Alliance ’90/The Greens

Published 19th September, 2013

Alliance ’90/The Greens or The Greens was formed as a merger of the German Green Party originally founded in West Germany in 1980 and the Alliance 90 which was founded in 1990 in East Germany. The two parties formally came together in 1993. The party describes itself as Centre-left and believes in Green politics.

The Greens first emerged in West Germany in the 1970s at a state and local level but didn’t achieve their first federal results until 1983 when they won 28 of the 520 seats in the Bundestag. In 1987 that number went up to 44 seats in a 519 seat chamber.

In late 1989 a Green Party was formed in East Germany and was, at that stage, opposed to reunification. In 1990 they joined forces with Alliance 90, a group of East German grass-roots organisations. In the 1990 all-Germany Bundestag elections the Alliance 90 won eight seats whilst the West German Greens failed to gain representation after receiving only 3.9% of the vote (below the 5% threshold).

With reunification a reality the Greens of former West Germany and Alliance 90 finally came together in May 1993. A year later the new party won 49 of the 672 seats in the Bundestag.

In 1998, although they dropped to 47 seats, the arithmetic meant that the SPD needed the Greens to form a centre-left government and the Greens leader Joschka Fischer became Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister in the first ever Red/Green coalition government. The combination was continued after the 2002 election when the Greens took 55 seats but in 2005 they were dropped although they had still won 51 seats.

In 2009 the Greens had another good year, winning 68 seats in the 622 seat Bundestag.

Alliance ’90/The Greens is a member of the Global Greens and the European Green Party. In the European Parliament where they have 14 of the 99 national seats the Greens are part of The Greens–European Free Alliance group.

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