Business, work and life in Germany in English

Political parties in Germany: list of the main parties in the country, the structure of the Bundestag factions, the goals and objectives of the parties and their influence on the country's politics

On this page you will find information about all the mainstream political parties in Germany, learn about the composition of the factions in the Bundestag or the German Parliament, which political parties in the country are the ruling ones, their programs, scope and objectives.

§ Role of parties in the political system of Germany

Political parties are associations of citizens who have long influenced the political consciousness of people and participate or seek to participate in the German Bundestag or federated states parliaments.

Political parties play an important role in the politics of Germany, they largely determine the domestic and foreign policies of the country. The German Constitution states that political parties contribute to the formation of the political will of the country's citizens and can be freely created by the people of Germany. Both the Constitution (the Basic Law) and the Political Parties Act of the Federal Republic of Germany (in German: Parteiengesetz) set out the main provisions as to the structure, activities and accountability of political parties (see the links below on the page).

In particular, the political parties of Germany have the following scope of tasks:

In Germany, the principle of equality in relations between the state and political parties shall apply, which means that the state authorities shall treat all political parties equally, ensuring perfect competition among the parties.

§ Political parties and factions in the Bundestag, the German Parliament

The Bundestag elections in 2021 were partaken by 47 political parties. To win the seats in the Bundestag, the parties had to get at least 5% of the vote; only 6 parties managed to overcome this election threshold. As of 2021, the Bundestag members formed the following factions, which bear the name of the political parties that make them up. This shows which political parties in Germany have a particularly significant influence on the country's politics; these are the factions that follow, and, accordingly, the parties, as presented in table 1 and diagram 1 as to the number of factions in the Bundestag. As of 2021, in total, the Bundestag of Germany has 736 members.

Table 1. Political parties in the Bundestag and the number of deputies (aka members)

Faction Name in English Number of deputies (aka members), as %
CDU/CSU The Christian Democratic Union and Christlich-Soziale Union 26.8 %
SPD The Social Democratic Party 28.0 %
AfD Alternative for Germany 11.1 %
FDP The Free Democratic Party 12.5 %
Die Linke The Left 5.3 %
Bündnis 90/Die Grünen Alliance 90 / The Greens 16.0 %

Chart 1. Political parties in the German Bundestag

As is clear from the table and diagram above, the most influential parties in Germany are the SPD, they have 206 deputies in the country's Parliament. And the least influential party in the Bundestag is Die Linke with only 39 deputies in the Parliament.

In the Bundestag, there are also deputies who do not belong to factions, they make up 0.3% of the total members number.

§ List of major political parties in Germany

Below on the page you will find a comprehensive list of the major German political parties that participated in the 2021 Bundestag election. The translation of the parties names into Polish is not an official translation by a respective party or any authority.

§ Programs, scope and objectives of political parties in Germany

Most of the ruling parties in the country have in sights as follows: solidarity, justice and freedom for all citizens. Nevertheless, the ways to achieve these virtues differ in the programs of the said parties. Below you will find the German ruling parties programs focal points.

The German political parties established policies are expressed in the coalition agreement concluded between the most influential parties of the Bundestag; the data from the coalition agreement can be found on a dedicated page of our website.

The CDU and the CSU (the Christian Democratic Union of Germany and the Christian Social Union of Germany)

The main scope and objectives of these parties are as follows: full employment of the population, advanced training of the citizens, supporting entrepreneurship, as well as strengthening the domestic market and protecting the borders of the European Union, restructuring the asylum system, expanding international trade. The major program of the party also implies strengthening and supporting the family, social protection of the population and environmental protection.

SPD, the Social Democratic Party

The program of the Social Democratic Party of Germany is aimed at improving employment and labour rights, supporting start-up entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized businesses. With regard to the foreign policy, they focus on: the prevention of crises and conflicts, changing the European Union (creating a European Defense Union, a government in the Eurozone), war on the causes that contribute to the growth of asylum seekers, and more.

AfD, Alternative for Germany

Compared to other political parties in Germany, the AfD is a fairly new party of right-wing liberals. Their program sets out the following scope and objectives: drastic changes in the political structure of the country and the EU, the application of the Swiss model, strengthening the police and improving the criminal justice system, the dissolution of the Federal Employment Agency, and social security systems reform. Besides, the party advocates the preservation of the German culture, language and national identity instead of multiculturalism, and a lot more. The party program is available in English / Polish as well. With regard to the foreign policy, they focus on: the UN reform, strengthening the army, compulsory military service.

FDP, the Free Democratic Party

The Free Democratic Party defines the following domestic economic goals: flexibility in the field of labour, longer working week, working on weekends, improving education; the FDP party proposes reforms in the field of education financing, digitalization accelerating, changes in taxation (abolition of surtaxes regarding the income and corporate taxes). Their foreign economic goals include: a thorough reform of the European Union, a steady Euro exchange rate, and others.

Die Linke, the Left (aka the Left-Wing Party)

The program of the Left-Wing Party is aimed at social justice and war on poverty; achieving these goals includes raising the minimum living wage in Germany and making the working week shorter. Their foreign policy goals include reducing military spending and stopping arms exports, as well as supporting the development of poor countries.

Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen, Alliance 90 /The Greens

The main focus of the Greens Party is to protect the climate and the environment; in this regard, the party aims to generate electricity only from renewable sources, they champion transition to cars without exhaust gases. In the field of labour, it is a matter of equality in wages/ salaries of men and women. With regard to the foreign policy, the party advocates the cessation of arms exports, the EU support in the field of employment and environmental protection.

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