South Schleswig Association of Voters
|South Schleswig Association of Voters|
|Party leader||Flemming Meyer|
|Secretary General||Martin Lorentzen|
|founding||June 30, 1948|
|Place of foundation||Schleswig|
Interest party ,
|Government grants||87,835.82 euros (2018)
(as of April 15, 2019)
|Number of members||3,394 (as of December 31, 2016)|
|Minimum age||16 years|
|European party||European Free Alliance (EFA)|
The South Schleswig voter association ( short name : SSW ) ( Danish Sydslesvigsk Vælgerforening , North Frisian Söödschlaswiksche Wäälerferbånd ) is a minority and regional party in the state of Schleswig-Holstein .
As a party of the Danish minority , the SSW has been exempt from the five percent hurdle for the Landtag of Schleswig-Holstein since 1955 in accordance with the Electoral Act ; this has also applied since 1953 to federal elections in accordance with (3) sentence 2 of the Federal Election Act , which applies to all parties of national minorities . However, the SSW must win at least as many votes as are necessary for the allocation of the last mandate in the allocation of seats ( )). From 2012 to 2017, the SSW had government responsibility for the first time. After the state elections in Schleswig-Holstein in 2012 , he formed the so-called coastal coalition with the SPD and the Greens (also known as the Danish traffic light ) and took on a ministerial office for the first time.
The party acts in the Schleswig region as a regional party and represents the interests of the local Danish minority and also sees itself as a representative of the National Frisians within the Frisian ethnic group in North Frisia. Here the SSW works together with around 600 members of the Friisk Foriining . In its political views, the party stands between the popular parties CDU and SPD and is strongly oriented towards the political and social development of the Scandinavian countries . The SSW strives for a decentralized , citizen-oriented policy.
The cornerstones of his social policy are the demand for a humane society, equality between men and women with equal pay for the same work, a long-term immigration policy and a humane asylum policy. The focus of his cultural-political work is the protection and expansion of Danish, Frisian and Low German cultural offerings as well as the general promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity. Another focus is local politics , with the SSW calling for local and rural districts to be strengthened .
Economic and social policy
In its party program, the party is committed to the principles of the social market economy , but calls for one that "really deserves the name". With this, the party addresses, among other things, situations "where the so-called self-regulatory forces of the market fail and where state intervention (...) can help decisively" and expects the state and federal governments to actively participate in restructuring concepts. Accordingly, the SSW rejects many of the current reforms of the federal government as well as an extensive reduction in subsidies.
In particular, he calls for investment and structural programs for the Schleswig region, in particular an improvement in the transport infrastructure, such as the expansion of the west coast motorway , but taking into account sustainable natural and environmental development.
The SSW advocates an active labor market policy and calls for greater social responsibility on the part of the economy. Furthermore, better framework conditions for start-ups would have to be created. Economic crises should not lead to social cuts. Cooperation between kindergartens, schools and social institutions with parents must also be encouraged and flexible work opportunities created that meet the social needs of families.
The focus of education policy is primarily on the demands to set up community schools across the country based on the Scandinavian model, to reform vocational training and to introduce a Schleswig-Holstein law on further education. School education and training on the labor market should take place in constant interaction.
The SSW places a further focus on the library system and demands the possibility for all citizens of every community to obtain information inexpensively through books and other media. Every library should also be enabled to give its users free access to the Internet.
The SSW advocates the expansion of regenerative forms of energy . Furthermore, he calls for “extensive protection of the landscape” in order to ensure “areas that are valuable from a nature conservation point of view” and to create “necessary spaces for renaturation and biotope networking ”. Interventions in biologically-ecological and geographically-morphologically valuable areas should be prevented, interventions in nature and the landscape should be reduced to the bare minimum. The SSW rejected a planned CO 2 final storage facility in Schleswig-Holstein.
