Free Democratic Party

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Free Democratic Party
since 2015
Christian Lindner (Bundestag project 2020) by Sandro Halank
Party leader Christian Lindner
Secretary General Linda Teuteberg
vice-chairman Wolfgang Kubicki
Nicola Beer
Katja Suding
Federal Managing Director Michael Zimmermann
Federal Treasurer Hermann Otto Solms
founding December 12, 1948
Place of foundation Heppenheim
Headquarters Hans-Dietrich-Genscher-Haus
Reinhardtstrasse 14
10117 Berlin
Youth organization Young liberals
newspaper fdplus
Affiliate foundation Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom
Alignment Liberalism
Economic liberalism
European federalism
Colours) Yellow , blue , magenta
Bundestag seats
Seats in state parliaments
Government grants 15,064,385.24 euros
(as of April 15, 2019)
Number of members 65,500
(as of end of December 2019)
Minimum age 16 years
Average age 52 years
(as of April 12, 2019)
Proportion of women 21.6 percent
(as of April 12, 2019)
International connections Liberal International (LI)
European party Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)
EP Group Renew Europe (RE)
Hans-Dietrich-Genscher-Haus in Reinhardtstrasse in Berlin-Mitte , federal office / party headquarters of the FDP

Participation in the federal government

Kabinett Merkel II Kabinett Kohl V Kabinett Kohl IV Kabinett Kohl III Kabinett Kohl II Kabinett Kohl I Kabinett Schmidt III Kabinett Schmidt II Kabinett Schmidt I Kabinett Brandt II Kabinett Brandt I Kabinett Erhard II Kabinett Erhard I Kabinett Adenauer V Kabinett Adenauer IV Kabinett Adenauer II Kabinett Adenauer I

The Free Democratic Party (short name: FDP , from 1968 to 2001 FDP ; own name: Free Democrats , until 2015 Die Liberalen ) is a liberal party in Germany , which is classified in the political spectrum in the center to center right .

The FDP was involved in the federal government as a smaller coalition partner from 1949 to 1956, 1961 to 1966, 1969 to 1998 and 2009 to 2013 (see list of German federal governments ). From 1949 to 2013 the party was represented continuously in the German Bundestag , in 2017 it moved back into the Bundestag as a parliamentary group of Free Democrats . It is represented in eleven German state parliaments and participates in three state governments . It also provides a number of mayors (including in Dresden , Jena , Dessau-Roßlau , Landshut and Plauen ) and over 3,000 other municipal elected officials.

The FDP was founded on December 12, 1948 at the founding party congress in Heppenheim and subsequently played a decisive role in shaping the free democratic constitution and the first federal government . At the unification party conference on August 12, 1990, the celebratory union with the East German associations was celebrated.

As a historical precursor to the party before apply March Revolution held Heppenheimer meeting of 10 October 1847, and founded on June 6, 1861 German Progress Party , the first Germany-wide party of modern design. The annual Epiphany meeting of the FDP on January 6th in the Staatstheater Stuttgart goes back to the meeting of liberal people's associations on Epiphany Day 1866 in Stuttgart.

Content profile

The basic idea behind the FDP is liberalism , which it has always traditionally represented in Germany. Its fundamental ideal is therefore the freedom of the individual, especially from state violence . The ideal of the FDP is thus based on a negative concept of freedom . As in some two-dimensional models of the political spectrum, the orientation of the FDP is described as almost entirely economically liberal or market liberal.

The current guidelines of the FDP are anchored in the Karlsruhe theses of freedom . These were decided at the 63rd Ordinary Federal Party Congress on April 22, 2012 in Karlsruhe . Before that, the Wiesbaden principles, which were adopted at the 48th Ordinary Federal Party Congress on May 24, 1997 in Wiesbaden , applied.

Economic policy

According to its own statements, the economic policy of the FDP is based on a liberal and social market economy .

It calls for a state regulatory policy that creates the appropriate framework conditions for this, but does not distort the market through excessive interventions .

The main goal is to create jobs by improving the investment climate . This is to be achieved, among other things, by reducing bureaucracy , privatization , deregulation , reducing subsidies and reforming collective bargaining law. In globalization , the party looks especially opportunities.

The national debt is to be reduced. The aim is to achieve a balanced budget without new borrowing.

A simpler tax law is required in tax policy . The income tax model provides for a tiered tariff . In the long term, a so-called flat tax is sought. Tax cuts are intended to increase workers' purchasing power and stimulate the economy.

The FDP rejected the nationwide minimum wage in the 2013 federal election campaign . The party, on the other hand, wanted to introduce minimum wages that take into account the specifics of the respective regions and industries.

Social policy

In social policy , the aim is to introduce a citizen's allowance , in which all tax-financed social assistance from the state is summarized. This is a negative income tax model . Like the current regulation, it would be tied to a work obligation. The pay-as-you-go social insurance schemes are to be supplemented or replaced by funded systems.

Health policy

In the field of health policy , the FDP is in favor of reducing bureaucratic regulations. Physical self-determination is also particularly emphasized. So every person should have the right to freely determine their body, even in the context of medical treatment. The FDP is also striving to legalize marijuana .

Social policy

A common denominator of the Free Democrats is the critical attitude towards the superior power of the state and towards conservative or egalitarian social schemes . According to the motto “As much state as necessary, as little state as possible!” The FDP tries to limit the state's interference in the life of the individual as much as possible. Therefore she rejects all elements of a surveillance state . The unifying element for them is the idea of ​​“creating and maintaining the freedom of the individual”. In this way she contributed to almost all social liberalizations that were implemented in the Federal Republic .

Family policy

The FDP advocates the legal equality of different forms of coexistence. Marriage between a man and a woman should not be given preference over other forms of living together. Same-sex couples should have the same rights as heterosexual couples, e.g. B. a common right of adoption. The opening of marriage to same-sex couples was supported. The spouse splitting is to be retained. The expansion of kindergarten places is to be increased nationwide.

Domestic politics

The FDP speaks u. a. against the unreasonable data retention of connection data on the phone and the Internet.

The “ great eavesdropping ” was also controversial : In 1995 the FDP carried out a ballot in which a majority of 63.6 percent spoke out in favor of the possibility of having a private apartment wiretapped after a judge had approved. In response to the result, the then Federal Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP) resigned from her position. When the Bundestag passed the law in question in 1998 , some prominent FDP members from the left- wing liberal wing of the party lodged constitutional complaints, some successfully . The federal party congress in Cologne in May 2005 has now called for the abolition of the great bugging attack.

In its meeting on December 11, 2006, the federal executive committee of the FDP also spoke out against the possibility of online searches , as this represented a serious interference with the right to informational self-determination .

The Free Democrats are critical of a tightening of the criminal laws. The current law is sufficient to guarantee internal security. Instead, it calls for the recruitment of more police officers, judges and prosecutors to increase security and speed up legal proceedings. In addition, better rehabilitation is called for, especially for young offenders.

The FDP also advocates more direct democratic elements, such as referendums also at federal level, in order to include the people in decisive processes.

Educational policy

One of the goals of the FDP is to promote preschool children. There should be compulsory language tests from the age of four to assess possible language weaknesses, e.g. B. of children with a migration background , and to be able to train them in a so-called starter class in good time before school. In accordance with the legal entitlement to a kindergarten place, child care should be free of charge for children and parents for half a day between the age of three and school enrollment (or the starter class). Foreign language lessons as an integral part of the curriculum should be started in a playful way in the first grade.

In addition, the Free Democrats stand by the structured school system and reject a comprehensive school because, in their opinion, it is insufficiently performance-oriented and individual support is not sufficiently guaranteed. The FDP advocates subsequent tuition fees to finance the universities. It also calls for anti-research laws and regulations to be changed or abolished in order to secure Germany as a research location. The stem cell research should be encouraged.

European politics

The FDP calls itself the European party. She wants a politically integrated European Union with a common foreign and security policy . About the Lisbon Treaty should be decided by FDP view in a referendum. She advocates a Union that is capable of political action. A Turkish membership of the EU is rejected, instead the Liberals for close relations meeting in military and economic policy one. The deepening of the EU has priority over enlargement. The party also supports the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TTIP) with the US.

Energy and environmental policy

In energy policy , the party calls for a mix of nuclear power, coal, oil and gas, and renewable energies. The rapid phase-out of nuclear energy has long been viewed critically. Since the events at the Fukushima nuclear power plant , there has been an internal party discussion about an accelerated phase-out of nuclear energy ; In the meantime, this is supported in the same way as the medium-term switch to renewable energies , but according to own statements by market-based instruments such as emissions trading .

Transport policy

The FDP advocates further expanding traffic routes and providing the necessary budget. The party is currently rejecting a state-mandated turnaround in traffic away from the internal combustion engine towards electromobility . A general speed limit on motorways or a reduction in general maximum speeds is also rejected.

Foreign policy

The FDP is critical of the armed forces and sees them only as a last resort - and only with a UN mandate  - as justified. The Bundeswehr should be a strong NATO partner as well as a parliamentary and professional army ; therefore the Free Democrats set z. B. together with the coalition partners CDU and CSU through the suspension of conscription . A dual citizenship should be no problem in the future.

Internationally, the FDP calls for a more resolute enforcement and promotion of human and freedoms rights, the further advancement of disarmament efforts and a reform of the United Nations .

Immigration and Asylum Policy

In immigration policy, the Free Democrats are calling for a clear separation of immigration and asylum or flight , with a new immigration law to be created to facilitate qualified immigration and to create faster and clearer procedures for humanitarian protection: for example, a new, temporary protection status for civil war refugees is to be created be created. The requirement for a work permit for asylum seekers is to be abolished, as is the residence requirement for refugees, which is viewed as an unjustified encroachment on freedom . Furthermore, the FDP demands that the municipalities are relieved and the federal government assumes more costs.

In the medium term, a common EU asylum law with a European quota system is to be created, which distributes asylum seekers to the member states.

Refugees should already be helped in their countries of origin by providing local help in the affected countries ( combating the causes of flight ). A humanitarian visa is to be introduced for people in acute danger , and asylum applications abroad are to be made possible in order to save them from a life-threatening flight. The Western Balkans are to be declared safe countries of origin in order to curb the influx from these countries.

With regard to the immigration of skilled workers, the FDP advocates “greatly simplifying the regulations for skilled workers immigration”, for example massively lowering the minimum earnings limit and justifying the right to a settlement permit (a permanent right of residence) after two years with proof of language skills.


The Epiphany Meeting of Free Democrats has developed from its liberal beginnings in the 1860s into a major event with national political significance, Stuttgart, January 6, 2015

The liberalism is the oldest of the modern political movements. It comes from the Enlightenment . The “Free Democratic Party” (FDP) stands in the tradition of classical liberalism , as a politically liberal re-establishment of the post-war period in the three western zones of occupation it is linked to the social market economy .

