Free Democratic Party (Germany)

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The Free Democratic Party (German: Freie Demokratische Partei), abbreviated to FDP, is a classical liberal party in Germany.[4][5][6] It is led by Guido Westerwelle and currently serves as the junior coalition partner to the Union (Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union) in the German federal government. The FDP fraction has 93 members and is currently the third largest in the Bundestag.

It was founded in 1948 by members of the former liberal parties existing in Germany before World War II, the German Democratic Party and the German People's Party. Since then, the FDP has been in federal government longer than any other party, as the junior coalition partner to either the CDU/CSU (1949–56, 1961–66, 1982–98, and since 2009) or the Social Democratic Party (1969–82).

The FDP strongly supports human rights, civil liberties, and internationalism, but has shifted from the centre to the centre-right over time. Since the 1980s, the party has firmly pushed economic liberalism, and has aligned itself closely to the promotion of free markets and privatisation. It is a member of the Liberal International and European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party, and is the joint-largest member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group in the European Parliament.

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