18th German Bundestag

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Logo of the German Bundestag

The 18th German Bundestag existed from October 22, 2013 to October 24, 2017. It was elected by the 2013 Bundestag election on September 22, 2013. For the first time, the new federal electoral law was applied , which is intended to prevent negative voting weight and thus implements the judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court on the electoral law of 2012. The constituent meeting of the 18th Bundestag took place on October 22, 2013, the last possible date in accordance with Art. 39 Paragraph 2 of the Basic Law .

Old president was Heinz Riesenhuber of the CDU (Federal Minister retd.).

At the beginning of this session, the elected applicants became members of the 18th Bundestag ( § 45 BWahlG ); the term of office of the members of the 17th Bundestag ended.

In the fourth session on December 17, 2013, the 18th German Bundestag elected Angela Merkel for the third time as Chancellor with 462 yes-votes, 150 no-votes and 9 abstentions in the first ballot (see also Merkel III's cabinet ). The formation of a government had taken longer than ever before after the start of a new legislative period.

Members of the Bundestag

Parliamentary groups in the plenary session of the Bundestag for the 18th electoral term
(as of January 15, 2017)
A total of 630 seats

According to the official final result , the 18th Bundestag had 631 members at the beginning of the electoral term. He had thus by the new electoral law 9 deputies more than 17 German Bundestag at the beginning of the election period in 2009. Of the 631 members of the Bundestag accounted for 311 seats to the CDU / CSU , 193 to the SPD , 64 on the left and 63 on the Alliance 90 / The Greens . For the first time since the Federal Republic of Germany was founded in 1949, the FDP was no longer represented in the German Bundestag because it failed to pass the five percent hurdle . For the first time, the Left rose to just under the third strongest force among the parliamentary groups . There was neither a CDU / CSU nor a red-green absolute parliamentary majority (“ Chancellor majority ”). At the end of September 4, 2015, Katherina Reiche resigned from the Bundestag, which since then has 630 members, 310 of them from the CDU / CSU. With effect from January 15, 2017, Erika Steinbach declared her resignation from the CDU / CSU parliamentary group due to her dissenting opinion on questions of refugee policy and was a non-attached member of parliament for the rest of the legislative period.

230 women were represented in the 18th German Bundestag at the beginning of the electoral term, 26 more than in the 17th Bundestag. The proportion of women in the highest German parliament rose by around 3.5 percentage points compared to the previous Bundestag and reached its highest level to date at 36.3 percent. The increase in the proportion of women compared to the last electoral term is the highest increase since their share in 1998 reached 30 percent -Mark skipped and in the subsequent phase even fell again for the first time since 1972.

Constituent session

In accordance with Section 1 (1) of the Rules of Procedure of the German Bundestag , the President of the 17th Bundestag , Norbert Lammert , invited the people elected in the 2013 Bundestag elections to the constituent meeting, which took place on October 22, 2013. According to Section 1 (2), senior president Heinz Riesenhuber chaired the meeting until President Lammert, who was confirmed in office, took over his office.


Norbert Lammert was confirmed in his office as President of the Bundestag with 591 votes . Johannes Singhammer (CSU) with 442, Peter Hintze (CDU) with 449, Ulla Schmidt with 520, Edelgard Bulmahn (both SPD) with 534 and Petra Pau (Die Linke) with 451 votes were elected as his deputies . In addition, the former party leader Claudia Roth was elected for the smallest parliamentary group Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen with 415 votes . In contrast to the 17th electoral term, the two largest parliamentary groups, the CDU / CSU and the SPD, each claimed another post for the office of Bundestag Vice-President, which led to criticism from the opposition.

Bundestag Vice-President Peter Hintze died on November 26, 2016. His successor was Michaela Noll (CDU) in January 2017 for the rest of the legislative period until October 2017 .


