Subdivisions of Germany Regierungsbezirke: as at 1st August 2008
(including the former administrative districts in Lower Saxony,
Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony-Anhalt)
In Germany, the district is an administrative authority of a general
national figure, will be bundled into the ressortverschiedene tasks.
This authority is headed by a president and government itself bears
the name of Governor (historical), regional council (in Baden-Wuerttemberg,
Hesse), government (in Bavaria) or the district government (in North
The national average stands as a means of authority between the
upper and highest state body (Ministry) and the district administrator
as the lower state authority for the area of a circle.
This management level is established only in some larger territorial
states. Sometimes, people discussed the abolition of the Regional
Councils and bundle the tasks of the country (by ministries or state
higher authorities), or relocate to the local level. Several states
have already abolished the administrative regions.
In Baden-Wuerttemberg, however, were reinforced by the administrative
reform of 2005, the regional councils, giving them many of the tasks
previously independent state authorities have been transferred.
A similar development is characterized in North Rhine-Westphalia
from. With the beginning of 2007 some special authorities (eg State
environmental agencies, offices for agricultural policy, offices
for safety) will be incorporated into the district governments.
A part of their activities should be transferred also to the municipalities.
Industry representatives have supported this move initially as red
tape. Increasingly, however, serious concerns (BDI, VCI) that the
local dependencies can no longer guarantee the former independent
How does the
political system in Germany? Who makes the laws? What role does
the Chancellor, which the President? Who has the power? How many
parties are there?
Law in the hands
The Federal Republic of Germany is a federal state with a liberal
democracy. What is now firmly entrenched in the Constitution,
had to be hard won.
catastrophe of the Third Reich, the Nazi dictatorship of Adolf
Hitler, newly emerged democracy in Germany after 1945. The Constitution
initially remained tentative.
constitution, the Basic Law
In West Germany
was adopted in 1949, the Basic Law is still valid. This should
serve as a transitional constitution, would be reunited to Germany.
The validity of the Constitution extended first to the American,
British and French zones of occupation in the West. In the Soviet
zone of occupation, also in 1949, the German Democratic Republic
(GDR) was founded. Since 3 October 1990 there are only a reunited
Germany - and from the interim solution, the first all-German
constitution. It is this that the liberal-democratic order in
protects, inter alia, the freedom of individuals to ensure their
dignity and treat all citizens are equal before the law - no matter
what race, origin, language or religion they are. In addition,
state power has been subjected to strict control by the separation
of powers - never again should come from a dictator of Germany.
state with three levels was established: federal and state governments
share political power. The countries of central powers delegated
to the federal government, but contribute to its legislation.
In other areas of the country are autonomous in their legislation.
The municipalities are the third and lowest level. Against radical,
anti-democratic tendencies were created barricades: the "defensive
democracy" makes it unconstitutional to prohibit parties.
In 1952, the neo-Nazi "Socialist Reich Party (SRP) and in
1956 the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) was banned. In addition,
each party does not come into Parliament: Only when they hurdle
to overcome in an election, the five-percent, it is represented
in parliament. This rule is designed to give stability to the
hits nation building
Power sharing, rights and democracy have also received a guard
- the Federal Constitutional Court. It reviewed the request and
enforce laws for their constitutionality helps every citizen,
his rights and freedoms against the state. The Federal Constitutional
Court has long been an international unique and has been copied
around the world, for example, in Spain's constitution
to force political compromise
of social conflict and the mobilization of citizens to take Federal
and state elections in Germany, the political parties. Two popular
parties have emerged: the conservative CDU / CSU and the Social
Democrat SPD. But other political tendencies are represented either
in the Bundestag and in the Diets: liberal and green ideas to
fight for voters, as well as leftist ideas are represented. Societal
interests takes on the political system through associations,
unions and interest groups.
the Bundestag and Bundesrat
"The German people," reads the inscription above the
main entrance of the Reichstag. Here sits the German parliament.
The Bundestag is responsible to serve the citizens, together with
the Federal Government for legislative action.
shall advise and decide on new laws. It appoints the chancellor
and controls the work of government. He also adopt an annual budget
of the Federal Republic. All four years the German people elect
the 600 members of parliament.
work takes place in committees
a party in the Bundestag to form a faction. According to her group's
strength, they occupy the permanent and temporary committees.
There is a genuine parliamentary work done - especially work on
bills, motions and Anfragen.Dem stands before the Bundestag, the
Bundestag President. He is after the President formally the second-highest
office in the state, even before the Chancellor as head of government.