The SSW is critical of genetic engineering, but does not reject it entirely, advocating intensive controls, mandatory labeling of food and adequate financial support for alternative research programs.
The SSW consists of a regional association and four district associations. It is only present in the Schleswig region and on the island of Heligoland . The 103 local associations (districts) are located below the district associations. There are district associations in the districts of North Friesland (with Heligoland), Schleswig-Flensburg and Rendsburg-Eckernförde (with Kiel ) as well as a city association in Flensburg . The youth association is the youth in the SSW (SSWU).
The highest body of the party is the state party conference, which takes place every autumn in Husum . It consists of around 175 delegates who are sent by both local and district associations. Occasionally there are also “extraordinary party conventions”.
The SSW's press organ, The Voice of the North , first appeared in September 2005 and is expected to come out four times a year. From 1948 to 1973 the SSW had its own German-language party daily newspaper, the Südschleswigschen Heimatzeitung . The daily newspaper Flensborg Avis , which is mainly in Danish and is published in Flensburg, is close to the SSW.
On September 1, 2015, the SSW had 3,630 members, 1,065 of them in the city of Flensburg , 1,517 in the Schleswig-Flensburg district , 725 in the North Friesland district with Helgoland and a total of 323 in the Rendsburg-Eckernförde district and Kiel .
Finances and wealth
According to Bundestag printed paper 18/401, the party generated revenues of around 567,329 euros in 2012, including 67,034 euros from membership fees, around 81,776 euros from state funds and 414,702 euros from donations. The donations come mainly from legal entities , including a large donation of 392,120 euros, which, according to the party's report, came from the Danish Ministry of Education and accounted for more than 70 percent of the proceeds. In April 2015, the Süddeutsche Zeitung criticized that a political party in Germany was being co-financed from abroad. The SSW invokes an exemption for parties of national minorities contained in Political Parties Act. The income was offset by expenses of 685,305 euros. In 2012 the party generated a deficit of around 117,975 euros. In 2018, donations from legal entities totaled over 480,000 euros.
The net worth of the party at the end of 2018 was around 180,000 euros. The party has shares in the daily Flensborg Avis . She has no basic assets.
Foundation and successes (1948–1950)
The SSW was created in 1948 from the Südschleswigschen Verein ( Danish : Sydslesvigsk Forening), the umbrella organization of the Danish ethnic group in Südschleswig . Under the impression of the time of National Socialism and the German collapse, the Südschleswigsche Verein advocated another referendum in Südschleswig in the years immediately after the Second World War in order to obtain a cession of this area or parts of it to Denmark ("reunification"). Already after the First World War there were two border revisionist groups in Denmark as well as in South Schleswig itself: While the Flensborgbevægelse ("Flensburg Movement ") campaigned for a unification of Flensburg with Denmark, the more extensive Dannevirkebevægelse / Ejderfolk (" Dannewerk Movement / Eidervolk ") argued historically for a border drawing further south along the Eider and Danewerk . In September 1946, the British government offered the Danish government a referendum on a border revision, which the Danish government rejected at that time, as it did on May 9, 1945. Under pressure from the British occupying forces , the South Schleswig Association of Voters was formed in 1948 from the South Schleswig Association, which had previously also represented the Danish minority politically, but which, under pressure from the British, had to forego demands for a border shift in its program.
|Seats of the SSF / SSW in the state parliament|
|2017 – today|
The first years of the SSW were mainly characterized by great electoral successes. In some cities in the region, the Danish candidates were able to win political majorities in 1946 and even maintain them in Flensburg in 1948. In addition, the SSW was represented in the first Bundestag with the former Schleswig mayor Hermann Clausen . This can also be explained by the wish of broad sections of the population to break away from Germany or to join Denmark.
