Free voters in the Baden-Württemberg state association

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Free voters in the Baden-Württemberg state association
Chairman Wolfgang Faißt (since April 25, 2015)
Deputy Bernhard Swiss
Carl Roland Henke
Ralph Schäfer
Monika Springer
executive Director Friedhelm Werner
Honorary Chairman Heinz Kälberer
Establishment date March 3, 1956 (as an association)
Place of foundation Stuttgart
Headquarters Alte Weinsteige 48
70180 Stuttgart
Number of members approx. 9,000 (indirectly through member associations)

The Free Voters Landesverband Baden-Württemberg e. V. is the largest umbrella association of independent voter groups in Baden-Württemberg . Baden-Württemberg is the state with the strongest anchorage of such groups in Germany.



Immediately after the Second World War, groups of citizens were formed in the cities and municipalities who wanted to participate in the development of the cities and municipalities and who participated in the emerging local self-government without being a member of a party. In the Mannheim-Land constituency , Richard Freudenberg even became a non-party member of the Bundestag . A few years later some of these groups joined together to form the Free Voters Association of Baden-Württemberg.

The Land Association of Free Voters eV was founded on March 3, 1956 in Stuttgart by Carl Ebner (Ulm), Elisabeth Haberkorn (Weinheim), Mayor Hohn (Ladenburg), Gerd Pauly (Rastatt) and Erich Weiler (Mosbach). Erich Weiler was elected 1st state chairman and led the FWV until April 1967. From 1962 Richard Freudenberg was honorary chairman. From 1967 to 1978 Friedrich Simon (Freiburg), from 1978 to 1987 Hans Hohmann (Weinheim) held the office of state chairman.

The Free Voters of Baden-Württemberg decided again in October 2008, under their state chairman Heinz Kälberer , not to take part in the next state elections. At the same time, however, they raised state political demands on issues such as administrative reform , community financing , party financing or federalism reform .

In the past, the Free Voters also influenced state politics through election recommendations, for example in 1972 when they supported the CDU. This happened against the background that the SPD , the local elections wanted to change so that the cross-voting would have been impossible, which is why the Free Voters feared for their existence. In view of the social-liberal coalition of the SPD and FDP , which had already been established at the federal level , a majority then recommended the election of the CDU, which prompted the free voters close to the FDP to found the short-lived Baden-Württemberg state party. This election recommendation was repeated in 1976. As a result, the association developed a close relationship with the CDU, which also pays off in supervisory board positions and the like.

Relationship to the Federal Association of Free Voters

After the Federal Association of Free Voters Germany had given the election association FW Free Voters Germany the name "Free Voters" to run for the 2009 European elections , the Presidium of the Free Voters State Association of Baden-Württemberg decided on January 31, 2009 to resign from the Federal Association. On April 17, 2010, the regional association decided not to participate in the state elections , as before . The general assembly also decided to reject the establishment of a federal party of free voters and its state association in Baden-Württemberg and to distance itself from it.

On February 20, 2010, the Federal Association of Free Voters emerged from the election association FW Free Voters Germany . In Baden-Wuerttemberg, a regional association of Free Voters Baden-Wuerttemberg was founded as a regional association of the federal association against the protests of the state association . The state association originally wanted to run for the state elections in Baden-Württemberg in 2011 , but ultimately decided not to run. The regional association tried to defend itself against the regional association, including through a name protection suit . The lawsuit was ruled negative on November 10, 2010. The presiding judge justified this, among other things, with the fact that the state association, as a subdivision of the Federal Association of Free Voters , is obliged according to the party law to use the name components Free Voters and Baden-Württemberg . According to the presiding judge's argument, both associations must accept the likelihood of confusion.


The members of the association are usually city associations, local associations, district associations and parliamentary groups. The state association thus represents around 10,000 free voters in Baden-Württemberg. The seat of the association is in Stuttgart, Alte Weinsteige 48. The state chairman has been Wolfgang Faißt , mayor of Renningen, (Boeblingen district) since 2015 , the regional chairpersons and executive board members are Gerhard Bühler (southern Württemberg), Roland Henke (southern Baden), Ralph Schäfer ( Northern Württemberg) and Monika Springer (Northern Baden). State managing director was Georg Hiller from 2003 to 2012 . Mayor a. D. Friedhelm Werner Country Manager. Lord Mayor ret. D. Heinz Kälberer is honorary chairman (as of 2017).


The association is not a party and has no political program. It is left to the members to form and represent an opinion on political issues on site. The association is a service provider for its members, forms a network and represents common interests. He advises on local politics and association law issues. Maintaining the municipal right to vote, equal taxation with the political parties and preserving the self-government right of the cities and municipalities are central goals that the association pursues for its members. Joint procurement of election advertising material and support for advertising measures as well as information for members and the public are among the main tasks of the regional association.

Electoral successes

Free voters are more firmly anchored in Baden-Württemberg than in any other federal state. In municipal council elections, they regularly win the most votes and seats, most recently 31% in 2019 (including individual independent local voter groups). In the 2019 district elections, they (including individual independent local voter groups) came in second for the second time in a row after the CDU with 24%.

For comparison: In Bavaria, the Free Voters organized as a political party of Bavaria received 4.1% in the 2020 local elections at district level and the electoral groups that were partly at odds with this party received a total of 8.6%. This means that these political groups, which differ from the traditional parties, are only about half as strong as in neighboring Baden-Württemberg.

In the regional assembly of the Stuttgart Region Association , a third communal level in the central Neckar region that exists by special law, they form the third largest parliamentary group behind the CDU / ÖDP and the Greens.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b The Free Voters in Germany (PDF), accessed on April 6, 2019.
  2. Dennis Breuer: BGH: Free Voters - Name Protection for Voters Association Judgment of September 28, 2011 - I ZR 191/10 . May 1, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  3. State Statistical Office of Baden-Württemberg: Municipal council elections 2019, State of Baden-Württemberg ; accessed June 21, 2019.
  4. ^ State Statistical Office of Baden-Württemberg: District elections 2019, State of Baden-Württemberg ; accessed June 21, 2019.
  5. Local elections on March 15th, 2020: Election of the city councils and district assemblies (preliminary result) , on
  6. ^ The members of the regional assembly. Retrieved August 22, 2020 .