Main committee

As proposed in mid-November 2013, a so-called main committee was set up for the first time on November 28, which temporarily replaced the regular committees . It consisted of 47 parliamentarians (23 CDU / CSU, 14 SPD, 5 The Greens, 5 Die Linke and just as many deputies). The management lay with the Bundestag Presidium , which, however, was not entitled to vote. After the establishment of the regular committees, it was dissolved again. The background was that the CDU / CSU and SPD only wanted to set up the regular committees after the election of the Chancellor and the formation of a government, and therefore no committee work had taken place since the Bundestag election on September 22, 2013 . At the second meeting on November 18, a motion for a resolution by the Greens (printed matter 18/65) had already been referred to the main committee that was not yet in existence at the time.

Criticism and concerns about the constitutionality of the plan have been expressed by the Greens, the Left, and academics such as Wolfgang Zeh and Hans Meyer . Bundestag President Lammert, who in his speech to the constituent session had emphasized that "[a] uch the ability of parliament and government to act [is] secured for the duration of the coalition negotiations [...]", saw the Bundestag's ability to work as secured by the main committee.


The Bundestag formed 23 permanent Bundestag committees as well as several other Bundestag bodies .

The parliamentary supervisory body met on October 24, 2013, still in the cast of the previous period , including the two former members of the FDP , Gisela Piltz and Hartfrid Wolff .

Minority rights

Due to the small size of the opposition in the 18th electoral term (just 20%), criticism was voiced that such a large government coalition would undermine minority rights : for example, a quarter of the members of the Bundestag would normally have to vote to set up a committee of inquiry - That would mean that the opposition would have to rely on 31 votes from the governing parliamentary groups and so could not carry out its control function effectively. For this reason, the Bundestag issued a special regulation ( § 126a GOBT ) that strengthens the rights of the opposition mentioned above and, for example, already empowers 120 members to set up a committee of inquiry.

In addition, the parliamentary group of the Left Party initiated an organ dispute in order to obtain, on the basis of the constitutional principle of effective opposition, that the quorums of other minority rights are lowered. However, the Federal Constitutional Court rejected the relevant applications by decision of May 3, 2016.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Marcel Leubecher: Today is the constituent session of the Bundestag In: Hamburger Abendblatt , October 22, 2013.
  2. ^ German Bundestag: Plenary Protocol 18/4 , from December 17, 2013, accessed on December 18, 2013
  3. PM of the Federal Returning Officer ( memento of October 23, 2013 in the Internet Archive ), regarding the official final result
  4. welt.de: Erika Steinbach leaves the CDU and accuses Merkel of breaking the law
  5. ^ Bundestag.de: Biographies of the members of the 18th Bundestag
  6. Six Vizes for Lammert ( Memento from August 21, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) On: tagesschau.de , October 22, 2013.
  7. German Bundestag - Hintze, Peter. Retrieved March 23, 2019 .
  8. ^ German Bundestag - Michaela Noll. Retrieved March 23, 2019 .
  9. Parliament: Bundestag sets up controversial super committee. Spiegel Online , November 28, 2013, accessed November 28, 2013 .
  10. Lammert is to head the provisional main committee. Die Zeit , November 27, 2013, accessed on November 27, 2013 .
  11. Printed matter 18/2 (PDF; 1.5 MB)
  12. The trick with the super committee. Süddeutsche Zeitung , November 20, 2013, accessed on November 20, 2013 .
  13. ^ Discomfort at the super committee. Süddeutsche Zeitung , November 21, 2013, accessed on November 20, 2013 .
  14. Bundestag.de ( Memento from November 29, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  15. Tagesschau ( Memento from August 21, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  16. Bundestag strengthens control options for the opposition. In: sueddeutsche.de. April 3, 2014, accessed March 14, 2018 .
  17. http://www.bundestag.de/dokumente/textarchiv/2014/49536550_kw07_de_oppositionsrechte/215732
  18. http://www.bundestag.de/dokumente/textarchiv/2014/50128110_kw14_de_minderheitenrechte/216634
  19. Federal Constitutional Court, 2nd Senate: Federal Constitutional Court - Decisions - The Basic Law does not contain any requirement to create specific opposition parliamentary group rights. May 3, 2016. Retrieved May 26, 2017 .