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Friedrich Naumann Foundation

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Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom
Friedrich Naumann Stiftung für die Freiheit
FounderTheodor Heuss
Legal statusFoundation (nonprofit)
PurposeThe work of the foundation shall be based on the principles of Liberalism. It shall be nonprofit in nature.
Karl-Heinz Paque

The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (German: Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit) (FNF), is a German foundation for liberal politics, related to the Free Democratic Party. Established in 1958 by Theodor Heuss, the first president of the Federal Republic of Germany, it promotes individual freedom and classical liberalism. Usually still referred to as the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung), the foundation supplemented its name in 2007 with the words "for Freedom" (für die Freiheit).

The foundation follows the ideals of the Protestant theologian, Friedrich Naumann. At the beginning of the last century, Naumann was a leading German liberal thinker and politician. He resolutely backed the idea of civic education. Naumann believed that a functioning democracy needs politically informed and educated citizens. According to him, civic education is a prerequisite for political participation and thus for democracy.

In this regard, the foundation is an agent of organized liberalism. It promotes this through civic education, international political dialogues, and political counselling. The foundation has numerous offices in Europe, Africa, America, and Asia. It also enjoys close links with Germany's Free Democratic Party (FDP) and Liberal International (LI).

While the foundation's activities in the field of civic education consist of seminars, conferences and publications aimed at promoting liberal values and principles, the international political dialogue program provides a discussion forum for a wide range of liberal issues. The foundation's counselling programs focus on candidates for political office, liberal political parties and other democratic organizations.

Scholarship program[edit]

The Friedrich Naumann Foundation, together with other foundations of different philosophical, political, and ideological orientation and the non-political German National Academic Foundation, acts as an instrument for the promotion of excellence in German tertiary education. This scholarship system is funded by the Federal Government. Around 1% of university students in Germany hold one of these federally funded merit scholarships.[1] Currently, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation provides scholarships to approximately 800 students, among those 175 PhD students (as of 2009[2]). Scholarships are granted after a competitive multi-stage admission process. The selection is based on grades, letters of recommendation, leadership potential, community service, and a visible commitment to liberal values. Around 20% of the scholarships are held by foreign students studying at a university in Germany.

Foreign involvement[edit]

In Peru, the foundation was involved in a misunderstanding on a meeting related to the some members of the Congress. The Peru Office Director testified before the Peruvian Congress to clear the misunderstanding. [3]

The North America Regional Office in Washington, D.C. runs two programs. The Transatlantic Dialogue Program encourages discussions between the US, Canada, and Germany on various fronts, while the World Order and Globalization Hub enhances global economic understanding. Both aim to foster knowledge exchange and promote global social and economic progress.[4]

In April 2024, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom was declared an undesirable organization in Russia. Shortly after the invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the foundation's work in Moscow was stopped and the Moscow office's registration was revoked.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Begabtenförderungswerke - BMBF". Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung - BMBF (in German). Retrieved 23 August 2022.
  2. ^ Publication Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Germany):
  3. ^ PERÚ, NOTICIAS EL COMERCIO (18 February 2022). "Fundación Friedrich Naumann sobre reunión con congresistas: "Se debió invitar a todos los partidos" María del Carmen Alva Pedro Castillo RMMN | POLITICA". El Comercio (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 March 2023.
  4. ^ "Friedrich Naumann Foundation: North America". Friedrich Naumann Foundation For Freedom. Retrieved 4 August 2023.
  5. ^ "Russland erklärt liberale Naumann-Stiftung für unerwünscht". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 20 April 2024.

External links[edit]