City council

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Meeting of the city council of Isselburg , North Rhine-Westphalia

A city council is in Germany one for municipal council or local government in cities an appointed collegial body or member of such a body. The same applies to Italy , the Netherlands , Belgium , France , Spain , Sweden and other democratic countries. In some German states , city ​​council is also the designation of a department head of a city administration.

In Austria 's City Council the name of a city government or its member. In statutory cities (e.g. in Vienna ) the city council is called the city senate as a collegial body .

In Switzerland , depending on the canton , city ​​council designates either the legislative (legislative) city authority, i.e. the municipal parliament , or more often the executive (executive) authority, i.e. the city government.

In Germany, Austria and Italy, the city council never has a legislative function. In the city-states of Hamburg (there: citizenship ), Berlin (there: House of Representatives ) and Vienna (there: Landtag ), this function is incumbent on the respective national parliament or the parliament of the city-state, to which the city council can introduce bills. In Italy, the legislative function lies with the national parliament, the regional councils and the provincial parliaments of Trentino and South Tyrol .


In many German federal states, city ​​council is the name of the city ​​council , i.e. the local people's representative body in the cities (in other municipalities: municipal council ). The members of the city council are also sometimes referred to as city councils. The city council is the most important body of local self-government within the framework of local authority to legislate . The first female city councilors in Germany were founded in Königsberg i. Pr. (Charlotte Melzer née Linde (1890–1971), Martha Harpf (1874–1942) and Emma Rohrer.) And elected in Kassel ( Johanna Vogt (1862–1944)).

In a few federal states (e.g. Hessen ) city ​​council is the name for the members of the magistrate (executive) of a city. City councils generally and predominantly have the status of honorary officials . In the main statute of the municipality it can be determined that a city council acts as an electoral officer on a full-time basis. The mayor, as head of department, is responsible for subordinating parts of the city administration to him. Department heads can also use terms such as Stadtbaurat (building department) or city ​​treasurer (finance department). The mayor's representative has the title of “First City Councilor”. In the federal states in which the term “city council” is used, the local parliament is not referred to as city ​​council , but as city ​​council , “city council” or “city council”. The members are called "city councilors" or "city representatives".

In Bavaria, the designation “professional city council member” is chosen for department heads in order to avoid confusion with honorary city council members elected by the citizens.

In Baden-Württemberg , the members of the municipal council use the designation city ​​council in cities .

In East Berlin of the GDR and after German reunification until the election of an all-Berlin Senate after the elections of December 2, 1990, the members of the East Berlin City Government ( Magistrat ) were called City Council ("The Lord Mayor and the City Councilors"). The new East Berlin state constitution of 1990 elevated them to the rank of state minister. The Senators 'Act (in a slightly modified version of the West Berlin Senators' Act) applied to them.

According to the unification treaty between the Federal Republic and the GDR, Berlin (the whole of Berlin before unification between April 30, 1990 and the day of reunification, October 3, 1990) was governed jointly by the Senate and the Magistrate. For example, all draft resolutions, regardless of whether they applied to the eastern or western parts, were signed by the western senator and the eastern senator. The grade for all senators and councilors of the state government was B11. In contrast to the state level, the department heads in the districts of Berlin (municipal level) are called District City Councilors, they are municipal electoral officials who are paid according to salary group B4 .


The city ​​council is the collegial body (the committee consisting of several people), which according to § 117 para. 1 lit. b Federal Constitutional Act 1920 acts as the municipal council of a municipality; the individual member of the committee is also referred to as the city council. Statutory cities (cities with their own statute) also act as district administrative authorities . According to this constitutional rule , the name of the collegiate body is the city ​​senate ; its members are also city councils. The different competencies of the city councils or city senates in the municipal administration result from the detailed regulations that have been made in the respective state municipal regulations and the city statutes.

The city council or city senate is elected by the municipal council from among its members. The city council or the city senate - like the municipal council - has only executive and no legislative powers.

Depending on the statute of the city, the allocation of city council posts may be prescribed according to proportional representation , in which case members of the opposition can also belong to the city council. As a rule, however, these are also entrusted with a department. In Vienna in particular, however, because of the large number (between nine and 15) there are not only office- holding city councilors but also non-office-holding city councils or city ​​councilors without a department who, in addition to their work in the collegiate body, are not entrusted with the management of certain departments of the city administration. Since these are awarded by election with a majority in the municipal council, city councils of the opposition usually remain without an area of ​​office and therefore not in office. They cannot be voted out of office by a vote of no confidence from the Senate , due to a lack of departmental responsibility . In Vienna , the city council due to the dual function as a city and country at the same time members of the Vienna provincial government .

From the middle of the 19th century to May 31, 1920, Vienna was the executive committee of the Vienna City Council , a 30-person city ​​council chaired by the mayor. In the founding phase of the republic, the Weiskirchner City Council (1918/1919) and Reumann City Council (1919/1920) held office.


Executive - In Zurich and many other cities in German-speaking Switzerland, the city ​​council is the executive, the legislature is usually called the municipal council .

Legislative - In Bern and other cities in the canton of Bern , it is just the opposite: Parliament called City Council, however, the government called in all communities, regardless of their size council .

Some cities (e.g. Lucerne , Schaffhausen ) differentiate between the city ​​council (unofficially also "small city council") as the executive and the large city council as the local parliament (legislative).

South Tyrol (Italy)

In South Tyrol , both the city governments and their individual members are referred to as city councils. In rural communities the governing body is called the community committee; its members are community officers or community assessors (the term assessor is used in Italian).

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: City Council  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Wolfgang Reske: The first female city councilors in Königsberg (Pr.) And in Germany . Königsberger Bürgerbrief, No. 86 (2015), pp. 21–23.
  2. "City councilors not in office" are a special case , the standard on September 9, 2019