Friedrich Naumann Foundation

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 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).

Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom
Friedrich Naumann Stiftung für die Freiheit
Friedrich Naumann Foundation logo.svg
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 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.

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 university education. This scholarship system is subsidised by the Federal Government of Germany. Currently, the foundation sponsors around 800 students, among those 175 PhD students (as of 2009[1] (German)). Awards are granted after a multi-stage selection process and are based on grades, letters of recommendation, personality and character, political and social commitment with a dedication to liberal values and interviews with staff and affiliates of the foundation. Around 20% of the scholarships are held by foreign students, studying at a university in Germany.

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