German Association of Cities

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German Association of Cities
Seat Berlin
founding 1905

place Berlin and Cologne
president Burkhard Jung
Members approx. 3400 cities and municipalities

The German Association of Cities ( DST ) is a voluntary association of independent cities and cities in Germany .

The association actively represents local self-government. As a municipal umbrella association, it represents the interests of cities vis-à-vis the federal government, the Bundestag, the Bundesrat, the European Union and numerous organizations. The German Association of Cities, the Association of German Districts and the Association of German Cities and Municipalities have come together in the federal association of local umbrella organizations in order to jointly comment on overarching local political issues.

It also advises its member cities, informs them about significant events and developments and promotes the exchange of experiences between them. The main office is divided between the Cologne and Berlin locations . There is a regional association of the DST for each federal state . In addition, the German Association of Cities has a European office in Brussels .

The DST chose the Lübeck Holsten Gate as its association symbol. The current president is Leipzig's Lord Mayor Burkhard Jung .

Comparable institutions are


The German Association of Cities was constituted as a permanent institution on November 27, 1905 at a first meeting in Berlin, at which representatives from 131 cities and 7 regional city associations were present. He was initiated - first as a one-time event - during a September 1903 in Dresden oriented German cities exhibition from Dresden Mayor Otto Beutler . The seat and office were the General Prussian City Council founded in Berlin in 1896 . The second meeting took place in July 1908. From 1913 the DST had its first full-time managing director in Hans Luther . During the First World War , the German Association of Cities suggested the Hindenburg donation for the procurement of woolen goods and furs for the German soldiers fighting on the Eastern Front.

The full-time (executive) president of the German Association of Cities has been Oskar Mulert since March 1926 , until then a high ministerial official (head of the municipal department in the Prussian Interior Ministry). He chaired the specialist committees and had the right of representation to the outside world. The inner board gained importance from 1926. The committee comprised a total of around 12 people (the Prussian and German Association of Cities) and was considered to be one of the most important administrative bodies of the Weimar period. The entire board had around 40 members. Members of the board and the narrow board were among others. a. the Mannheim mayor Hermann Heimerich and Robert Görlinger , SPD city councilor in Cologne. The seat was in the town hall on the edge of the Berlin zoo not far from the Reichstag building .

In the 1920s, Carl Friedrich Goerdeler was involved in the German Association of Cities.

The successor organization of the DST was the German Municipal Day in 1933 , a unified association that was enforced at the suggestion of Robert Ley in the course of the National Socialists' seizure of power and their policy of harmonization in May 1933. Mulert was given leave on charges of embezzlement .

The German Municipal Code (DGO) of January 30, 1935, abolished the federally structured municipal constitutional law of the German states in favor of a centralized regulation. At the same time, the DGO marked the end of local self-government , which many considered to be one of the most important elements of German bureaucracy. The DGO eliminated the direct or indirect participation of the population in internal community decision-making and transferred large parts of the urban tasks to the state or the NSDAP . The remaining tasks of the community were passed on to the mayor according to the “ leader principle ”.

After the end of the National Socialist era on October 10, 1945, the German Community Congress was dissolved as a National Socialist organization by the Allied Control Council with the Control Council Act No. 2 .

At the initiative of the then Mayor of Cologne, Konrad Adenauer , the process of re-establishing the DST began in the western occupation zones . The first post-war president was Adenauer's successor, Hermann Pünder , and the management was merged with that of the North Rhine-Westphalian state association ( City Council of North Rhine-Westphalia ). In 1952, the federal association of municipal umbrella organizations was founded , which includes:

In 1960 the general meeting of the DST had the motto “Renewal of the cities” - for the first time, fundamental questions were also discussed; In 1973 the German Institute for Urban Studies was founded.

On June 13, 1990 , the first all-German city convention was held in Berlin's Ernst-Reuter-Haus ( Strasse des 17. Juni ), the former house of the German municipalities that was transferred to the DST in the 1950s and rebuilt .

Since 2009 the German Association of Cities has been involved in the organization of the central German-Belgian partner city ​​day .



The organization is an unregistered association . At the top is a president who chairs the main committee of the DST, which meets three times a year, and the presidium, which meets five times a year. He is elected by the general meeting that meets every two years.

In the two main offices, a total of eight departments with 35 speakers and a total of around 125 employees are looked after by the general manager, a permanent deputy, six full-time associates and a press officer.