The party was founded in 1948 by former members of the DDP and the DVP . The LDPD and the NDPD , as former GDR bloc parties , as well as the DFP and the FDP of the GDR , which came from the citizens' movement in the GDR , were merged into the all-German FDP in 1990.

The traditional Epiphany meeting of the FDP on January 6th in the State Theater in Stuttgart goes back to the first state representative meeting of the people's associations of the Württemberg Democratic People's Party (DVP) in 1866. On January 6, 1946, the DVP was re-established in Stuttgart. After a twelve-year forced break during National Socialism , she resumed the tradition of the Epiphany and in 1948 she participated in the founding of the FDP. Today the Epiphany of the FDP is a major event with national political significance.

Until June 15, 2014, the FDP had the longest government responsibility of all parties in the Federal Republic of Germany, namely 46 years in total, but always as the smaller of the coalition partners. She was only in the opposition from 1956 to 1961, from 1966 to 1969 and from 1998 to 2009. She provided eight vice chancellors in a total of 15 different cabinets and four German foreign ministers : Walter Scheel , Hans-Dietrich Genscher , Klaus Kinkel and Guido Westerwelle . Other classic FDP ministerial departments are justice and economy . With Theodor Heuss (1949–1959) and Walter Scheel (1974–1979) it has also provided two federal presidents . The best result to date in the federal elections was achieved in 2009 with Guido Westerwelle as the top candidate. In the federal elections that followed, the FDP was unable to overcome the five percent hurdle , which meant that the FDP was not allowed to enter the Bundestag for one legislative period for the first time .

An archive of programs and historically significant documents at European, federal and state level that the German liberals have produced since 1945 can be found on the website of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom .

Roots of liberalism

Leading heads of the National Liberal Party, woodcut around 1878

In the course of the Enlightenment at the beginning of the 19th century, the liberal movement advocated more rights for the lower classes and national unification. Liberal groups, largely made up of students and other intellectuals, protested for “unity and freedom”. This was followed by countermeasures by the reactionary forces in Germany, particularly by Chancellor Metternich , whom the liberal March Revolution forced to resign in 1848. From 1849, however, the revolution was exhausted due to a lack of structures and organization in the liberal camp and the monarchy prevailed again, even if the liberal ideas remained firmly rooted and, for example, caused problems for the Prussian king in carrying out his policy until Bismarck stepped in.

The German Progressive Party , founded in 1861, was the first party in the modern sense with a party program and clear political goals. Its right wing split off in 1867 and henceforth formed the National Liberal Party , while the remaining left wing was renamed and reorganized several times during the German Empire . Together with the Liberal Association , a split on the left fringes of the National Liberals , the Progress Party merged in 1884 to form the German Liberal Party . The merger ended in 1893 when the Liberals split again into two independent parties, the Liberal People's Party and the Liberal Association . Both groups of parties were merged into the Progressive People's Party in 1910, including the German People 's Party .

In the Weimar Republic , the national liberal German People's Party and the left-wing liberal German Democratic Party (from 1930 German State Party ) followed up on the predecessor organizations from the imperial era. Its members were later instrumental in founding the liberal parties in the post-war period.

Liberal parties after 1945

Soon after the end of the war, the Soviet military administration forced the establishment of parties. As a result, at the beginning of July 1945, the former DDP members Wilhelm Külz , Eugen Schiffer and his son-in-law Waldemar Koch called for the establishment of the Liberal Democratic Party of Germany (LDP) as an all-German organization, which, however, due to the hesitant approval in the three western zones, only in the eastern zone was constituted. In October 1946, in the only free state elections in the Soviet-occupied areas , the Liberal Democrats achieved between 7.8 percent in Greater Berlin (East) and 29.9 percent in Saxony-Anhalt , where, with Erhard Hübener, they even provided the only non-Communist Prime Minister. The LDP, however, as a “ block party ” soon had to subordinate itself to the SED's claim to leadership and, accordingly, could no longer pursue independent politics.

In the meantime, the Free Democrats Party (PFD) was founded in Hamburg in September 1945 as a bourgeois left party and the first liberal party in the western zones . In October 1946, the party, now known as the FDP, reached 18.2 percent in the first Hamburg citizenship elections . Furthermore, in January 1946, the Democratic People's Party (DVP) was re-established in the southwest, which performed similarly in the first Württemberg-Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern state elections in 1946/47 . Liberal parties were also founded in the other countries. Among other things, the FDP Hessen , which was still operating as the Liberal Democratic Party when it was founded in December 1945 , achieved the best in the Hessian state elections in November 1950 with 31.8 percent through a list connection with the displaced persons , who at the time were not yet allowed to stand independently State election results of their history.

In the zones and countries, the liberals initially appeared under different names:

Hamburg: Party of Free Democrats (PFD) 1945–1946;
Bremen: Bremen Democratic People's Party (BDV) 1945–1952;
Bremen: Free Democratic Party Bremen (FDP) 1946–1947;
Bavaria: German Democratic Party (DDP) 1945–1946;
Bavaria: Free Democratic Party (FDP);
Hesse: German Democratic Party (DDP) 1945–1946;
Hesse: Liberal Democratic Party of Hesse (LDP) 1946–1948;
Hessen-Palatinate: Social Volksbund (SV) 1946–1947;
Rhineland: Liberal Party of the Rhineland (LP) 1945–1947;
Rhineland-Palatinate: Democratic Party (DP) 1947–1948;
Württemberg-Baden: Democratic People's Party (DVP) 1945–1952;
Baden: Democratic Party (DemP) 1946–1948;
Württemberg-Hohenzollern: Democratic People's Party (DVP) 1946–1953;
Saarland: Democratic Association of the Saarland (DVS) 1945–1947;
Saarland: Democratic Party Saar (DPS) 1947–1951 and 1955–1957;
British Zone: Free Democratic Party (FDP);
SBZ : German Democratic Party (DDP) 1945;
Soviet Zone / GDR: Liberal Democratic Party of Germany (LDP; from 1951 LDPD) 1945–1990;
Germany: Democratic Party of Germany (DPD) 1947–1948

On March 17, 1947, the Democratic Party of Germany (DPD) was founded in Rothenburg ob der Tauber as an all-German party. The delegates elected Theodor Heuss (DVP) and Wilhelm Külz (LDP) as equal chairmen . The party's offices were set up in Frankfurt am Main , as the seat of the bizonal administration , and Berlin , as the seat of the eastern zone administration. However, due to disputes about the conciliatory political course of Külz towards the Soviet military authorities, this project could not establish itself permanently. The last full board meeting took place in January 1948; there was no formal dissolution.

Party formation

Invitation to the FDP founding party congress in
Heppenheim in 1948

The FDP was at the founding party conference on 11/12. Founded December 1948 in Heppenheim an der Bergstrasse as an amalgamation of all 13 liberal regional associations of the three western occupation zones . The name Liberal Democratic Party could not prevail, the name Free Democratic Party was approved by the delegates of the regional associations with 64 to 25 votes. Theodor Heuss was the first chairman and Franz Blücher was his deputy . The location of the founding of the party had been chosen with care, because on October 10, 1847, a meeting of leading south and west German liberals took place here with the Heppenheim assembly , which was to mark the beginning of the German revolution of 1848/49 .

Until the 1950s, some state associations of the FDP stood to the right of the Union parties , which for their part were initially still following concepts of Christian socialism. With nationally oriented basic values, votes were also sought from former National Socialists and officials of the NS state . It is indicative of the classification at that time that the FDP was always to be found “on the far right” in the German Bundestag by assigning the seats to the right of the Union .

1949–1969: Reconstruction of Germany

FDP election poster for the 1949 federal election calling for an end to denazification
FDP Federal President Theodor Heuss (left) with Federal Chancellor Adenauer , 1953
FDP flag from 1952

In the first elections to the Bundestag on August 14, 1949 , the FDP won 11.9 percent of the vote (with 12 direct mandates, especially in Württemberg-Baden and Hesse) and thus received 52 of 402 seats. In September of the same year, the FDP chairman Theodor Heuss was elected the first Federal President of the Federal Republic of Germany . When he was re-elected in 1954 , he received 871 of 1,018 votes (85.6 percent) in the Federal Assembly, the best election result to date for a Federal President. At the same time, at the suggestion of the new Federal President, Adenauer was elected first Federal Chancellor with an extremely narrow majority. The FDP participated with CDU / CSU and DP in Adenauer's coalition cabinet and provided three ministers: Franz Blücher (Vice Chancellor, Minister for Affairs of the Marshall Plan ), Thomas Dehler (Justice) and Eberhard Wildermuth (Housing).

The FDP agreed with its coalition partners CDU / CSU on the most important questions of economic, social and Germany policy . However, the FDP recommended itself to the bourgeois voters as a secular party that rejected the denominational schools and accused the Union parties of clericalization. The FDP also acknowledged itself as a consistent representative of the market economy, while the CDU at that time was nominally shaped by the Ahlen program , which allowed a third path between capitalism and socialism; Ludwig Erhard , the “father” of the social market economy , had his supporters in the FDP rather than in the Union in the early years of the Federal Republic.

The FDP voted in the Bundestag against the denazification process introduced by the CDU and SPD at the end of 1950 . At her federal party conference in Munich in 1951 she demanded the release of all “so-called war criminals ” and welcomed the establishment of the Association of German Soldiers made up of former Wehrmacht and SS members in order to promote the integration of nationalist forces into democracy. The Naumann affair (1953), named after Werner Naumann , marks the attempt by old National Socialists to infiltrate the party, which had many right-wing conservative and nationalist members in Hesse , North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony . After the British occupation authorities arrested seven prominent representatives of the Naumann district , the FDP federal executive set up an investigative commission chaired by Thomas Dehler , which particularly sharply criticized the situation in the North Rhine-Westphalian FDP. In the years that followed, the right wing lost its strength and the extreme right increasingly sought out fields of activity outside the FDP. In the federal election in 1953 , the FDP received 9.5 percent of the second votes, 10.8 percent of the first votes (with 14 direct mandates, especially in Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Hesse, Württemberg and Upper Franconia) and 48 of 487 mandates.

In the second legislative period of the Bundestag, forces of the southern German liberal democracy gained influence in the party. With Thomas Dehler, a representative of a more left-liberal course took over the chairmanship of the party and parliamentary group. The former Justice Minister Dehler, who suffered persecution by the National Socialists after 1933, became known for his rhetorical sharpness. In general, the various regional associations were very independent and thus set different accents within liberal politics from country to country. After the FDP left the coalition with the CDU in North Rhine-Westphalia in early 1956 and formed a new state government with the SPD and the center , a total of 16 members of the Bundestag, including the four federal ministers, resigned from the FDP and founded the short-lived Free People's Party , which then up to was involved in the federal government instead of the FDP at the end of the legislative period. This was the first time that the FDP entered the opposition.

