Rotation principle

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The rotation principle or rotation procedure refers to any regular change in a meeting place or an official position (e.g. a government , club or party office ).

United Nations

At the United Nations , many functions are subject to an (informal) rotation principle. Traditionally , the office of Secretary General alternates between the continents.

European Central Bank

In the Council of the European Central Bank , since there are more than 18 member states in the Eurozone , the rotation principle has been applied since January 2015. The Governing Council is the highest decision- making body and as such is responsible for the central bank's monetary policy decisions . The reason for switching to the rotation principle, as with other rotations, is to prevent too many actors from being involved in the decision-making process, which would make it inefficient.

The member countries are classified 5/6 according to their gross domestic product and 1/6 according to their share in the total aggregated balance sheet of the monetary financial institutions ( monetary financial institutions , MFIs). The five largest of these countries receive four fixed voting rights in the Governing Council, around which they rotate monthly. The remaining countries rotate monthly for the remaining eleven voting rights. If the number of member countries of the Eurozone exceeds 22, the second group is further subdivided: The half of all member countries following the five largest countries then rotates by eight voting rights (new second group), the remaining smallest countries (new third group) rotates by three voting rights . Even after the introduction of the rotation principle, all member countries are entitled to participate in the meetings of the Governing Council. The voting members will continue to have one vote each.

The rotation principle was proposed by the Governing Council itself on the basis of the following principles:

  1. Even in an enlarged eurozone, the Governing Council should be able to take decisions efficiently and in good time.
  2. Personal participation of all members should be guaranteed.
  3. The principle of “one member, one vote” should apply.
  4. The voters should be representative and thus represent the economy of the entire euro area.
  5. The system should be permanent and thus have an automatic mechanism for its future application, even if the composition of the committee changes.
  6. The system should be transparent.

It was mainly criticized from the scientific side for a violation of principles 1, 4 and 6.

President of the Federal Council

The fourth highest office in the Federal Republic of Germany , the President of the German Bundesrat , rotates annually between the states.

Alliance 90 / The Greens

The rotation principle was applied in Germany by the party Die Grünen since the first successes in local elections in 1978. After this procedure, all party offices were filled at regular intervals in order to counteract an accumulation of offices and possible abuse of power. According to the federal program of 1980, this grassroots democratic principle should always be extended to all Bundestag and Landtag mandates in order to prevent or at least hinder the formation of professional politicians. The resignation of the MPs after two years, so that those who were next on the state list could move up, was constitutionally controversial, since the Basic Law stipulated a term of office that was two years longer and could only be shortened for compelling reasons. Before the replacement, the successor in the parliamentary group should be an equal member with full voting rights and after the replacement the former MP should take his place.

The principle already showed its weak points on the first major attempt. It was clearly visible after the Greens entered the German Bundestag for the first time in its 10th legislative period : Two MPs, Petra Kelly and Gert Bastian, refused to give up their mandate after two years, contrary to the party's resolutions. Bastian therefore resigned from the Bundestag parliamentary group and became a non-attached MP . Otto Schily did not leave the Bundestag until March 1986 because of his prominent position in the ongoing Flick investigative committee . In preparing a constitutional lawsuit against the exclusion of the Greens from parliamentary control of the secret services, Hubert Kleinert found a reason not to give up his mandate until January 19, 1986. A further complicating factor was that the most prominent, eloquent and assertive candidates were often elected to the top list positions, while further back on the lists were the less well-known candidates who had become more known through grassroots work within the Greens. The successor Uschi Eid, for example, refused to work on site in the Bundestag group for the first two years; many former MPs left the group after giving up their mandate. The discrimination against the successors, the half-hearted adherence to the resolutions of the green party congresses and the public focus on a few celebrities contributed to the failure of the rotation principle.

As early as 1986, the two-year rotation was replaced by a four-year rotation for members of the Bundestag, but this should no longer play a role at the federal level, since the Greens were no longer represented in the Bundestag from 1990 to 1994. In 1991 the rotation principle was finally abolished.

Antifa and Autonome

In left-wing radical contexts, especially among anti-fascists and autonomous groups , the principle of rotation is still used today, for example when it comes to sending delegates to supraregional meetings. The imperative mandate is generally associated with this practice .


In August 2000, the world football association FIFA decided on a rotation process for the allocation of football world championships . Accordingly, from 2010 world championships will take place alternating between the six continental associations. According to FIFA President Sepp Blatter , the main purpose of the decision was to ensure that the 2010 World Cup would take place in an African country.

On October 29, 2007, the Executive Committee of Fifa announced that the rotation procedure for the World Championships from 2018 onwards will be lifted. As a reason, Blatter stated that a situation like the one when the 2014 World Cup was awarded, where only one country (Brazil) from the South American association intended for this tournament had applied to host this tournament, should be avoided in future.

Strict application of the procedure from 2010 would have meant that Europe would only be allowed to host soccer world championships every 24 years, although according to the previous tradition it had hosted the soccer world championship every eight years since 1958. In contrast, there are only a small number of potential host countries in Africa, Oceania or North America.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. a b Ansgar Belke, Dirk Kruwinus (2003): Enlargement of the EU and reform of the Governing Council: Rotation versus delegation , Hohenheim discussion paper No. 218/2003 (PDF document; 389 kB)
  2. European Central Bank (2003): Recommendation pursuant to Article 10.6 of the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and the European Central Bank for a Council decision on an amendment to Article 10.2 of the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and the European Central Bank , ECB / 2003/1 , Frankfurt a. M.
  3. Klein, Falter: The long way of the Greens , Munich 2003, p. 94.
  4. Klein, Falter: The long way of the Greens , Munich 2003, p. 96.