Decline in votes and threshold clause (1950–1954)
With the stabilization of the German situation it soon became clear, however, that there would not be a shift in borders, which led to a decline in the proportion of SSW votes. Demands of the SSF and SSW for an independent federal state "Südschleswig" as well as the early position of the SSF / SSW against the East German expellees who came into the country did not help to stop the increasing downward trend of the SSW. The number of displaced persons in Schleswig-Holstein was above average compared to other federal states. It is also undisputed that the SSW largely recruited its electorate from circles of socially disadvantaged locals who had turned to the Danish minority in the post-war period and therefore benefited from food aid - hence the polemical term “ Bacon Danes ”. Even before the war and in the 19th century, Danish attitudes were more widespread among the less privileged class.
Despite the newly introduced threshold clause of 5%, the SSW won four seats in the state elections in 1950 with 5.5% of the votes and again moved into the state parliament. As a result, the state parliament tightened the threshold clause again in 1951 to 7.5%, against which the SSW successfully sued. In its decision of April 5, 1952 , the Federal Constitutional Court declared the threshold clause exceeding the 5% rule quorum to be unconstitutional ( BVerfGE 1, 208 ). The state parliament followed this decision with a resolution of October 28, 1952. However, the SSW failed with only 3.5% of the vote because of this quorum and fell out of the state parliament. The SSW lost another lawsuit against the electoral law by decision of August 11, 1954 ( BVerfGE 4, 31 ).
Bonn-Copenhagen Declarations and Stabilization at a Low Level (1955–1990)
After the German-Danish negotiations on the Bonn-Copenhagen Declarations , the SSW was explicitly exempted from the threshold clause in 1955 in order to allow the Danish minority permanent parliamentary participation. However, it does not have a mandatory mandate, but must win at least as many votes as are necessary for the last mandate in the distribution of mandates. The two independent declarations assure the German and Danish minorities on both sides of the border extensive but differently extensive rights. With regard to the special regulations concerning elections in the two countries, see minority voting rights .
From 1971, Karl Otto Meyer was the only SSW member in the state parliament. In the state elections in 1983 , the SSW only barely managed to keep its mandate. Meyer received media attention in 1987 because, after Uwe Barschel's death, he tipped the scales in the prime ministerial election because of the parliamentary stalemate between the CDU / FDP on the one hand and the SPD on the other . In an interview in "Flensborg Avis", however, he refused to promise to elect a CDU prime minister at least by abstaining, thus clearing the way for new elections in which the SPD won an absolute majority in May 1988.
Increase in election results (1990-2004)
Since 1987, the SSW has again had higher votes. In 1996, for the first time in almost 40 years, he had two seats in the Landtag.
After the state parliament introduced the second vote against the votes of the SSW by means of an electoral reform , the party with the second vote can also be elected in the Holstein region . This has been criticized because Holstein has no native Danes or Frisians. On March 24, 2000, an objection was raised against the results of the state parliament elections established on March 10, 2000 with reference to the allocation of state parliament mandates to the SSW. As a justification, the complainant stated, among other things, that today the SSW could no longer be regarded as a party of the Danish minority, since formally German people can also become members of the party. The Schleswig-Holstein Higher Administrative Court expressed the opinion that an exception to the threshold clause for national minorities is generally permissible and that the SSW is still to be understood as a party of the Danish minority, but that the exemption for parties of the Danish minority since the introduction of the two-vote right to vote on the Measure of what is necessary has gone beyond. However, the Federal Constitutional Court found that the suspension and reference order of the Schleswig-Holstein Higher Administrative Court did not meet the admissibility requirements and did not accept its reference order for a decision because the decision did not sufficiently deal with the potential constitutional violation - including before the Change of the electoral system, a state-wide eligibility of the SSW that was constitutionally possible up to then existed and would now only become the rule.
The party itself emphasized that it wanted to continue to represent the interests of the two minorities in southern Schleswig . The regional party also runs an active election campaign exclusively in Schleswig. The SSW does not put forward any direct candidates in Holstein and can only be elected with a second vote. The two districts of Rendsburg-Eckernförde and Pinneberg (through Helgoland) as well as the state capital Kiel (through the northwestern districts of Holtenau, Friedrichsort, Schilksee) are "cross-Eider", so that even before the second vote was introduced, a candidacy for the SSW in parts of Holstein had already taken place .