The FDP was the only one of the smaller post-war parties to survive despite many problems. In 1957 she still achieved 7.7 percent of the votes and her last direct mandate until 1990 , with which she held 41 of 497 seats in the Bundestag. However, it remained in the opposition because the Union won an absolute majority. In the following, for example, the FDP campaigned for a nuclear weapons-free zone in Central Europe.

Even before the election, Dehler had resigned as party chairman. Reinhold Maier replaced him at the federal party conference in Berlin at the end of January 1957 . Dehler's function as parliamentary group leader was taken over by the very nationally minded Erich Mende after the federal election . In 1960 Mende also became party chairman.

After the Bundestag election in 1961 (in which it achieved its best nationwide result to date with 12.8 percent), the FDP again participated in a coalition with the CDU after difficult negotiations. Although it was decided before the election that under no circumstances would he continue to sit in a government with Adenauer, Adenauer was again chancellor, but on the condition that he resign after two years. These events earned the FDP the nickname of the “fall-over party”.

In the Spiegel affair , the FDP withdrew its ministers from the federal government. The coalition under Adenauer was renewed in 1962, but on condition that it resigned in October 1963. That also happened, Ludwig Erhard became the new chancellor. This was in turn the reason for Erich Mende to enter the cabinet: He took over the rather insignificant Federal Ministry for all-German issues .

In the 1965 Bundestag election , the FDP won 9.5 percent. The coalition with the CDU broke up in 1966 on the subject of tax increases, and a grand coalition between the CDU and the SPD followed. A change of course was also emerging in the opposition: the previous foreign policy and the attitude towards the eastern regions were discussed. In 1968 the delegates elected Walter Scheel , a European-minded liberal, who came from the national liberal camp, but led the new center of the party with Willi Weyer and Hans-Dietrich Genscher, as the new chairman . This center tried to make the FDP capable of forming a coalition with both major parties. In doing so, the liberals moved closer to the SPD in particular through their reorientation in east and Germany policy.

1969–1982: Social changes and crises

Freiburg theses , FDP basic program from 1971
Second FDP President Walter Scheel , 1974
Social structure of the FDP, 1976

After the federal election in 1969 , the period of a social-liberal coalition with the SPD and Federal Chancellor Willy Brandt began on October 21 . It was Walter Scheel who initiated the change in foreign policy. Despite a very narrow majority, he and Willy Brandt pushed through the controversial New Ostpolitik . This policy was quite controversial within the FDP, especially since the entry into the federal government was followed by defeats in the state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia , Lower Saxony and the Saarland on June 14, 1970. In Hanover and Saarbrücken , the party left the state parliament.

After the federal party congress in Bonn had supported the politics of the party leadership just a week later and confirmed Scheel in office, party rights around Siegfried Zoglmann founded a "non-partisan" association called National Liberal Action on July 11, 1970 in the Hohensyburg with the aim of promoting the left-liberal course of End party and overthrow Scheel. However, this did not succeed. In October 1970, Zoglmann supported an opposition petition for disapproval against Finance Minister Alex Möller ; Erich Mende and Heinz Starke did the same. A little later, all three announced their exit from the FDP; Mende and Starke joined the CDU, Zoglmann later founded the German Union , which did not get beyond the status of a splinter party.

The foreign and socio-political turnaround was put on a theoretical basis in 1971 by the Freiburg Theses , which were sold several 100,000 times as Rowohlt's paperback, in which the FDP committed itself to “social liberalism” and social reforms. Walter Scheel was initially Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor , in 1974 he became the second liberal Federal President , thus clearing the way within the party for the previous Interior Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher. From 1969 to 1974 the FDP supported Federal Chancellor Willy Brandt, after which it ruled alongside Helmut Schmidt .

in 1977 another programmatic change took place. The Freiburg theses were replaced by the Kiel theses , which included a departure from social liberal issues. The party turned increasingly to economic liberalism and positioned itself as a corrective to the economic and social policy of the left SPD wing. Already at the end of the 1970s, the agreements between the FDP and SPD no longer seemed to be sufficient for a coalition, but the CDU / CSU candidacy for Chancellor by Franz Josef Strauss in 1980 allowed the two parties to go into the Bundestag election together again. The FDP, however, saw more and more the differences to the SPD, especially in economic policy. Chancellor Schmidt had his own SPD less and less behind him when it came to the question of NATO's double decision . Contradictions within the FDP were also growing.

On September 17, 1982, the coalition broke up: the FDP ministers resigned, thereby anticipating a dismissal by Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and ending the FDP's participation in government. On October 1st, around two weeks later, the FDP parliamentary group took part in a successful constructive vote of no confidence in the Chancellor and then formed a new federal government with the CDU / CSU under Helmut Kohl.

1982–1990: Economic reorientation and reunification

1987 federal election with the FDP top candidate Martin Bangemann

On October 1, 1982, the FDP, together with the CDU / CSU parliamentary group, elected the CDU party chairman Helmut Kohl as the new Federal Chancellor (→  Wende (Federal Republic of Germany) ). The change of coalition resulted in fierce internal disputes, the FDP then lost over 20 percent of its 86,500 members, which was also reflected in the 1983 Bundestag election (fall from 10.6 percent to 7.0 percent). The members mostly defected to the SPD , the Greens and newly founded small parties such as the left-wing liberal party Liberal Democrats (LD) . Among the resigning members was the then FDP General Secretary and later EU Commissioner Günter Verheugen . At the party congress in November 1982, the Schleswig-Holstein state chairman Uwe Ronneburger stood against Hans-Dietrich Genscher as party chairman. Ronneburger received 186 of the votes cast - around 40 percent - and was only barely defeated.

Young FDP members who disagreed with the policies of the then FDP youth organization Young Democrats founded the Young Liberals (JuLis) as early as 1980 . For a while both youth organizations existed side by side until the JuLis prevailed as a result of the fall of the Wall and became the new official youth organization of the FDP. The young democrats separated from the FDP and became an independent left wing youth organization.

During the time of reunification , the FDP pursued the goal of creating a special economic area in the former GDR , but was unable to assert itself against the CDU / CSU, as they wanted to prevent a possible loss of votes in the five new federal states in the 1990 federal election .

During the political upheavals of 1989/1990, new liberal parties emerged in the GDR, such as the GDR's FDP or the German Forum Party . They formed the Bund Free Democrats (BFD) with the LDPD , which had previously worked alongside the SED as a bloc party and, with Manfred Gerlach , was the last chairman of the GDR's Council of State . In the years that followed, there were considerable internal discussions within the FDP about how to deal with the former bloc party. Even before the reunification of Germany, a unification party congress from 11th – 12th August 1990 in Hanover the West German FDP with the parties of the BFD and the former block party NDPD to form the first all-German party. The eastern parties involved had 135,000 members at that time (due to the generally higher level of organization in the GDR), the western FDP only 65,485. In order to prevent a predominance of the East German members, the delegate key was changed and the influence of the votes compared to the membership numbers was increased. However, the massive increase in membership only lasted for a short time, with most of the former bloc party members quickly leaving. The FDP “inherited” assets of 6.3 million DM in cash and real estate from the LDPD and NDPD.

In the first state elections in the new federal states, the FDP performed strongly, especially in Saxony-Anhalt (15.7 percent). Subsequently, with the exception of Saxony, she was involved in government in all of the New States, mostly in CDU-FDP coalitions, in Brandenburg in a "traffic light" with SPD and Alliance 90. In the first all-German federal election , the CDU / CSU-FDP- Coalition confirmed, the FDP got 11.0 percent of the valid votes (79 seats), whereby it performed a little stronger in the new federal states than in the old ones. In Halle (Saale) - Genscher's hometown - the FDP won its first direct mandate since 1957.

1990–2001: Losses at the state level and the beginning of the opposition period at the federal level

After its success in the federal election in 1990, the FDP returned to the state parliament after the state elections in Schleswig-Holstein in 1992 and was represented for the first time in all 16 state parliaments.

In the second half of the nineties in particular, however, the FDP had to struggle with a series of electoral defeats at local and state level, which led to it falling out of twelve of the 16 state parliaments and the European Parliament between 1993 and 1995. She was mockingly called the "lady without a belly". In the period from the election for the Berlin House of Representatives in 1995 to the state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia in 2000 , it was only represented in the state parliaments of Hesse , Rhineland-Palatinate , Baden-Württemberg and Schleswig-Holstein and until 1999 only in the state governments of Rhineland -Westphalia. Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg involved.

This series of electoral defeats culminated in the 1998 Bundestag elections , in which they achieved their second-worst Bundestag election result to date with 6.2 percent of the vote and had to go back to the opposition for the first time after 29 years of permanent government participation. In 1999 the party moved with the relocation of the seat of government from the Thomas Dehler House in Bonn to the Hans Dietrich Genscher House in Berlin .

2001–2009: Opposition period chaired by Guido Westerwelle

In 2000 the FDP managed to return to the North Rhine-Westphalian state parliament. When Guido Westerwelle, who was more than 18 years younger than Wolfgang Gerhardt, was elected party chairman at a federal party conference on May 4, 2001 , a generation change began in the FDP. At the same party congress, it also adopted a new logo and from then on did without the dots between the three letters of the abbreviation that had been used since 1968 - in contrast to other parties.

In the federal election campaign in 2002 , the FDP entered " Project 18 ", an election campaign strategy that was supposed to increase the proportion of voters from 6 to 18 percent. This was essentially developed by Jürgen Möllemann's campaign advisor Fritz Goergen . Part of this strategy was that the party nominated Guido Westerwelle, its own candidate for chancellor, for the first time. She wanted to emphasize her independence alongside the two major people 's parties and counter the widespread perception as a mere majority procurer for other parties. She also wanted to appeal to younger voters with an unconventional, pop-cultural election campaign. Westerwelle drove through the country in a blue and yellow painted mobile home called “Guidomobil”, wore shoes with the number 18 under his soles and appeared as a guest on the controversial TV show Big Brother . The FDP was perceived as a “ fun party ”. In opinion polls before the elections, the FDP achieved 10 to 13 percent.

At the same time, the North Rhine-Westphalian state chairman Jürgen Möllemann served right-wing populist tendencies during this time by taking positions critical of Israel in the Middle East conflict , including the state parliament member Jamal Karsli , who had left the Greens because of vehemently anti-Israeli and anti-Zionist statements, into the FDP parliamentary group Verbal attack on the Central Council of Jews in Germany . Critics, including from his own party, accused Möllemann of appealing to latent anti-Semitism. A few days before the federal election, Möllemann had a leaflet with a print run of over eight million printed and distributed to all households in North Rhine-Westphalia, the text of which once again attacked Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Vice-Head of the Central Council of Jews Michel Friedman . The "grande dame" and former presidential candidate of the Free Democrats Hildegard Hamm-Brücher then left her party after more than fifty years of membership, because she found the demarcation of party chairman Westerwelle from Möllemann's attempts to be inadequate.

