age.

At the 48th federal party conference on November 15 and 16, 2014 in Erlangen, Sebastian Frankenberger was no longer re-elected as federal chairman. He was defeated in the first ballot against the challenger Gabriela Schimmer-Göresz. Frankenberger announced his resignation in spring 2015 because of internal party quarrels and attacks; in the following period three more members of the former federal executive left the party.

Gabriela Schimmer-Göresz was confirmed as chairwoman in November 2016. For the 2017 federal election , the party put together a detailed federal political program under the motto “People before Profit”. and competed in 13 federal states with a state list. In addition, 75 direct candidates were nominated. For the federal election, the party set up its own campaign website, . Gabriela Schimmer-Göresz resigned as party leader for health reasons at the end of 2017, after which Agnes Becker was acting as acting chairwoman until the next new election. At the federal party conference on May 5, 2018, the previous treasurer Christoph Raabs was elected as the new federal chairman.

In 2018, the ÖDP in Bavaria initiated the biodiversity referendum , which was concluded in February 2019 with the registration of 18.4% of the eligible voters as the most successful of all previous referendums in Bavaria.

Election results

Since the 1980s, the ÖDP has participated in elections at the federal, state, European and local levels. The ÖDP achieved its best election results predominantly in rural areas and medium-sized towns in southern Germany, the anchoring in large cities is rather low. In contrast to the Greens, there is no urban-rural divide, but rather a rural-urban divide.

Bundestag election results

In the federal election in 1983 , the ÖDP only entered Bavaria with one state list . Only in the federal elections in 1990 and 1994 was the ÖDP eligible for election in all federal states with a state list. In 1990 the ÖDP achieved its best ever Bundestag election result with 0.44%. This also meant overcoming the 0.5% hurdle in the West electoral area and thus reimbursing election campaign costs . From 1990 to 2002 the results of the ÖDP in federal elections declined; the party in favor of the family party did not run for the 2005 federal election . For the 2009 Bundestag election , the ÖDP ran in eight federal states. Compared to the last election at federal level in 2002 (56,898), the number of votes could be more than doubled to 132,249. She was able to roughly maintain this result in the 2013 federal election (127,088).

Results of the ÖDP in federal elections (1983 to 2017)
Bundestag election results
year Number of votes Share of votes
1983 11,028 0.0%
1987 109,152 0.3%
1990 205.206 0.4%
1994 183.715 0.4%
1998 98.257 0.2%
2002 56,898 0.1%
2005 n / A n / A
2009 132,249 0.3%
2013 127.088 0.3%
2017 144,809 0.3%

European election results

The ÖDP has been running for the European elections with a nationwide list since 1984. In the European elections in 1989 and 1994, the ÖDP jumped the 0.5% hurdle for reimbursement of election campaign costs, which it succeeded in doing again in 2004 (0.6%) and 2009 (0.5%). In the European elections in 2014 she succeeded, aided by the fact that the threshold clause after a lawsuit u. a. the ÖDP had been declared null and void, with 0.6% entering the European Parliament , where it is currently represented by Manuela Ripa .

Results of the ÖDP in European elections (1984 to 2019)
European election results
year Number of votes Share of votes Mandates
1984 77,026 0.3% 0
1989 184,309 0.7% 0
1994 273.776 0.8% 0
1999 100,048 0.4% 0
2004 145,537 0.6% 0
2009 134,893 0.5% 0
2014 185.244 0.6% 1
2019 370.006 1.0% 1

State election results

The ÖDP achieved the first noteworthy result at state level in the state elections in Baden-Württemberg in 1988 with 1.4%, which it was able to expand slightly for a while. In 2011, the ÖDP in Baden-Württemberg achieved 0.9%, in 2016 it was 0.7%. In Bavaria , the ÖDP achieved its best result in 1994 with 2.1% and was then able to stabilize by 2%; in the last state election in the Free State on October 14, 2018, it reached 1.6%. In the other federal states, the ÖDP often did not take part in state elections or has only achieved results below 0.5% since 2007.

1982 0.4 0.2
1986 0.7
1987 0.1 n / A
1988 1.4 0.1
1989 0.7
1990 1.7 0.3 n / A n / A 0.1 0.5 n / A n / A n / A n / A
1991 n / A n / A n / A 0.9
1992 1.9 n / A
1993 0.1
1994 2.1 0.1 n / A 0.1 0.2 n / A n / A 0.2
1995 0.3 n / A 0.2 0.3
1996 1.5 0.5 0.1
1997 0.0
1998 1.8 n / A 0.1 n / A
1999 n / A n / A n / A 0.1 0.3 n / A n / A
2000 0.0 n / A
2001 0.7 0.2 n / A 0.3
2002 n / A 0.1
2003 2.0 n / A 0.1 0.1
2004 n / A 0.1 n / A n / A 0.2
2005 0.2 n / A
2006 0.5 0.1 n / A 0.2 0.8
2007 n / A
2008 2.0 0.1 n / A 0.1
2009 n / A n / A n / A n / A n / A 0.4
2010 0.1
2011 0.9 0.1 n / A 0.3 0.1 0.4 0.2
2012 0.1 n / A n / A
2013 2.0 0.1 n / A
2014 n / A n / A n / A
2015 n / A 0.4
2016 0.7 0.0 n / A 0.4 n / A
2017 0.1 0.2 n / A n / A
2018 1.6 0.3
2019 0.6 n / A 0.3 0.4
2020 0.7
Legend: na - not started; orange - best election result (in the respective federal state); Election results in percent

Local elections

ÖDP poster for the local election campaign in 2002

The ÖDP has around 480 municipal mandates nationwide (as of June 2020). That is why the ÖDP describes itself in its self-portrayal as the “most successful non-extremist small party in Germany”. The majority of the mandates were obtained in Bavaria. Above the district level, the ÖDP is represented after the most recent elections in the district meetings of Upper Bavaria , Lower Bavaria , Swabia and Middle Franconia and in the regional assembly of the Stuttgart Region Association.