The Bundestag president is traditionally made by the largest group
represented, the parliament, presides over the meetings and shall
ensure that the rights of the people's representatives maintained.
states are involved
In the Bundesrat,
Germany's 16 federal states contribute to the federal legislation.
The Bundesrat is composed of the 16 leaders of countries and ministers
from the country. The more people a state has, the more votes
it has in the Bundesrat. Small states like Bremen, for example,
have three large and six votes against Bayern.
Until a new
law in Germany is effective, it goes through several phases. The
Bundestag, the Bundesrat or the Federal Government are proposing
laws. Is then filed in committees in the text. Applies for the
vote: Each member is responsible only to his conscience and is
free to vote. But often enough the deputies vote consistently
after political groups in order to remain faithful to their own
political principles and to demonstrate to the outside world unity.
This is called "party discipline is not" be confused
with party discipline, contrary to the freedom of choice of the
deputies and is therefore not allowed.
is determined by
vote in the Bundestag and adoption laws go to the Bundesrat, the
second chamber. In the legislative process, a distinction between
an objection and consent laws, laws. Must implement laws that
the countries that they are involved in the financing or to change
the constitution require the approval of the provinces. The Federal
Council rejects such a law, the legislative proposal in the so-called
conciliation committee. This consists of 16 representatives of
the Bundestag and Bundesrat. A compromise will be worked out on
the Bundestag must again decide. Then, to agree to the Bundesrat.
laws are laws appeal: An appeal of the Federal Council may be
rejected by the Bundestag with the majority of its members. Cabinet
ministers, including Chancellor and the President must sign the
law agreed to its copy.
center in Germany
Chancellery - of the Berliners "washing machine" called
The Berliners call the Chancellor's Office because of its remarkable
design "washing machine". Here is the Office of the
Chancellor or the Chancellor, and there is also the Cabinet room
in which sits the federal government.
The Chancellor is facing a cabinet of ministers. Together they
form the federal government, the political leadership of the country.
Their job is to execute the laws passed by Parliament and represent
the country to the outside. Under the German constitution, the
Basic Law, provides the one hand, the Federal policy guidelines.
On the other Cabinet decisions are taken by majority. The power
of the Chancellor is therefore dependent upon majority in the
government and the parliamentary groups supporting them. Only
in the case of defense, the Chancellor is also the owner of the
command and command authority over the armed forces. In peacetime,
this is the Federal Minister of Defense.
people can not directly choose the chancellor, but it also indirectly
determines all four years in the general election. In order to
be chancellor, one has to be brought in the Bundestag, the majority
of all elected deputies behind him, the Chancellor of the so-called
majority. This must be the party of the chancellor candidates
typically seek a coalition partner. Traditionally, there are coalition
governments in Germany from two different parties.
has found a coalition partner, it goes to the composition of the
Cabinet - that is, the minister said. It determines how many of
the policy departments and ministries, he wants to set for his
One of the
main resorts include the economy, environment, interior, exterior,
finance and defense, but also family, justice, transport and health.
The Federal ministries conduct their own responsibility - within
the established guidelines.
appoints the ministers, which he suggested the chancellor - although
in practice the parties who choose to wear a government, even
through their ministers. In addition, the President has the task
to propose to the designated candidate for chancellor as the new
chancellor. He is elected by the deputies of the Bundestag. This
usually happens only after the government formation is completed,
then set up ministries and ministerial positions were awarded.
may be deposed only if the Bundestag elects by majority vote someone
else as Chancellor - the so-called constructive vote of no confidence
- or that, after a lost confidence vote the President dissolves
Black, red and yellow was for a long time, the political theory
of color in Germany. Then, the Greens were added and the red with
a short time - to remain in the logic of the colors. From Konrad
Adenauer to Helmut Kohl on Angela Merkel: The Christian Democratic
Union (CDU) in conjunction with their purely Bavarian sister party
the Christian Social Union's (CSU), made the longest time, the
Chancellor said. After the war they had found their followers,
especially among former voters of the strongly Catholic Center
Party. The popular name of the Christian Democrats as "the
blacks" also comes from the center, because for this once
sat dressed in black, many Catholic priests in the Parliament.