With a first vote result of 5.8 percent and 7.4 percent for the second votes, the FDP improved its election results compared to the previous federal elections, but it clearly missed its officially declared target of 18 percent of the votes, which among other things is attributed to the "Möllemann affair" has been. In the Bundestag it was the fourth strongest force and was contrary to all expectations behind the Greens. Möllemann himself lost more and more support in the FDP and, with his resignation in March 2003, preceded an exclusion from the party decided by the party executive.

In the European elections in Germany in 2004 , the FDP achieved its best ever European election result with 6.1 percent and moved back into the European Parliament with the top candidate Silvana Koch-Mehrin after ten years of abstinence . It provided seven members of the ALDE group, the third largest force in the European Parliament. Koch-Mehrin took over the chairmanship of the FDP delegation and also the deputy chairmanship of the ALDE parliamentary group.

In the early federal election on September 18, 2005 , the FDP received 9.8 percent of the second vote, making it the third strongest force in the German Bundestag for the first time since 1990. The FDP was the largest opposition faction during the legislative period after it had ruled out a mathematically possible traffic light coalition with the SPD and the Greens and exploratory talks with the Union and the Greens on a Jamaica coalition had failed. The party chairman Westerwelle took over the office of parliamentary group chairman from Wolfgang Gerhardt and became opposition leader .

In the 2009 European elections , the FDP was able to almost double its result from 2004 and, with its top candidate for the European elections, Silvana Koch-Mehrin, had 12 members of the European Parliament. As a result, Koch-Mehrin became one of a total of 14 Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament .

In the 2009 Bundestag election , the FDP once again achieved its best result to date in Bundestag elections with Guido Westerwelle as the top candidate with 14.6 percent and won 93 out of 622 seats in the German Bundestag. After the state elections in 2009 , the FDP was also represented in all state parliaments with the exception of the Hamburg Parliament and was involved in eight state governments, namely in Baden-Württemberg ( Oettinger II cabinet ), Bavaria ( Seehofer I cabinet ), Hesse ( Koch III cabinet ), and Lower Saxony ( Cabinet Wulff II ), North Rhine-Westphalia ( Cabinet Rüttgers ), Saxony ( Cabinet Tillich II ), Schleswig-Holstein ( Cabinet Carstensen II ) and in Saarland ( Cabinet Müller III ).

2009–2013: Black-yellow coalition in the federal government and losses in the states

Countries in which the FDP in October 2011 in the country's Parliament was
  • as a member of the state government
  • as an opposition party
  • Coalition negotiations with the CDU and the CSU led to the conclusion of a coalition agreement on October 26, 2009 . After the re-election of Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel on October 28, 2009, the Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle , Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger , the first FDP Health Minister Philipp Rösler , Economic Minister Rainer Brüderle and Development Minister Dirk Niebel became five FDP Federal Ministers Merkel II cabinet sworn in. The FDP was represented in the federal cabinet with a higher percentage than ever before.

    A few months after the 2009 federal election , the party lost a lot of support. Approval dropped from a record high in September 2009 from almost 15% to 5% in June 2010. Before the CDU took over government in 2009, many believed that a black-yellow coalition would go well together, but after the coalition agreement negotiated in record time, various The wings of the CDU, CSU and FDP soon discussed many topics controversially, for example tax cuts, the future of nuclear energy , health premiums for health insurance, Turkey's accession to the EU and unemployment benefit II . In addition, the reputation of the party suffered during this time from donations with incorrectly declared origin and the lowering of the sales tax rate for hotel accommodation , which was publicly interpreted as a clientele policy for the Mövenpick hotel group .

    In the only state elections in 2010, which took place in North Rhine-Westphalia , the FDP remained stable, but due to the high losses suffered by the CDU, the black-yellow coalition in the state lost its majority and both parties joined the opposition. After the general election in Hamburg on February 20, 2011 , the FDP was again represented in all 16 state parliaments. Just one month later, after the state elections in Saxony-Anhalt , this nationwide representation in the state parliaments ended again. However, at that time the party was still involved in seven state governments.

    After the FDP was no longer able to move into the state parliament in the state elections in Rhineland-Palatinate in March 2011 and was ousted into the opposition by a green-red majority in the state elections in Baden-Württemberg in 2011 , Guido Westerwelle gave before the federal party conference on 13th to 15th May 2011 known not to run for federal party chairmanship. Philipp Rösler was elected Westerwelle's successor at this party congress. In the course of a cabinet reshuffle on May 12, 2011, Rösler had already taken over the office of Federal Minister for Economics and Technology and from Guido Westerwelle the function of Vice Chancellor , while Daniel Bahr succeeded him as Federal Minister of Health. The previous Federal Minister of Economics, Rainer Brüderle, was elected chairman of the FDP parliamentary group on the same day.

    In May 2011, Silvana Koch-Mehrin resigned from her position as Vice President of the EU Parliament, as did all party offices, because of a plagiarism affair surrounding her doctoral thesis. However, Koch-Mehrin held her mandate as a member of the European Parliament until the end of the 2014 electoral term. Alexander Graf Lambsdorff became the new chairman of the FDP delegation in the EU Parliament . Also in May 2011, the FDP failed in the state election in Bremen 2011 with 2.4% of the vote at the five percent hurdle .

    In September 2011, the FDP lost a lot of votes in the state elections in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in 2011 and failed to make it into parliament with 2.7 percent of the votes. In the same month the election for the Berlin House of Representatives took place, in which the FDP clearly missed re-entry with only 1.8 percent of the vote.

    On January 6, 2012, Prime Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer terminated the coalition of CDU, FDP and Alliance 90 / The Greens that had existed in Saarland since 2009 before the end of the legislative period. In Kramp-Karrenbauer's statement it was said that the "disagreements that have been going on for months within the FDP Saar " were decisive for the termination.

    In the subsequent election of the Saarland state parliament, the FDP only received 1.2 percent of the votes, so that it was also eliminated from it. This was the FDP's worst result in a West German state since it was founded. In May 2012, however, the FDP was able to achieve unexpectedly strong results in the early state elections in Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia with 8.2 and 8.6 percent respectively, thus securing its representation there for another five years. However, in both countries an SPD-led government took over the official business and the FDP went into the opposition. In the state elections in Lower Saxony in 2013 , the FDP was able to gain 1.7 percentage points to 9.9 percent, which was attributed to Federal Chairman Philipp Rösler as a success in his home state. At the same time, the black-yellow coalition lost the majority in the state parliament to a red-green coalition, so that the FDP left the state government after ten years.

    2013–2014: Resignation from the Bundestag and several state parliaments

    In the state election in Bavaria in 2013 , one week before the federal election , the FDP missed the 5 percent hurdle , thereby losing its parliamentary representation and subsequently also leaving the Bavarian state government. A week later, the Bundestag and the Hessian Landtag were elected. While the FDP barely overcame the threshold clause in Hesse with 5.0 percent, it failed for the first time in federal elections in the federal government with 4.8 percent and left parliament. In Hesse, the black-yellow coalition that had existed until then could not be continued. After that, the FDP was represented in nine state parliaments and only in Saxony in the government.

    As a result of leaving the Bundestag, the FDP party executive resigned. An extraordinary party congress was then called between December 6 and 8, 2013, at which a new presidium was elected and the causes of the election defeat were analyzed. Christian Lindner was elected as the new party chairman . He called on the members to rebuild the party from now on "from the bottom up". He also criticized the "second vote campaign" and warned against turning away from the previous European policy.

    The FDP parliamentary group chairman conference , the union of the chairmen of the liberal parliamentary groups in the federal states and the group in the European Parliament, adopted in its Stuttgart declaration on October 2, 2013 in an effort to contrast a state-oriented policy with the model of a modern social market economy and an active civil society the tasks of the parliamentary group in rebuilding the party.

    At the European Party Congress on January 19, 2014 in Bonn, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff was chosen as the top candidate for the 2014 European elections. The FDP suffered significant losses of 7.6 percentage points and achieved its second worst result in a European election with 3.4 percent, but sent three members to the European Parliament due to the elimination of the threshold clause .

    In the state elections in Saxony , Thuringia and Brandenburg in 2014, the FDP was unable to overcome the five percent hurdle in any of the states and was therefore only represented in six state parliaments in October 2014. With the formation of the government in Saxony, the last government participation of the FDP at state level ended in November 2014. For the first time in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany, the FDP was not involved in any state government, which meant that it could no longer exert any influence on federal politics via the Bundesrat .

    This situation could only be ended on May 18, 2016, when the FDP in Rhineland-Palatinate returned to the state parliament there as a result of the state elections in March 2016 and formed a joint state government together with the SPD and Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen .

    The party researcher Oskar Niedermayer saw the FDP after it missed re-entry into the Bundestag in an "existential crisis", because the party is finding it difficult to be recognized in federal politics. According to Federal Treasurer Hermann Otto Solms , the party's expenses had to be reduced by around 40 percent because it was elected from several parliaments and therefore received lower grants from state party funding.

    Initiated by mostly former politicians of the Hamburg FDP , the New Liberals party was founded in September 2014 , which wanted to oust the FDP as a left-wing liberal alternative. At the first election in the Hamburg state elections in February 2015 , the new party remained a small party with 0.5 percent of the vote .

    Since 2015: Gains at the state level and re-entry into the Bundestag

    Countries in which the FDP is represented in the state parliament (as of May 2020).
  • as a member of the state government
  • as an opposition party
  • In the state election in Hamburg on February 15, 2015, the FDP succeeded in moving into the state with 7.4 percent of the votes , with the top candidate Katja Suding, and thus surpassing its previous result by 0.7 percent.

    Also in the general election in Bremen on May 10, 2015, the FDP managed to achieve the best result in 20 years with its top candidate Lencke Steiner with 6.6 percent and to be represented again in the parliament. Compared to the previous election, the FDP gained 4.4 percentage points and was thus represented in seven state parliaments.

    In the state elections in Baden-Württemberg , Saxony-Anhalt and Rhineland-Palatinate on March 13, 2016, it improved in all three state elections. In Baden-Württemberg it moved into the state parliament again with 8.3 percent of the vote and received 6.2 percent of the vote in Rhineland-Palatinate. In Saxony-Anhalt, it just missed re-entry with 4.9 percent.

    Since the red-green coalition in Rhineland-Palatinate lost its majority, the formation of a traffic light coalition was successfully negotiated. On May 9, 2016, the state party conference of the FDP Rhineland-Palatinate approved the coalition agreement with the SPD and the Greens with 82 percent of the vote. Since May 18, 2016, the FDP has been involved in a state government for the first time since October 2014 and is the Deputy Prime Minister, Volker Wissing . Although the FDP failed to make it into the state parliament of Schwerin on September 4, 2016 in the state elections in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania with 3.0 percent, it was also able to gain here in terms of percentage and absolute figures. In the House of Representatives elections in Berlin on September 18, 2016, the FDP moved back into the House of Representatives with 6.7 percent.