A great success was the adoption of the Frisian Law (Frisian: Friisk Gesäts) by the state parliament on November 11, 2004, which grants the Frisians essential cultural rights.
In the state elections on February 20, 2005, the SSW received 3.6% of the second vote and two seats in the state parliament. Anke Spoorendonk and Lars Harms were MPs . The 3.6% (51,920 votes) are distributed as follows: in the constituencies that are in the Schleswig region, the SSW achieved around 24,500 votes, in cross-regional constituencies around 7,500 votes and in the constituencies of the Holstein region around 20,000 votes. If one distributes half of the votes from the interstate constituencies to Schleswig and Holstein, it becomes clear that almost half of the SSW votes (45%) were no longer obtained in the actual home country (southern) Schleswig, which is home to Danes and Frisians are. The second votes from the constituencies with direct candidates represent a loss compared to the result of the last state election, but a slight increase in votes compared to the results of the last 20 years within the Schleswig region. After neither the SPD and the Greens nor the CDU and FDP had achieved a majority, they declared the SSW ready to want to support a red-green or a black-yellow state government in the state parliament if necessary. After the first exploratory talks with the SPD and CDU, however, it became clear that the support of a red-green government would be more likely. This was mainly explained by strong differences with the CDU in the field of education. There was also the fact that the SSW was criticized by the CDU shortly after the election. CDU politicians demanded that the SSW should remain politically neutral as a representative of the interests of the Danish minority.
This led to negotiations about support for the SPD and the Greens. The red-green coalition and the SSW had one more seat than the two opposition parties, but at the constituent session of the state parliament on March 17, 2005, there was a scandal because, in addition to the members of the CDU and FDP, there was another unknown member of four Votes by Prime Minister-designate Heide Simonis refused to vote. The SSW assured that its two MPs had voted for the Prime Minister, and observers have since consistently positioned the deviator in the SPD. As a result, this new alliance initially failed, and the SSW then declared that it would no longer be available for tolerance.
After the state election, the discussion about the full value of the SSW state parliament mandates flared up again, this time nationwide. Many called for greater restraint on the part of the SSW in political subjects that do not directly affect the Danish or Frisian ethnic groups. There were again voices that questioned the exemption of the SSW from the threshold clause, as the SSW could no longer define itself as a minority party as a result of the votes from the Holstein region. However, the SSW demanded to recognize his mandates as full and to be able to comment politically on all issues.
If the SSW's share of the vote is below 5% and the party does not have a parliamentary group status, the SSW state parliament members do not have any basic mandates according to the state parliament's rules of procedure and are therefore not entitled to vote in the committees. After the state elections in 2005, the SSW, with its own votes as well as those of its potential coalition partners, secured the classification as a basic mandate shortly before the election of the prime minister in order to be fully capable of governing and acting - in the meantime, however, the grand coalition formed instead has opposed this process the votes of the three small opposition parties were reversed.
In its political history, the SSW has neither clearly sought nor rejected possible support for other political parties or constellations. There is a rumor that the SSW should have cast the decisive vote in the election of Konrad Adenauer as the first German Chancellor. This is wrong, however, since Hermann Clausen did not take part in that election.
In state politics, however, the SSW did not play a government-forming role until the 2012 state elections. For example, in 1950 the party turned down the SPD's offer to support a coalition government of the SPD and the displaced party, the Association of Displaced Persons and Disenfranchised . Even after the state elections in 1962, the SSW did not want to support any of the possible government constellations. At that time, the SSW could have tolerated a social-liberal coalition and thus brought about a change of government. Instead, the SSW declared that it “did not want to support or overthrow” a government. But as early as 1978, the party decided in the run-up to a state election not to be politically neutral in the event of a political stalemate.
