Local politics in Germany

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Local politics is the political work in local authorities at the local level of municipalities or cities or in rural districts and administrative districts , as well as city ​​districts , districts or districts .

Cities and municipalities in the Federal Republic of Germany guarantee the right to municipal self-administration according to Art. 28 Paragraph 2 of the Basic Law . This allows them to regulate and decide on their own matters within the framework of the law on their own initiative. For this purpose, municipal councils and mayors are elected by the citizens . According to Article 28 Paragraph 2, Clause 2 of the Basic Law, the municipal associations (rural districts) have no jurisdiction for all matters of the local community, but only within the scope of their statutory scope of duties .

The exact form of local self-government and the organs to be elected for this are regulated in the local constitutions, the constitutions and the municipal codes of the federal states. Accordingly, the regulations differ from state to state. In the elections to the local parliaments , every resident has the right to vote for the local council as soon as they have reached the legal minimum age and are an EU citizen .

There is also the possibility of participating at the municipal level through direct democratic instruments such as referendums and referendums . In addition, there are numerous other forms and instruments of citizen participation , especially at the municipal level .

Local policy areas

Local constitutional issues and the basic structures of local financial policy are regulated by state laws. The basic conditions of other municipal political departments are also specified by state, federal and in some cases also EU law. Within this framework, the municipalities can regulate all matters of the local community themselves.

The priorities of local politics within the legal framework include the following cross-sectional areas:

The main political spheres of activity are:

Some of the aforementioned policy areas are reserved for the rural districts and urban districts, and occasionally also for the large urban districts.

Violence against local politicians

The topic of violence against local politicians reached the German media at least since the murder of Walter Lübcke . The German magazine KOMMUNAL conducted surveys of local politicians in this regard, which were picked up by media such as the Tagesschau and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung . In the last survey in March 2020, 64% of those surveyed said they had already been insulted, verbally abused, threatened or attacked. In municipalities with over 5,000 inhabitants, the level rises to 70% and beyond.

See also

Triangle with the federal government at the top, including in layers the federal states, optional administrative districts, (rural) districts, optional municipal associations and municipalities.  The strict stratification is broken up by city-states and district-free cities, which perform tasks of several strata.Bund Bundesländer/Flächenländer Bundesländer/Stadtstaaten (Regierungsbezirke) (Land-)Kreise Gemeindeverbände (Gemeindeverbandsangehörige/Kreisangehörige Gemeinden) (Gemeindeverbandsfreie) Kreisangehörige Gemeinden Kreisfreie Städte
Vertical state structure of Germany


  • Siegfried Frech: Local politics. Politics locally Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2018. ISBN 978-3-17-032393-3 .
  • Andreas Kost, Hans Georg Wehling (Hrsg.): Local politics in the German states. An introduction. 2nd updated and revised edition, VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden 2010, ISBN 978-3-531-17007-7 .
  • Hans-Georg Wehling: Local politics in the Federal Republic of Germany (= contributions to contemporary history . Vol. 17). Colloquium-Verlag, Berlin 1986, ISBN 3-7678-0620-7 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Local Politicians: Threats are the order of the day Local on March 10, 2020