    In the state elections in Saarland in 2017 , the FDP missed out on re-entry into the state parliament with 3.3 percent of the votes, but was able to record significant gains both in terms of percentage and votes. The latter also applied to the state elections in Schleswig-Holstein in 2017 , where the party achieved a double-digit election result for the first time and almost immediately forms the fourth-strongest force in the state parliament with the Greens and is part of the Jamaica coalition there . Her performance was even better shortly afterwards in the state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia in 2017 : With 12.6 percent, she was not only elected by far the third strongest power in the state parliament, but also got her best result in the history of the state and is now Part of the state government of the most populous federal state .

    In the 2017 federal election , the FDP succeeded in re-entering the Bundestag with a second vote of 10.7 percent after a four-year absence. The party then entered into exploratory talks with the Union parties (CDU / CSU) and Alliance 90 / The Greens . After four weeks of negotiations, the FDP dropped out of the talks because, according to party leader Lindner, it had neither succeeded in developing a “common idea of ​​modernizing the country” nor a “common basis of trust”. As a result, the grand coalition under Chancellor Angela Merkel was re-launched . In the state elections in Lower Saxony in 2017 , the FDP had to record percentage losses in one election for the first time since 2015.

    In the state elections in 2018 and 2019, the FDP managed to (re-) move into Bavaria, Hesse, Bremen and Thuringia, but missed it in Saxony and Brandenburg.

    In addition, the FDP is currently represented in the European Parliament and in eleven state parliaments and is involved in the respective state government in three federal states.

    From February 5, 2020, the FDP provided Thomas Kemmerich, the Prime Minister of Thuringia. The election triggered a nationwide echo, as it was also made with the votes of the AfD and triggered the government crisis in Thuringia in 2020 . Also under the impression of Kemmerich's highly controversial election based on AfD support, the FDP failed in the 2020 Hamburg state election with 4.96 percent of the five percent hurdle and missed re-entry into the state parliament for the first time since the Hamburg state election in 2008 .

    Logo history

    Program history

    • The Liberals: Founding Program of the German Progressive Party (June 9, 1861)
    • Founding Program of the National Liberal Party (June 12, 1867)
    • Program of the German Progressive Party (November 25, 1878)
    • Liberal Association : Declaration by the Liberal Secessionists (August 30, 1880)
    • Founding Program of the German Liberal Party (March 5, 1884)
    • Liberal Association Party Program (May 6, 1893)
    • Progressive People's Party Program (March 6, 1910)
    • Party program of the German People's Party (December 15, 1918–1933)
    • Program of the German Democratic Party (November 20, 1918–1933)
    • Program of the Radical Democratic Party (November 20, 1918–1933)
    • Appeal to found the Liberal Democratic Party of Germany (LDPD, 1945)
      • Syker Programmatic Guidelines of the FDP in the British Zone of Occupation (1946)
      • Economic program of the FDP in the British zone of occupation ("Wangerooger Program", 1948)
    • Heppenheim proclamation of the FDP (1948)
      • Party program (LDPD, 1949)
      • Bremen Platform (1949)
      • Agreements and Ostpolitik ("Pfleiderer Plan", 1952)
    • Berlin Program (1957)
      • Memorandum on the German Question ("Schollwer Paper", 1962)
      • Redesign of old-age provision ("Mischnick Plan", 1963)
      • Germany and foreign policy ("Schollwer Paper", 1967)
      • Action program ("Goals of Progress", 1967)
    • Freiburg Theses on Social Policy of the FDP (1971)
      • Stuttgart guidelines for a liberal education policy (1972)
      • Thesis paper ("Free Church in the Free State", 1974)
    • Kiel theses of the FDP (1977)
      • Equality Program (1978)
      • Genscher's letter (1981)
      • Thesis paper "Concept for a policy to overcome weak growth" ("Lambsdorff paper", 1982)
    • The liberal manifesto ("freedom for the future. Liberal manifesto for a society in upheaval", 1985)
      • Liberal Action Program Europe (1987)
      • Thesis paper "Courage instead of discontent - for a liberal Germany" ("Lambsdorff paper", 1992)
      • Liberal Local Policy Guidelines (1993)
    • The program of the liberal parties in the final phase of the GDR:
    • Wiesbaden principles . For the liberal civil society "(1997)
    • Karlsruhe theses of freedom ("Responsibility for freedom. Karlsruhe theses of freedom of the FDP for an open civil society.", 2012)
      • Citizens Program (2013)
      • Stuttgart Declaration (2013)
      • Berlin Manifesto "More Chances through More Freedom: Projects for a Republic of Chances" (2015)

    organization structure

    Membership development of the FDP since 1969

    The Free Democratic Party has the legal form of a registered association. It is divided into 16 regional associations and at the beginning of October 2017 had a total of around 63,000 members. The FDP North Rhine-Westphalia alone has around 16,000 members. The party had its highest membership in 1981 with around 87,000 and in 1990 (due to German reunification ) with around 180,000 members.

    The FDP is a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) and the Liberal International . In the European Parliament , she belongs to the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), in which she is represented by three MEPs. With a total of 67 seats, the ALDE parliamentary group provides 8.92 percent of the MEPs (as of September 2014).

    Federal Executive

    The FDP federal executive heads the federal party. It decides on all organizational and political questions in accordance with the resolutions of the federal party congress and the congress of the ALDE party .

    Regional associations

    The following list gives the data for the individual regional associations.

    In Saarland, the FDP regional association has the addition of the Saar Democratic Party (FDP / DPS). In Baden-Wuerttemberg, the parliamentary group of the FDP carries the addition of the Democratic People's Party (FDP / DVP) from a tradition spanning more than 70 years . There are no district associations in Berlin; instead, regional party work is carried out by the district associations.

    The members of the Internet regional association FDP LV Net are currently still listed as direct members of the federal government, since they have not yet been formally anchored as the 17th regional association. Outside of Germany, there are local chapters in Barcelona, ​​Brussels, London, Moscow, Paris, Vienna and Zurich with a total of 465 members who are grouped together in the FDP's Europe group.

    Regional association Chairman

    (As of November 30, 2019)


    (As of December 31, 2018)

    Result of the last election of the
    state parliament
    Result of the
    2017 federal election
    Baden-Württemberg Baden-Württemberg
    Michael Theurer
    Michael Theurer 7,529 08.3% ( 2016 ) 12.7%
    Germany location of Bayern.svg Bavaria
    Daniel Foest
    Daniel Foest 6,534 05.1% ( 2018 ) 10.2%
    Berlin Berlin
    Christoph Meyer
    Christoph Meyer 3,318 06.7% ( 2016 ) 08.9%
    Brandenburg Brandenburg
    Linda Teuteberg
    Linda Teuteberg 1,273 04.1% ( 2019 ) 07.1%
    Bremen Bremen
    Hauke ​​Hilz
    Hauke ​​Hilz 386 05.9% ( 2019 ) 09.3%
    Hamburg Hamburg
    Katja Suding
    Katja Suding 1,497 04.9% ( 2020 ) 10.8%
    Hesse Hesse
    Stefan Ruppert
    Stefan Ruppert 6.322 07.5% ( 2018 ) 11.6%
    Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
    René Domke
    René Domke 685 03.0% ( 2016 ) 06.2%
    Lower Saxony Lower Saxony
    Stefan Birkner
    Stefan Birkner 5,957 07.5% ( 2017 ) 09.3%
    North Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia
    Joachim Stamp
    Joachim Stamp 17,286 12.6% ( 2017 ) 13.1%
    Rhineland-Palatinate Rhineland-Palatinate
    Volker Wissing-2617.jpg
    Volker Wissing 4,411 06.2% ( 2016 ) 10.4%
    Saarland Saarland
    Oliver Luksic
    Oliver Luksic 1,000 03.3% ( 2017 ) 07.6%
    Saxony Saxony
    Frank Müller-Rosentritt
    Frank Müller-Rosentritt 2,064 04.5% ( 2019 ) 08.2%
    Saxony-Anhalt Saxony-Anhalt
    Frank Sitta
    Frank Sitta 1,266 04.9% ( 2016 ) 07.8%
    Schleswig-Holstein Schleswig-Holstein
    Heiner Garg
    Heiner Garg 2,652 11.5% ( 2017 ) 12.6%
    Thuringia Thuringia
    2017-06-13 Thomas Kemmerich by Olaf Kosinsky-11.jpg
    Thomas Kemmerich 1,258 05.0% ( 2019 ) 07.8%

    Apron organizations of the FDP

    Logo of the JuLis

    The following nationwide apron organizations are recognized by the FDP :

    Party headquarters

    Dehler House in Bonn's federal district , former FDP party headquarters.

    The first party headquarters of the FDP was initially located in June 1950 at Moltkestrasse 5 in the Bonn district of Bad Godesberg . In November 1956 the company moved to the building of a former mental hospital at Bonn Talweg 57 in the southern part of the city . Since April 1976 the federal office of the FDP was located in a property at Baunscheidtstrasse 15 near the railway line on the left bank of the Rhine , which was rented by the SPD . In June 1993, after a year and a half of construction, they moved to the newly built Thomas-Dehler-Haus at Willy-Brandt-Allee 20 in the federal district, about 500 meters to the north . Since July 1999 the federal office of the FDP has been in the Hans-Dietrich-Genscher-Haus (until March 2017: Thomas-Dehler-Haus ) in Reinhardtstrasse 14 in Berlin-Mitte .

    Party newspaper

    The party newspaper of the FDP has been called fdplus since the 3rd edition in 2016 . Previously it was called elde ( L iberale D epesche, pronunciation of the letters LD). It appeared five times in 2012. Since 2013, the elde has also been available in the AppStore and on Google Play and as an ISSUU application.

    Archive of the FDP

    The archives of all organs and committees of the FDP (especially at federal and state level), many liberal support organizations and numerous liberal personalities (including Thomas Dehler, Wolfgang Mischnick, Hans-Dietrich Genscher) are in the archive of liberalism of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for freedom in Gummersbach .


    Dahrendorf district

    The Dahrendorf Circle , which was initiated at the end of 2010 and named after the sociologist Ralf Dahrendorf , represents left-liberal positions and advocates a thematic expansion of the FDP and communication of a broad range of topics beyond economically liberal issues. His supporters include the former members of the European Parliament Nadja Hirsch and Alexander Alvaro as well as the former members of the Bundestag Miriam Gruß and Sebastian Körber .