Karl Otto Meyer also abstained when the CDU and FDP campaigned for the vote of the SSW for the election of a new CDU Prime Minister in the course of the Barschel Affair in 1987 after Uwe Barschel's death . It was not until the new elections that Meyer voted for the SPD candidate Björn Engholm , who had its own majority.
2005 to 2008
At a special party conference on June 21, 2005, the SSW decided by a two-thirds majority not to participate in the early federal election in September 2005 . Some representatives of the SSW had previously campaigned aggressively for participation in the federal election. The SSW was already represented in the first German Bundestag with a member. The SSW has not stood in federal elections since the 1960s. On September 10, 2005, the SSW state party conference elected Flemming Meyer , the son of long-time member of the state parliament and party chairman Karl Otto Meyer , as its new chairman. Like his father, Meyer advocates a more left-wing SSW course and participation in federal elections.
In the Schleswig-Holstein local elections in 2008 , the SSW was able to maintain its position overall; in Flensburg, for example, despite a slight loss of votes, it was only just behind a group of voters as the second strongest party and was ahead of the CDU and SPD there. In addition, in Kiel , where he traditionally competes in the northern districts, he was able to enter the Kiel Council for the first time thanks to the elimination of the communal five percent hurdle with one seat. The districts of Kiel north of the Kiel Canal - in which the SSW only competes - belong to the Schleswig region.
In the early state elections on September 27, 2009 , the party under its top candidate Anke Spoorendonk achieved 4.3% of the vote and entered the Kiel state parliament with four members, a number that was last reached in 1950. Even if the state parliament was enormously enlarged by overhang and compensatory mandates, the percentage of votes also represents the best result since 1950.
On the question of the unconstitutionality of the 2009 election results, the SSW abstained from voting in the election review committee. On October 15, 2009, the SSW, together with the Greens, filed a judicial review complaint against the state election law in force at that time with the state constitutional court in Schleswig. In August 2010, the court declared the then Schleswig-Holstein suffrage to be unconstitutional.
In the federal presidential elections in 2009, 2010 and 2012, the SSW provided one member each to the Federal Assembly and supported the defeated Gesine Schwan in 2009 , then both times Joachim Gauck , who was finally elected to office in 2012.
Red-green-blue coalition 2012 to 2017
In the state elections in 2012 , the SSW received 4.6% of the votes and was thus able to improve slightly. Since the number of MPs in the state parliament fell by 26, the SSW only had three seats instead of four (Anke Spoorendonk, Lars Harms and Flemming Meyer ). Before the state elections, the party had decided to be available for a change of government, but on the condition that it be responsible for a portfolio. After the election, the SPD and Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen formed the so-called coastal coalition with the SSW (see also the Danish traffic light ). The red-green-blue coalition had a majority in the Kiel state parliament. Spoorendonk took over the Ministry of Justice, Europe and Culture; thus the SSW occupied a ministerial office for the first time. At the same time, Spoorendonk was second deputy to Prime Minister Torsten Albig . With the appointment of Spoorendonk as Minister, Lars Harms took over the group chairmanship of the SSW. At the same time, Spoorendonk renounced her mandate in favor of Jette Waldinger-Thiering .
Representatives of the Junge Union and CDU wanted to overturn the narrow government majority of the SPD, Greens and SSW in the state parliament with a walk in front of the constitutional court. In support of their complaint, the complainants had argued, among other things, that the SSW was no longer a party of the Danish minority, but that it spoke out on all issues. The judges at the constitutional court of Schleswig-Holstein rejected this in their judgment of September 13, 2013. The SSW is still the party of the Danish minority. It is “necessary” to be a characteristic of a political party to comment on all issues, said court president Bernhard Flor in the grounds of the judgment. The exemption of the SSW as a minority party from the five percent threshold is constitutionally required and, in the opinion of the court, arises from the country's "duty to protect" to guarantee the political participation of the Danish minority as required by the constitution. This is a "constitutional good of high rank".
