The junior partner in Germany’s coalition has survived a rebellion from party eurosceptics, removing a threat to Angela Merkel’s leadership.
However the internal vote displayed deep divisions within the Free Democrat Party, underlining the fragility of the German government.
After the referendum which failed to reach a quorum, FDP leader Philipp Rösler said: “The FDP is, and remains, a party which is clearly pro-European with the necessary sense of political rationality.”
The rebels wanted to force the FDP to vote against the European Stability Mechanism – a move which could have brought down the coalition lead by Merkel’s Christian Democrats.
The opposition has pounced on what it describes as a “crumbling majority” and says the vote undermines Merkel’s authority to lead the eurozone out of its current crisis.