    Freiburg Circle

    The Freiburg district occurs in the tradition of Freiburg Theses for a holistic one liberalism. Well-known members are Gerhart Baum , Burkhard Hirsch , Carola von Braun and Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger .

    Schaumburg Circle

    The Schaumburger Kreis represents liberal-conservative economic interests in the FDP. Well-known members are Detlef Kleinert , Rainer Brüderle , Hermann Otto Solms , Patrick Döring , Martin Lindner and Stefan Ruppert .

    Liberal departure

    The Liberal Awakening described itself as a representative of classical liberal approaches. He advocated adherence to liberal regulatory policy and sees this violated in current government action. Supporters included the Bundestag member Frank Schäffler , the former MEP Holger Krahmer and Carlos Gebauer . The Liberal Exhaustion is now inactive.

    Libertarian platform

    The libertarian platform represents libertarianism and is mainly based on the Austrian school . Their representatives are calling for a strict minimal state that is limited to the judiciary, police and military. There are also isolated anarcho-capitalists in the tradition of Hans-Hermann Hoppe . The wing is not particularly active.

    Liberal Offensive and National Liberals

    The FDP had a strong national liberal character until the late 1960s . In later times there were repeated efforts to revive this tendency in the party. In 1995 the Liberal Offensive was formed around Alexander von Stahl , Achim Rohde , Rainer Zitelmann , Klaus Rainer Röhl and Heiner Kappel . A part of the supporters of this group joined the union of free citizens in 1998 . The short-lived Stresemann Club had existed as a national liberal network within the FDP since 2009 under the leadership of Sven Tritschler . In the course of the rise of the AfD , many right-wing liberals have changed parties. The wing was therefore temporarily less active, represented by a few National Liberals who remained in the FDP, such as the aforementioned Rohde and Zitelmann, Holger Zastrow and Thomas Kemmerich . In the election of Thomas Kemmerich as Prime Minister in Thuringia on February 5, 2020 and the subsequent government crisis, some observers saw a resurgence of the right-wing and national-liberal currents in the FDP.


    Company holdings and land

    The party's house and real estate is valued at 2.8 million euros. The FDP holds company shares worth around four million euros.

    The FDP holds shares in the following companies:

    • Reinhardtstraßenhöfe GmbH & Co. KG in Bonn to 33.33 percent with equity of (−25,400,000) euros
    • Reinhardtstraßenhöfe Verwaltungs GmbH in Siegburg, in which the FDP holds 33 percent
    • Universum Verlag GmbH, 50 percent
    • Universum Kommunikation und Medien AG, 50 percent
    • liberal Verlag GmbH Berlin, 50 percent
    • Naatz + Partner Product Service GmbH Idstein, 13 percent.

    The FDP fully owns:

    • LIBERAL Vermögensverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH in Bonn
    • Liberale Wirtschafts-Dienstleistungs GmbH, Düsseldorf
    • Lower Saxony GmbH, Hanover
    • Universum GmbH, Wiesbaden
    • ProLogo Society for Event Organization mbH, Bonn.

    Cash flows and net worth

    In 2012, the FDP had an income of 34,092,303.45 euros, of which almost 6 million euros were obtained through donations, around 14 million euros through state funds, around 9.7 million euros through membership fees and mandate holder contributions. 4.8 percent of the party’s revenue comes from companies and other legal entities .

    Corporate donations for the FDP of 10,000 € in 2012
    Association of Bayer. Metal u. Electrical industry € 80,000
    BMW AG € 69,081
    Association of the Textile and Clothing Industry NRW € 65,000
    Association metal u. Elektroindustrie BaWü € 50,000
    Daimler AG € 45,000
    Association metal u. Electrical industry NRW € 30,000
    alliance € 30,000
    Airbus Group € 30,000
    Association of Private health insurance e. V. € 27,850
    German Chemical Industry Association e. V. € 24,500
    BBM mining € 22,500
    Trump machine tools € 20,000
    Rheinmetall AG € 17,000
    Ergo € 15,000
    Munich reinsurance € 15,000
    inpunkto GmbH € 15,000
    Märk. Employers' association € 15,000
    Philip Morris € 12,000
    Bahlsen AG € 12,000
    Schaeffler Holding € 11,500
    Dr. Oetker € 11,000

    In 2012, the FDP received donations of 5,864,210 euros (donations from natural persons : 4,228,142 euros / donations from legal entities: 1,636,068 euros).

    The liabilities of 26.5 million euros are offset by receivables of 37.2 million euros, so that the entire party has a net worth of 10,796,978.30 euros. Overall, the FDP was able to post a surplus of 5,335,518.21 euros in 2012, after a deficit of 414,614.25 euros in 2011.

    Party donations in 2013 from 50,000 euros
    Donation amount Donor Date of receipt
    069,081.24 euros BMW AG 19th February 2013
    060,000 euros Association of the metal and electrical industry in North Rhine-Westphalia June 27, 2013
    064,000 euros Association of the Chemical Industry (VCI) August 6, 2013
    070,000 euros Susanne Klatten October 9, 2013
    070,000 euros Johanna Quandt October 9, 2013
    070,000 euros Stefan Quandt October 9, 2013
    150,000 euros Association of the Bavarian Metal and Electrical Industry (VBM) October 16, 2013
    200,000 euros R & W Industriebeteiligungen, Cologne (Walter Wübben) 17th December 2013
    080,000 euros Südwestmetall - Association of the Metal and Electrical Industry Baden-Württemberg 20th December 2013
    Donation amount Donor Date of receipt
    040,000 euros Daimler AG April 2014
    200,000 euros R & W Industriebeteiligungen, Cologne (Walter Wübben) November 16, 2014
    080,000 euros Südwestmetall - Association of the Metal and Electrical Industry Baden-Württemberg December 18, 2014

    Donation from Substantia AG

    In 2008 and 2009, the FDP received four donations from Substantia AG totaling 1.1 million euros, which it reported to the Bundestag administration within one week in accordance with the regulations on party financing. Substantia AG belongs to the Finck family, who are also majority owners of the Mövenpick Group, which operates nine hotels in Germany. The mentioned donations were criticized from various sides, which showed a connection between the payments and the lowering of the sales tax for the company at the beginning of 2010 at the instigation of the FDP and CSU - which had also received two larger donations from Substantia AG in the run-up to the Bavarian state election in 2008 Accommodation industry by the so-called Growth Acceleration Act - also called "Mövenpick Act" in the press - suspected. As a result, the FDP was sometimes mockingly referred to as the “Mövenpick Party”. The FDP itself resisted this designation on the grounds that in the past many tourism politicians from all parties represented in the Bundestag had called for a corresponding tax cut.

    Donations under Möllemann

    At the beginning of July 2009, the President of the German Bundestag issued a sanction notice to the FDP, according to which the FDP had to pay a total of 4,336,648.79 euros to the Bundestag. According to the President of the Bundestag, in a procedure lasting several years it was established that the former North Rhine-Westphalian state chairman Jürgen Möllemann had violated Section 31c of the Political Parties Act by concealing the origin of donations amounting to around 785,000 euros through denominations and false information about the donor names be. The true origin of the donations could not be clarified. Further donations worth more than half a million euros in the form of election campaigns such as poster and advertising campaigns were not properly published in the party's statement of accounts in violation of Section 31b of the Political Parties Act. The FDP raised an objection to the sanction notice. It does not assess the events as violations of the party law. In addition, she sees herself treated more strictly than other parties. In December 2009, the Berlin Administrative Court dismissed the action against the Bundestag's penalty notice and sentenced the party to pay a fine of EUR 3.46 million; the Higher Administrative Court upheld this decision in November 2011. At the end of April 2013, the Federal Administrative Court set the due date for at least two million euros. For the remainder (approx. 1.4 million euros), the matter was referred back to the Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Administrative Court in the absence of sufficient factual findings.

    Attitude to donation transparency

    In the 17th electoral period of the German Bundestag , the FDP, together with the CDU / CSU, rejected the proposals of the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) of December 2009 for more transparency in party donations in Germany.

    Large donations in 2017

    From January to July 2017, the FDP received a total of 13 large donations (each over € 50,000) with a total value of € 1,561,412.00. This proportion of donations alone corresponds to a little more than 11.6% of the election campaign costs reported by the FDP for 2013.

    Subsidiary organizations

    In 2010, the Young Liberals received public grants totaling 483,515.11 euros. In 2007, the federal and state foundations of the FDP received a total of around 25 million euros.

    Elections and mandates

    Federal election results since 1949

    FDP results of the federal elections (1949 to 2013)
    FDP results in the constituencies in 2009
    Bundestag election results
    year Number of votes Share of votes +/- Seats Top candidate
    1949 2,829,920 11.9%    11.9%
    Theodor Heuss and Franz Blücher
    1953 2,629,163 9.5%   2.4%
    1957 2,307,135 7.7%   1.8%
    Reinhold Maier
    1961 4,028,766 12.8%   5.1%
    Erich Mende
    1965 3,096,739 9.5%   3.3%
    Erich Mende
    1969 1,903,422 5.8%   3.7%
    Walter Scheel
    1972 3,129,982 8.4%   2.6%
    Walter Scheel
    1976 2,995,085 7.9%   0.5%
    Hans-Dietrich Genscher
    1980 4,030,999 10.6%   2.7%
    Hans-Dietrich Genscher
    1983 2,706,942 7.0%   3.6%
    Hans-Dietrich Genscher
    1987 3,440,911 9.1%   2.1%
    Martin Bangemann
    1990 5,123,233 11.0%   1.9%
    Hans-Dietrich Genscher
    1994 3,258,407 6.9%   4.1%
    Klaus Kinkel
    1998 3,080,955 6.2%   0.7%
    Klaus Kinkel
    2002 3,538,815 7.4%   1.2%
    Guido Westerwelle 1
    2005 4,648,144 9.8%   2.4%
    Guido Westerwelle
    2009 6,316,080 14.6%   4.8%
    Guido Westerwelle
    2013 2,083,533 4.8%   9.8%
    Rainer Brüderle
    2017 4,997,178 10.7%   5.9%
    Christian Lindner

    1 top candidate also candidate for chancellor

    European election results since 1979

    European election results
    year Number of votes Share of votes +/- Seats Top candidate
    1979 1,662,621 6.0%    6.0%
    Martin Bangemann
    1984 1,192,624 4.8%   1.2%
    Martin Bangemann
    1989 1,576,715 5.6%   0.8%
    Rüdiger von Wechmar
    1994 1,442,857 4.1%   1.5%
    Uta cube
    1999 820.371 3.0%   1.5%
    Helmut Haussmann
    2004 1,565,431 6.1%   3.1%
    Silvana Koch-Mehrin
    2009 2,888,084 11.0%   4.9%
    Silvana Koch-Mehrin
    2014 986.841 3.4%   7.6%
    Alexander Count Lambsdorff
    2019 2,028,353 5.4%   2.0%
    Nicola Beer