In the state elections in 2017 , the SSW fell to 3.3% and thus achieved its worst result since the last electoral reform in 2000, according to which the SSW can be elected with a second vote throughout the state. Since the two coalition partners, the SPD and the Greens, lost their share of the vote, the previous red-green-blue coalition lost its majority. The SSW had already excluded a coalition with the CDU in the run-up to the election.
Thanks to a compensatory mandate , the SSW is also represented in the 19th electoral term with three mandates in the Schleswig-Holstein state parliament ( Christian Dirschauer , Lars Harms and Jette Waldinger-Thiering). Anke Spoorendonk went into political retirement when she finished her ministerial office.
In the local elections in 2018 , the SSW suffered a loss of votes as a result. Nationwide, the share of votes fell by 0.6% compared to the 2013 result to 2.3%. It should be noted that the party only runs in local elections in the districts and municipalities in the north of the country. The SSW is currently represented in three district assemblies, in two independent cities and in 63 municipalities (eight of them through voter communities). Specifically, the SSW has eight seats in the Flensburg council assembly (17.6%), six seats in the district council of Schleswig-Flensburg (10.4%), four seats in the district council of North Friesland (7.4%), two seats in the District assembly in Rendsburg-Eckernförde (3.8%) and also two seats in the Kiel council (2.8%). The party got the best individual result in the town of Arnis (Danish: Arnæs ) with 45.8%.
In the Schleswig-Holstein municipal elections there has been no threshold clause since 2008. Since in small communities the community council can only consist of seven seats and list connections between parties are not allowed according to Schleswig-Holstein local electoral law, this means a high hurdle for all small parties.
- Political parties in Germany
- Election of the Prime Minister of Schleswig-Holstein in 2005
- Minority voting rights
- Schleswig party
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- SSW website
- Parliamentary group of the SSW
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- Film script for The Danes in Germany (as PDF) ( Memento from July 26, 2004 in the Internet Archive ) (in English; 31 kB)
On the constitutionality of the SSW exemption from the five percent clause:
- Decision of the Schleswig-Holstein OVG of September 25, 2002
- Order of the Federal Constitutional Court of November 17, 2004
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- Framework program - nature, environment and energy. ( Memento from September 15, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) SSW regional association
- SSW mister medlemmer paa trods af hvervekampganer. In: Flensborg Avis. September 1, 2015, p. 7.
- Bundestag printed paper 18/401 (PDF; 75.5 MB), p. 227 ff.
- Kiel elects, Copenhagen pays. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung. April 9, 2015.
- Financial report of SSW bundestag.de, accessed on February 11, 2020
- Flensborgbevægelsen. Grænseforeningen, accessed May 9, 2012 .
- Dannevirkebevægelsen. Grænseforeningen, accessed May 9, 2012 .
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- In the constitutional review process. Federal Constitutional Court, accessed on May 9, 2012 .
- Tilman Zülch : The Danish minority in sight. Boilers against the South Schleswig voter association . Bolzano, March 15, 2005, particularly referred to the "surprising and unfortunate statement" by Christoph Pan .
- Henningsen / Klatt / Kühl 1998, p. 162.
- Klatt 2001, p. 294 f.
- Black and yellow decide state elections for themselves. ( Memento from February 10, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) In: Norddeutscher Rundfunk. September 28, 2009.
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- How did the new elections come about? Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR), archived from the original on September 4, 2010 ; Retrieved May 9, 2012 .
- A new right to vote for Schleswig-Holstein. ( Memento from February 19, 2013 in the web archive archive.today ) State Center for Civic Education Schleswig-Holstein
- Federal President election: Anke Spoorendonk supports Gesine Schwan. South Schleswig Voter Association, March 4, 2009, accessed on June 30, 2010 .
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