Bavaria, Germany, local Popular or citizens initiative [PCI] - Bürgerbegehren

General Typology

Instrument
Popular or citizens initiative [PCI]
Location
Bavaria, Germany
Political level
local
Local Name:
Bürgerbegehren
Normative Level:
constitutional
Legally Binding:
yes
Legally Defined:

Art. 7 

(1) Each citizen aged 18 or older shall be granted the rights and duties of citizenship regardless of birth, race, sex, faith and profession.

(2) Citizens shall exercise their rights by participating in elections, local citizens' initiatives and local referendums as well as state-wide citizens' initiatives and state-wide referendums.

(3) Exercising these rights may be made dependent on residence of up to one year.

References: Constitution of the Republic („Freistaat“) of Bavaria, 1998, (2014)

§ 18a Citizen Initiative and referendum

(1) The citizens of a municipality can apply for a referendum on matters within the competence of the municipality (Citizens' initiative).

(2) The Municipal Council may decide that a referendum takes place about a matter of competence of the municipality.

(4) The citizen initiative must be submitted to the municipality and includes a question which can be answered with “Yes” or “No” and a justification and nominate up to three persons who are authorized to represent the signatories. For the case of their prevention or their retirement, additionally deputy people can be named on the signature lists.

(5) The citizen initiative can be signed only by persons, who are at the date of filing citizens of the municipality. To determine the number of valid signatures the status of the residents register on this day is decisive.

(6) A citizen initiative must be in signed in municipalities

up to 10,000 residents from at least 10 per cent.

up to 20,000 residents of at least 9 per cent.

up to 30,000 residents of at least 8 per cent.

up to 50,000 residents by at least 7 per cent.

up to 100,000 inhabitants of at least 6 per cent.

up to 500,000 by at least 5 per cent.

with more than 500,000 residents of at least 3 per cent of the community's citizens.

(7) (repealed)

(8) About the admissibility of the citizens' initiative the Council decides immediately, at the latest within one month after filing of the citizens` initiative. Against the decision, the authorized persons of the citizen's initiative without preliminary proceedings may appeal.

(9) After the admissibility of the citizen's initiative has been established, until the conduct of the referendum decision of municipal institutions contrary to the request of the citizen initiative may not be made or no longer starting with the enforcement of such a decision, unless legal obligations of the municipality for this purpose exist at this time.

(10) The referendum is carried out on a Sunday three months after the determination of the admissibility of the citizen's initiative; the Council can extend the period in agreement with the authorized persons of the citizen's initiative for a maximum of three months. The municipality bears the cost of the citizens decision. Citizens of the municipality may vote. The possibility of postal voting is to provide.

(11) If a City District Committee has been founded in a city district, a referendum can take place on matters which are transferred to the District Committee for decision, also within the borough. Each municipal citizen resident in the district may vote. The citizen initiative shall be submitted to the District Committee for transmission to the City Council. The provisions of paragraphs 2 to 16 apply accordingly.

(12) In case of a referendum the question asked is decided in the sense that it has been answered by the majority of the valid votes, provided that this majority meets in municipalities

up to 50,000 residents at least 20 per cent.

up to 100,000 people at least 15 per cent.

with more than 100,000 inhabitants at least 10 per cent of the electorate.

In case of a tie vote the question is considered to be answered with No. Should several citizens decisions take place on one day and all questions to be voted on will be be answered in a way which is not compatible with each other the City Council has to decide that a tie-question shall be asked at the time of vote (tie-break-decision). The this decision is then valid which in the tie-vote gets the majority of the valid votes cast. In case of a tie of votes in the final vote, the question which has been answered with majority and receiving the highest number of votes applies.

(13) The referendum has the effect of a decision of the Municipal Council. Within one year the referendum can only be amended by a new referendum, except that the underlying factual or legal issues have changed essentially.

(14) The referendum shall not be conducted if the Council decides to implement the measure requested with the citizen initiative. Pursuant to sentence 1, for such a decision the binding effect of (13) applies to a decision accordingly.

(15) The views represented in the Municipal Council and those by the authorized persons of the citizen's initiative on the subject-matter of the decision of the citizens may be represented in publications and events of the municipality only to the same extent. For information of citizens the stakeholders get the same possibilities as in Municipal Council elections.

(16) The result of the decision of the citizens is to be published in the municipality in the customary manner.

(17) The municipalities may regulate the further by statute. The right of free signature collection shall not be restricted.

(18) Article 3a of the Bavarian Administrative Procedure Act does not apply.

References: Gemeindeordnung für den Freistaat Bayern, 1999 (accessed Nov. 8, 2019)

Subject Matter:

To apply for a referendum on matters within the competence of the municipalityor district of the municipality

Actors

Author:
Citizens
Initiator:
Citizens
Decision maker:
Electorate

Requirements

Number Of Signatures:
Depending on size of municipality: 10%/9%/8%/7%/6%/5% of electorate (Art. 7 (6))
Available Time:
No deadline found
Turnout Quorum:
None
Approval Quorum:
Majority of the valid votes, provided that this majority meets in municipalities up to 50,000 residents at least 20 per cent; up to 100,000 people at least 15 per cent. with more than 100,000 inhabitants at least 10 per cent of the electorate. In case of a tie vote the question is considered to be answered with No. Should several citizens decisions take place on one day and all questions to be voted on will be answered in a way which is not compatible with each-other the City Council has to decide that a tie-question shall be asked at the time of vote (tie-break-decision). The this decision is then valid which in the tie-vote gets the majority of the valid votes cast. In case of a tie of votes in the final vote, the question which has been answered with majority and receiving the highest number of votes applies.
Geographical Quorum:
None
Excluded Issues:

(3) No referendum will take place on matters which are by law incumbent on the Mayor, concerning the internal organisation of the municipality, on the legal relationships of members of the Municipal Council, the Mayor and the municipal employees and on the budget by-law.

References: Gemeindeordnung für den Freistaat Bayern, 1999 (2015)

Other Formal Requirements:

Procedural Elements

Collection Mode:
free
Specify Collection Mode:
Wording Of Ballot Question:

Yes/No-question

Interaction With Authorities:
Supervision And Support:
Transparency And Finance:

Practice

Archive:
Remarks:

The English language version here is provided as a courtesy. The German language text is the official version.