  • Finance Department (Head: Deputy Verena Göppert, Permanent Deputy General Manager)
  • Department of Education, Culture, Sport and Equal Opportunities (Head: Alderman Klaus Hebborn)
  • Department of Labor, Youth, Health and Social Affairs (Head: Deputy Stefan Hahn)
  • Department of Urban Development, Building, Housing and Transport (Head: Deputy Minister Hilmar von Lojewski)
  • Environment and Economy, Fire and Disaster Protection (Head: Deputy Detlef Raphael)
  • Department of Law and Administration (Head: Deputy Uda Bastians)
  • Press and Public Relations Department (Head: Press Spokesman Volker Bästlein)

In addition, there are other committees supervised by employees of the member cities that coordinate the specialist work of the municipalities. These are mainly the technical committees:

  • Law and constitution
  • school and education
  • Culture
  • Sports
  • Social affairs, youth and family
  • health
  • Construction and transport
  • Economy and the European single market
  • environment
  • Finances
  • Personnel and organization
  • Women and equality issues
  • Press and public relations
  • Medium-sized Cities Committee
  • Committee of direct member cities
  • Committee for indirect member cities

Below these specialist committees, there are further working groups on specific subject areas.


Chief Executive

Topics and locations of the general meetings

Incomplete list of the last general meetings

  • 1995: Magdeburg "The city as an opportunity - New ways into the future"
  • 2001: Leipzig "Future of the City - City of the Future"
  • 2003: Mannheim "Cities are the future"
  • 2005: Berlin "The future lies in the cities"
  • 2007: Munich "Cities create integration - urban policy in times of globalization"
  • 2009: Bochum "Urban Action in Times of Crisis"
  • 2011: Stuttgart "Cohesion and future - only with strong cities!"
  • 2013: Frankfurt am Main "Strengthening Europe - for its citizens, for its cities"
  • 2015: Dresden "Growing gap between cities - securing development opportunities for everyone"
  • 2016: Essen "More commitment for affordable living space"
  • 2017: Nuremberg "Home - Future - City"
  • 2019: Dortmund "Hold together # in our cities" (June 4-6, 2019)
  • 2021: Erfurt (April 26-29, 2021, planned)

See also

The meeting point of science initiative was initiated by the Robert Bosch Foundation together with the German Association of Cities in 2009.


  • Otto Ziebill : History of the German City Day . Stuttgart (Kohlhammer) 1954 (2nd edition).
  • German Association of Cities (Ed.): 100 years of the Association of German Cities. Baden-Baden (Nomos) 2005.

Web links

Individual evidence

  4. See for example: Ines Reich: Carl Friedrich Goerdeler. A mayor against the Nazi state . Böhlau publishing house. Cologne 1997, page 218. Böhlau-Verlag. Cologne 1997.
  5. German Association of Cities - main office. In: Retrieved June 29, 2016 .
  6. ^ German Association of Cities - Technical Committees. In: Retrieved June 29, 2016 .
  7. ^ Maly new President of the German Association of Cities. (No longer available online.) Bavarian Association of Cities, archived from the original on January 16, 2014 ; Retrieved April 25, 2013 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8., June 11, 2015: Annual General Meeting in the state capital of Dresden: Ludwigshafen's Lord Mayor Eva Lohse elected as the new President of the German Association of Cities , accessed on February 2, 2019.
  9. ^ Münsters OB becomes president of the city council. Bavarian Association of Cities, accessed on June 1, 2017 .
  10. Leipzig's OBM Jung is the new President of the German Association of Cities. Retrieved June 6, 2019 .
  11., May 24, 2008: Issue 69: The city as an opportunity - New ways into the future , accessed on April 25, 2020.
  12. The city as an opportunity - new ways into the future: Documentation of the 1995 general meeting in Magdeburg , issue 69; Stuttgart, Berlin, Cologne, Mainz - Publishing place Cologne: Verlag W. Kohlhammer GmbH, 1995, ISBN 3-17-014109-0 , p. 7.
  13., May 11, 2001: German Cities: Meeting "Future of the City - City of the Future" in Leipzig , accessed on 4 May 2020th
  14. ^ Annual General Meeting of the German Association of Cities 2017 in Nuremberg: Home - Future - City ; Article from May 30, 2017 ,, accessed June 15, 2020.
  15. 40th Annual General Meeting of the German Association of Cities: Holding together in our cities ( Memento from April 12, 2019 in the Internet Archive ),
  16. German Association of Cities will meet in Erfurt in 2021; Article from November 9, 2019 ,, accessed on April 9, 2020.