"Christian" to bear on behalf of both parties and the
party spectrum as "conservative classified.
they have dominated for Christian ideals. As people's parties,
however, they also seek the broadest possible consensus in the
population. As a preferred coalition partner, the Union parties,
yet the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP). At a pinch, but they
go even so-called "grand coalitions" with the Social
Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). This happened at the federal
level for the first time the late-1960s and again since 2005.
was always the SPD in the federal government in charge. For the
Social Democrats are the Federal Chancellor Willy Brandt, Helmut
Schmidt and Gerhard Schröder last. The Red recalls the banner
of their roots in the labor movement in the second half of the
19th Century. The SPD were under that name is already in the Weimar
Republic. It was, however, like all other parties banned by the
Nazis, many of its members died in concentration camps.
war, the party charged ideological disputes. In its "Godesberg
Program" decided the SPD in 1959, in substance and ideology
of a socialist workers' party to a Social Democrat - and thus,
more citizens selectable - People's Party to change.
more than just organic
mid-1980s, there was the Social Democrats in the search for a
coalition partner, the choice is between the FDP and - as in the
1960s - the "grand coalition" with the CDU / CSU. During
the 1980s, entered a new coalition partner, the political scene:
the Greens. They have their roots in the anti-nuclear and peace
movements of the 1970s, but also the women's and citizens' initiatives.
They shall, therefore, also an environmental and gender equality.
Gradually, there were the first tentative alliances at local and
national level with the Greens, until one red-green converts them
under then Chancellor Gerhard Schröder in the federal government.
In addition, is now even black and green - at least at the local
and country level practices -.
the Green Party officially named the "Alliance 90/The Greens",
because in 1993 joined the "Alliance 90" East German
citizens' movements combined with the Greens. Since then, the
party is to bear a double name.
stands for liberal
The Free Democratic
Party (FDP), which appears in the traditional yellow color spectrum,
has lost its position as the only tip the scales between the Democrats
and the Socialists. Until the 1990s, was the junior partner, the
FDP almost every federal government - since then no more.
sees itself in the tradition of liberalism in Germany and rejects
government overregulation. The FDP often represents the interests
of small and medium enterprises and is often also called "party
of the better-branded.
for many SPD members, or a red flag
years, strengthened the Left Party, is also the color red and
that is to distinguish between the Social Democrats also like
dark red called. The Left Party shall in particular, voters of
the SPD. In turn, the Social Democrats, there is fierce internal
party discussions, as the SPD is to stand on the left. But most
of the established parties have a problem with the left. This
has to do with their history: their roots in the East are in the
former Socialist Unity Party (SED, the GDR) to find, its members
initially after the reunification the Party of Democratic Socialism
(PDS). Those accused still a human and ideological closeness to
the former regime.
roots strand is a young offshoot of the SPD: the choice of alternative
Social Justice (WASG). PDS and WASG have meanwhile joined the
Left Party, denouncing the social ills and sees itself as representative
of the common man. Even with a radical pacifism of the Left tries
to score points.
in the German party landscape
have always taken care of right-wing extremists. Among them especially
makes the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) talked about,
which moved back in the 1960s in several state parliaments and
in recent years repeatedly won parliament seats. A ban against
the NPD was founded in 2003 by the Constitutional Court halted
because of procedural errors. Since then discussed a new closure.
on the right side - as the Republicans and the German People's
Union (DVU) - were able to move temporarily to diets. However,
it is still not right party managed to get in federal elections
over the five-percent hurdle.
of the Federal President
of the Federal President in Berlin, the Schloss Bellevue
'It has to go through Germany a jerk! " With its 'Ruck-Rede'
burned the former Federal President Roman Herzog one to remember.
Political influence, the German head of state but a few ones.
the heads of other states, the German president has little ability
to impact on the daily business in politics. He represents the
Federal Republic of Germany under international law and represents
the country on official occasions.
signed the law, without his signature, they can not be made out
and come into force. However, it is controversial how far he can
really examine the laws and to prevent their execution. While
some assume that he can control only the formally correct conclusion
of law to vacate his other is also a material, ie substantive
right of review.
in 2004, the first elected President Horst Köhler has broadly
interpreted its audit rights. So he did not sign because of constitutional
concerns, the Air Traffic Control Act, which envisaged the privatization
of air traffic control authorities, as he refused to sign the
also include proposing to the Bundestag, the Federal Chancellor
for election. He appoints and dismisses the one hand, the chancellor
at the request of the Bundestag and the other on the proposal
of the Federal Chancellor. He has also pronounce the law, pardons
the U.S., France and Austria, the Federal President of Germany
is not directly elected by the people but by the Federal Assembly.
It consists of the members of the Bundestag and of an equal number
of delegates who are sent by the parliaments of the Länder.
The Federal President is elected for five years, a re-election
is possible only once. Any German, of the 40th Age has completed.
It is historically
well founded, that the German president has largely ceremonial.
For in the Weimar Republic, the then President was equipped with
extensive political power, could nullify basic rights and rule
by emergency decree. Factors that played in the Nazis came to
power a large role.