    State election results since 1990

    State election results in percent
    (Bundestag election results and European election results for comparison)















    European UnionEuropean Union 
    1990 5.2 7.1 6.6 5.5 6.0 5.8 5.6 5.3 13.5 9.3 11.0
    1991 9.5 5.4 7.4 6.9
    1992 5.9 5.6
    1993 4.2
    1994 2.8 2.2 3.8 4.4 2.1 1.7 3.6 3.2 6.9 4.1
    1995 2.5 3.4 7.4 4.0
    1996 9.6 8.9 5.7
    1997 3.5
    1998 1.7 1.6 4.9 4.2 6.2
    1999 2.2 1.9 2.5 5.1 2.6 1.1 1.1 3.0
    2000 9.8 7.6
    2001 8.1 9.9 5.1 7.8
    2002 4.7 13.3 7.4
    2003 2.6 4.2 7.9 8.1
    2004 3.3 2.8 5.2 5.9 3.6 6.1
    2005 6.2 6.6 9.8
    2006 10.7 7.6 9.6 8.0 6.7
    2007 6.0
    2008 8.0 4.8 9.4 8.2
    2009 7.2 16.2 9.2 10.0 14.9 7.6 14.6 11.0
    2010 6.7
    2011 5.3 1.8 2.4 6.7 2.8 4.2 3.8
    2012 8.6 1.2 8.2
    2013 3.3 5.0 9.9 4.8
    2014 1.5 3.8 2.5 3.4 1
    2015 6.6 7.4
    2016 8.3 6.7 3.0 6.2 4.9
    2017 7.5 12.6 3.3 11.5 10.7
    2018 5.1 7.5
    2019 4.1 5.9 4.5 5.0 3 5.4
    2020 5.0 2

    1 Election without threshold
    2 No parliamentary group represented, but entry through a direct mandate
    3 Temporarily represented in the government by Thomas Kemmerich

    Represented in parliament
    Represented in government
    bold : best result in this state or in the federal government since 1949
    Italic : worst result in this state or in the federal government since 1949

    Elected officials

    state Election result year Member of the state parliament of which female municipal mandates Member of the Bundestag
    Baden-Württemberg 08.3% 2016 12 1 370 12
    Bavaria 05.1% 2018 11 1 296 12
    Berlin 06.7% 2016 12 2 33 3
    Brandenburg 04.1% 2019 0 0 44 2
    Bremen 05.9% 2019 5 2 20th 0
    Hamburg 05.0% 2020 1 1 9 2
    Hesse 07.5% 2018 11 2 76 6th
    Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania 03.0% 2016 0 0 18th 2
    Lower Saxony 07.5% 2017 11 3 577 7th
    North Rhine-Westphalia 12.6% 2017 28 6th 850 20th
    Rhineland-Palatinate 06.2% 2016 7th 3 228 4th
    Saarland 03.3% 2017 0 0 58 1
    Saxony 04.5% 2019 0 0 340 3
    Saxony-Anhalt 04.9% 2016 0 0 171 2
    Schleswig-Holstein 11.5% 2017 9 2 38 1 3
    Thuringia 0 5.0% 2019 5 2 194 2
    total 117 24 3320 80

    1 only district councils and urban districts

    As of December 26, 2016


    Christian Lindner Philipp Rösler Guido Westerwelle Wolfgang Gerhardt Klaus Kinkel Otto Graf Lambsdorff Martin Bangemann Hans-Dietrich Genscher Walter Scheel Erich Mende Reinhold Maier Thomas Dehler Franz Blücher Theodor Heuss

    Federal Chairperson

    General Secretaries

    Group leader in the German Bundestag

    Christian Lindner has been chairman of the parliamentary group since the FDP moved back into the Bundestag . Wolfgang Mischnick had the longest term of office from 1968 to 1991 with 8,393 days .

    Vice President of the German Bundestag

    Federal President

    Theodor Heuss held the office of President from September 12, 1949 to September 12, 1959 and was also the first Federal President. Walter Scheel was Federal President from July 1, 1974 to June 30, 1979. During the presidency his membership in the FDP was suspended.

    Deputy Federal Chancellor

    The following FDP members were deputies of the Federal Chancellor .

    1 Blücher resigned from the FDP in February 1956.
    2From May 7, 1974 to May 16, 1974, Scheel took over the executive duties of the Federal Chancellor. ( Willy Brandt resigned on the occasion of the Guillaume affair .)

    Prime Minister

    3Maier was then a DVP politician from September 24, 1945 to April 25, 1952 as Prime Minister of the then state of Württemberg-Baden . In 1952, the DVP became the FDP state association in the new federal state of Baden-Württemberg as FDP / DVP, and Maier was again prime minister or first prime minister of the state of Baden-Württemberg from April 25, 1952 to October 7, 1953 .
    4thKemmerich was elected Prime Minister of the Free State of Thuringia on February 5, 2020 with the votes of the AfD , CDU and FDP and triggered the government crisis there . He resigned as Prime Minister on February 8, 2020 and then remained in office until Bodo Ramelow ( Die Linke ) was re-elected Prime Minister on March 4, 2020.

    See also



    • Deniz Anan: Party programs in transition. A comparison of the FDP and the Greens between 1971 and 2013. Springer VS, Wiesbaden 2017, ISBN 3-658-17897-3 .
    • Jan Alberding: From the “Freiburg Theses” to the “Lambsdorff Paper”. The transformation of the FDP in the social-liberal coalition. Dissertation, Marburg 2019, DNB 1179913116 , (PDF; 2.6 MB).
    • Lothar Albertin (Ed.): Political Liberalism in the Federal Republic. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1980, ISBN 3-525-01324-8 .
    • Jörg-Christof Bauer: The contribution of the FDP parliamentary group in the Parliamentary Council to the drafting of the Basic Law. Kovač, Hamburg 2013, ISBN 3-8300-6697-X .
    • Christof Brauers: Liberal Germany Policy 1949–1969. Positions of the FDP between national and European orientation. Lit, Münster 1992, ISBN 3-89473-487-6 .
    • Kristian Buchna: “Liberal” politics of the past. The FDP and how it deals with National Socialism . In: Heuss-Forum 15/2017.
    • Jürgen Dittberner : The Free Democratic Party. In: Richard Stöss (Ed.): Party Handbook. The parties of the Federal Republic of Germany 1945–1980. Volume 2. Westdeutscher Verlag, Opladen 1984, ISBN 3-531-11592-8 , pp. 1311-1381.
    • Jürgen Dittberner: FDP - history, people, organization, perspectives. An introduction. 2nd Edition. VS Verlag, Wiesbaden 2010, ISBN 3-531-17494-0 .
    • Jürgen Dittberner: black and yellow in Berlin or the crisis of the FDP. Logos, Berlin 2011, ISBN 3-8325-2787-7 .
    • Jürgen Dittberner: The FDP. From the government to the extra-parliamentary opposition - and back? Logos, Berlin 2014, ISBN 3-8325-3646-9 .
    • Denise Dittrich: The FDP and German foreign policy. An analysis of liberal foreign policy since German reunification. Universitätsverlag, Potsdam 2009, ISBN 3-86956-011-8 .
    • Hans-Dietrich Genscher (Ed.): Liberals in responsibility. Hanser. Munich / Vienna 1976, ISBN 3-446-12288-5 .
    • Hans-Dietrich Genscher , Christian Lindner : Building bridges. Two generations, one passion . Hoffmann and Campe, Hamburg 2013, ISBN 978-3-455-50296-1 .
    • Wolfgang Gerhardt (Ed.): The power of freedom. History, present and future of liberalism. Hohenheim, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 3-89850-165-5 .
    • Florian Glock: The political orientations of party congress delegates. The delegates of the FDP federal party congresses in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Drewipunkt, Wiesbaden 2015, ISBN 3-941174-23-1 .
    • Daniela Gniss: FDP - Free Democratic Party. Membership and social structure. In: Marie-Luise Recker , Klaus Tenfelde (Hrsg.): Handbook on the statistics of parliaments and parties in the western occupation zones and in the Federal Republic of Germany. Teilbd. 3. Droste, Düsseldorf 2005, ISBN 3-7700-5269-2 , pp. 35-174.
    • Jörg Michael Gutscher: The development of the FDP from its beginnings to 1961. Hain. Königstein im Taunus 1984, ISBN 3-445-02312-3 .
    • Dieter Hein : Between liberal milieu party and national collection movement. Foundation, development and structure of the Free Democratic Party 1945–1949. Droste, Düsseldorf 1985, ISBN 3-7700-5127-0 .
    • Sylvia Heinemann: "Women's issues are human issues". The women's policy of the Free Democrats from 1945 to 1963. Helmer, Sulzbach (Taunus) 2012, ISBN 3-89741-337-X .
    • Clemens Heitmann: FDP and new Ostpolitik. On the significance of the FDP's political ideas on Germany from 1966 to 1972. COMDOK, Sankt Augustin 1989, ISBN 3-89351-044-3 .
    • Friedrich Henning: FDP - The Liberals. Portrait of a party. Olzog, Munich 1982, ISBN 3-7892-7134-9 .
    • Benjamin Höhne , Daniel Hellmann: The Free Democrats. Comeback of the FDP with a new team, join-in organization and courage-do-liberalism. KAS, Sankt Augustin 2017, DNB 1137465212 , (PDF; 1.3 MB).
    • Reinhart Huebsch, Jürgen Frölich : German-German Liberalism in the Cold War. On Germany policy of the Liberals 1945–1970. Verlag für Berlin-Brandenburg, Potsdam 1997, ISBN 3-930850-59-1 .
    • Andreas Kramer: The FDP and external security. On the change in the party's security policy conception from 1966 to 1982. Holos, Bonn 1995, ISBN 3-86097-212-X .
    • Daniel Koerfer : The FDP in the identity crisis. The years 1966–1969 as reflected in the magazine “liberal”. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1981, ISBN 3-12-934370-9 .
    • Stefan Kubat: The (new) positioning of the FDP in the opposition 1998-2005. How the Liberals reacted to the loss of their government position. Ibidem, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 3-89821-759-0 .
    • Udo Leuschner : The history of the FDP. From the beginnings in 1945 to the banishment from the Bundestag in 2013. MV-Wissenschaft, Münster 2015, ISBN 3-95645-646-7 ( online ).
    • Peter Lösche , Franz Walter : The FDP. Dispute about direction and doubt about the future. WBG, Darmstadt 1996, ISBN 3-534-80195-4 .
    • Marco Michel: The Bundestag election campaigns of the FDP 1949-2002. VS Verlag, Wiesbaden 2004, ISBN 3-531-14180-5 .
    • Wolfgang Mischnick (Hrsg.): Responsibility for freedom. 40 years of the FDP DVA, Stuttgart 1989, ISBN 3-421-06500-4 .
    • Andreas Moring: Liberal European Policy 1949–1989. The European policy of the FDP between 1949 and 1989. Lang, Frankfurt am Main 2014, ISBN 3-631-64801-4 .
    • Andreas Morgenstern: The FDP in the parliamentary opposition 1966–1969. Change to a “reform party”. Tectum, Marburg 2004, ISBN 3-8288-8670-1 .
    • Theo Rütten: The German Liberalism 1945 to 1955. Germany and social policy of the East and West German liberals in the development phase of the two German states. Nomos, Baden-Baden 1984, ISBN 3-7890-1029-4 .
    • Walter Scheel , Otto Graf Lambsdorff (ed.): Freedom in Responsibility - German Liberalism since 1945. History, people, perspectives. Bleicher, Gerlingen 1998, ISBN 3-88350-047-X .
    • Michael Schmidt: The FDP and the German Question 1949–1990. Lit, Münster 1995, ISBN 3-8258-2631-7 .
    • Mathias Siekmeier: Restoration or Reform? The FDP in the sixties - Germany and Ostpolitik between reunification and détente. Janus, Cologne 1998, ISBN 3-922977-51-0 .
    • Jan Treibel: The FDP. Processes of internal party leadership 2000–2012. Nomos, Baden-Baden 2014, ISBN 3-8329-5386-8 .
    • Jan Treibel: Free Democratic Party (FDP). In: Frank Decker , Viola Neu (Ed.): Handbook of German political parties. 3. Edition. Springer VS, Wiesbaden 2018, ISBN 3-658-17994-5 , pp. 319–331.
    • Hans Vorländer : Free Democratic Party (FDP). In: Frank Decker, Viola Neu (Ed.): Handbook of German political parties. 2nd Edition. Springer VS, Wiesbaden 2013, ISBN 3-658-00962-4 , pp. 270-281.
    • Franz Walter : yellow or green? Small party history of the higher earning middle in Germany. Transcript, Bielefeld 2010, ISBN 978-3-8376-1505-0 .
    • Klaus Weber: Left liberalism in the Federal Republic of around 1969. Economy and profiles. Lang, Frankfurt am Main 2012, ISBN 3-631-63940-6 .