Local mandates of the ÖDP (as of June 2020)
state ÖDP mandates ÖDP members
on other lists
Mandates in major cities
Baden-Württemberg 49 - Regional representation Stuttgart
Bavaria 386 32 Munich, Augsburg, Nuremberg, Regensburg, Würzburg, Ingolstadt, Erlangen
Hesse - 4th -
Lower Saxony 2 3 -
North Rhine-Westphalia 8th 5 Munster, Bottrop
Rhineland-Palatinate 28 5 Mainz
Saarland 0 2 -
Thuringia 7th 2 -
total 480 53 -

In the 1990 local elections in Bavaria, the ÖDP received mandates for the first time in a number that went beyond local individual successes. Since 1996 it has been represented in the majority of the districts and independent cities of Bavaria. In the Lower Bavarian municipalities of Kößlarn and Niederalteich , mayors have been in office for several years. They were elected on the joint proposal of the ÖDP and an electoral association, but are not ÖDP members themselves. In 2008 , ÖDP members emerged as winners of the mayoral elections for the first time in the Bavarian communities of Burkardroth , Emskirchen and Pfreimd . In May of the same year Urban Mangold (ÖDP) was elected second mayor of Passau . The 2014 and 2020 elections were also successful for the party. In 2020, it received 2.6 percent of the votes and 141 mandates nationwide at the level of the district councils and urban districts.

In 1989 and 1994 the ÖDP won several municipal mandates in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate . In 1999 some of these mandates were lost. With Denzlingen it now provides a mayor there. In North Rhine-Westphalia , the ÖDP benefited from the elimination of the threshold clause in the 1999, 2004 and 2009 local elections and was able to significantly increase the number of seats. Since then, the ÖDP has had its largest influx outside of southern Germany in Bottrop and Mainz , plus seats in the independent city of Münster (1 seat) and in the districts of Verl (1 seat) and Bad Driburg , where the ÖDP for the fifth time with three mandates has entered the council. In the other federal states, the ÖDP has so far only achieved a few municipal mandates, which mostly could not be held for a longer period of time.


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See also

Web links

Commons : Ecological Democratic Party  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Commons : Ecological Democratic Party  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
 Wikinews: Portal: ÖDP  - in the news

Individual evidence

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  2. Ecological-Democratic Party on
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  6. Claudius Moseler: ödp has had the advertising color orange for a long time! (No longer available online.) December 4, 2003, archived from the original on March 13, 2016 ; Retrieved January 19, 2017 .
  7. ↑ General overview of the determination of state funds for 2018 (PDF), as of April 15, 2019
  8. ^ Statutes of the ÖDP (PDF)
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  15. ^ Basic program of the ÖDP from 1993 (PDF).
  16. ^ Basic program of the ÖDP (pdf) (PDF).
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  18. European policy program of the ODP (PDF).
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  24. Federal political program - I 8 Tierschutz (PDF).
  25. Federal political program - I 3 Mobilfunk (PDF).
  26. 3. Topics and solutions - The principle of the welfare state remains valid (PDF).
  27. a b c 3. Topics and solutions - Justice for all who raise children and care for people - Protection of the unborn (PDF).
  28. Sharp criticism of the Internet advertising campaign by Rot-Grün ( Memento from February 23, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
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  30. a b c d Federal Political Program - II 1 Family and Pension Policy (PDF).
  31. (PDF).
  32. ( Memento from January 11, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
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  35. Federal Political Program - V 9.3 University and Study Financing (PDF).
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  37. a b c d 3. Topics and solutions - The economy must recognize the ecological fundamentals (PDF).
  38. ^ "Creating meaningful work" - Economic program of the ÖDP, Bonn 1983
  39. 3. Topics and Solutions - Renewing Democracy (PDF).
  40. a b Federal Political Program of the Ecological Democratic Party - V3 Expanding and protecting democratic rights (PDF).
  41. a b c d e 3. Topics and solutions - Providing internal security (PDF).
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  49. ^ ÖDP federal association: regional associations
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  66. ^ Wüst, p. 168.
  67. Oliver Geden: Rechts Ökologie , Berlin 1999, p. 90.
  68. A kind of Bavarian APO . In: WORLD . June 16, 2001 ( online [accessed September 19, 2011]).
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  79. ^ Wüst, p. 5
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  81. Kempf 2008, pp. 187f
  82. Herbert Gruhl: Between Left and Right and Zero Point (1989), in: Kempf 2005, pp. 199–200, here p. 200.
  83. protocol quoted after Peter Schröder, in: Mankau, p. 100
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  89. (link not available)
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  95. Bavarian State Office for Statistics and Data Processing: referendum on the protection of non-smokers on July 4, 2010
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  106. ^ Result of the election to the 12th German Bundestag on December 2, 1990 by country ( Memento of May 6, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) (XLS; 85 kB)
  107. ^ Result of the election to the 13th German Bundestag on October 16, 1994 by country ( Memento from September 23, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) (XLS; 91 kB)
  108. Federal Returning Officer - 2009 result
  109. Results of the Bundestag elections ( Memento from July 9, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  110. Results of the European elections ( Memento of July 11, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
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  117. accessed on March 23, 2020
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on October 5, 2008 .