    • Friedrich Naumann Foundation (ed.): The program of the liberals. 10 years of program work by the FDP from 1980 to 1990. Nomos, Baden-Baden 1990, ISBN 3-7890-2111-3 .
    • Hans FW Gringmuth (arr.): Political Liberalism in the British Zone of Occupation 1946–1948. Management bodies and politics of the FDP. Droste, Düsseldorf 1995, ISBN 3-7700-5184-X .
    • Peter Juling : Programmatic development of the FDP 1946 to 1969. Introduction and documents. Hain, Meisenheim 1977, ISBN 3-445-01529-5 .
    • Heino Kaack : The FDP. Floor plan and materials on history, structure and program. 3. Edition. Hain, Meisenheim 1979, ISBN 3-445-01932-0 .
    • Reinhard Schiffers (edit.): FDP federal board. The Liberals chaired by Erich Mende. Meeting minutes 1960–1967. Droste, Düsseldorf 1993, ISBN 3-7700-5175-0 .
    • Volker Stalmann (edit.): The FDP parliamentary group in the German Bundestag. Minutes of meetings 1949–1969. 2 half volumes. Droste, Düsseldorf 2017, ISBN 3-7700-5338-9 .
    • Günter Verheugen (ed.): The program of the liberals. 10 years of program work by the FDP Nomos, Baden-Baden 1979, ISBN 3-7890-0542-8 .
    • Udo Wengst (edit.): FDP federal executive. The Liberals chaired by Theodor Heuss and Franz Blücher. Meeting minutes 1949–1954. 2 half volumes. Droste, Düsseldorf 1990, ISBN 3-7700-5159-9 .
    • Udo Wengst (edit.): FDP federal executive. The Liberals chaired by Thomas Dehler and Reinhold Maier. Meeting minutes 1954–1960. Droste, Düsseldorf 1991, ISBN 3-7700-5163-7 .

    Web links

    Commons : Free Democratic Party  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
     Wikinews: FDP  - in the news

    Individual evidence

    1. fdplus. In: Free Democratic Party, accessed January 11, 2017 .
    2. CDU and SPD lose members. In: . January 16, 2020, accessed January 17, 2020 .
    3. ^ "Wahl-O-Mat European elections 2019 - comparison of positions", Federal Agency for Civic Education , accessed on June 30, 2019
    4. Determination of state funds for the year 2018 (PDF; 371 kB) German Bundestag , April 15, 2019, accessed on May 28, 2019 .
    5. a b New members of the FDP - The Lindner Effect. In: Spiegel Online . April 23, 2019, accessed April 24, 2019 .
    6. ^ Liberals: From the FDP to the FDP. In: Spiegel Online . May 6, 2001, accessed August 12, 2015 .
    7. We are Free Democrats. (No longer available online.) FDP Federal Party, January 6, 2015, archived from the original on January 11, 2015 ; accessed on January 6, 2015 .
    8. ^ Roi Zur: Stuck in the middle: Ideology, valence and the electoral failures of centrist parties . In: British Journal of Political Science, 2019, pp. 1–18. doi: 10.1017 / S0007123419000231
    9. ^ Thomas Gschwend, Ron Johnston, Charles Pattie: Split-Ticket Patterns in Mixed-Member Proportional Election Systems: Estimates and Analyzes of Their Spatial Variation at the German Federal Election, 1998 . In: British Journal of Political Science, Vol. 33, Issue 1, 2003, pp. 109-127. doi: [ 10.1017 / S000712340300005X]
    10. * Stephen Padgett, William E. Paterson, Reimut Zohlnhöfer: Developments in German Politics 4 . Palgrave Macmillan, 2014, ISBN 978-1-137-30164-2 , pp. 80 ( limited preview in Google Book Search [accessed February 26, 2017]).
    11. ^ History of the founding and development of the FDP | FDP Heppenheim - Freedom since 1847. Retrieved on August 4, 2017 .
    12. ^ Johannes Leicht, Arnulf Scriba: German Progressive Party 1861-1884. In: German Historical Museum , Berlin. Retrieved November 13, 2016 .
    13. Paul Rothmund, Erhard R. Wiehn, The FDP / DVP in Baden-Württemberg and their history , Stuttgart 1979, p. 64.
    14. Regarding the political compass (two-dimensional model of the political spectrum):
      • Melanie Walter-Rogg, Oscar Gabriel: Parties, party elites and members in a big city . Springer-Verlag, 2013, ISBN 978-3-663-10998-3 , pp. 213–218 ( limited preview in Google Book Search [accessed February 26, 2017]).
      Regarding the attribution "almost consistently": Note: The term "neoliberal" is used in the Anglo-Saxon region to denote economic liberalism. (see Cambridge Dictionary , accessed February 25, 2017)
    15. Responsibility for freedom. Karlsruhe theses of freedom of the FDP for an open civil society. (PDF; 691 kB) In: FDP federal office, accessed on September 27, 2013 .
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    17. 56th Ord. Federal Party Congress of the FDP - The Liberal Citizens' Money: Activating, Simple and Just ( Memento from January 9, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
    18. Health Policy . In: portal liberal, accessed on January 11, 2017 .
    19. ^ Sandra Löffler: Election program of the FDP for health. In: . August 19, 2013. Retrieved January 11, 2017 .
    20. ↑ The cannabis debate needs to be relaxed. In: portal liberal, May 9, 2016, accessed on January 11, 2017 .
    22. " Maintaining Freedom - Fighting Terrorism", resolution of the FDP federal executive board of December 11, 2006, p. 13, last paragraph.
    23. ^ About civil rights direct democracy: For: Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger - civil rights direct democracy. In: July 2, 2014, accessed December 25, 2014 .
    24. FDP encourages more direct democracy in Germany! In: January 28, 2001, accessed December 25, 2014 .
    25. Markus Lochmann: We are the European party, but Europe must be shaped liberally. In: Free Democrats Baden-Württemberg, accessed July 24, 2016 .
    27. Transport Policy . FDP federal party
    28. After the energy turnaround, please no traffic turnaround . World online
    29. Brrrrrommmmm! In: Die Zeit , No. 45/2016
    30. No general speed limit on motorways. In: Retrieved February 2, 2019 .
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    32. ↑ Shortage of skilled workers and immigration. In: portal liberal, accessed on January 11, 2017 .
    33. Paul Rothmund, Erhard R. Wiehn, The FDP / DVP in Baden-Württemberg and their history , Stuttgart 1979, p. 325.
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    35. Call of the Liberal Democratic Party of Germany to the German people of July 5, 1945. (PDF; 1.0 MB) Retrieved on November 11, 2018 (digitized version of the Archives of Liberalism ).
    36. Heppenheim's proclamation of the Free Democratic Party of December 12, 1948. (PDF; 1.7 MB) Retrieved on November 11, 2018 (digitized version of the Archives of Liberalism ).
    37. ^ Udo Leuschner: The history of the FDP - (1945–2009) In:
    38. Brauers, Die FDP in Hamburg 1945 to 1953, p. 698.
    39. Joachim Scholtyseck , The FDP in the turn , Historisch-Politische Mitteilungen. Volume 19, Issue 1, January 2013, pp. 197-220, especially pp. 201 f. ISSN (Online) 2194-4040, ISSN (Print) 0943-691X online (PDF)
    40. Hostage of the New . In: Der Spiegel . No. 46 , 1991 ( online ).
    41. Federal Agency for Civic Education: FDP - Free Democratic Party ( Memento from June 16, 2011 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on August 11, 2010.
    42. ^ Jürgen Dittberner: The FDP. History, people, organization, perspectives. VS Verlag, Wiesbaden 2005, p. 79.
    43. ^ Jürgen Dittberner: The FDP. History, people, organization, perspectives. VS Verlag, Wiesbaden 2005, pp. 79-80.
    44. FDP - New self-confidence even without points . In: , May 7, 2001.
    45. The FDP mutates into a "fun party" - a neoliberal whip tinkers the new election campaign strategy for Möllemann and Westerwelle. In: Retrieved December 25, 2014 .
    46. Christian Schicha: Guido accelerates. Right of way for work in the FDP election advertising for the federal election in 2002 and 2005. In: Andreas Dörner, Christian Schicha: Politics in the spot format. On the semantics, pragmatics and aesthetics of political advertising in Germany. VS Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2008, pp. 257-294, on pp. 270-271.
    47. Wolfgang Benz: What is anti-Semitism? CH Beck, Munich 2004, pp. 146-154.
    48. ^ Lars Rensmann: Democracy and the image of the Jews. Anti-Semitism in the political culture of the Federal Republic of Germany. VS Verlag, Wiesbaden 2004, pp. 442-482.
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