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

General Typology

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

Article 22 (Elections and referenda)

(2) Upon attaining the age of sixteen every citizen shall have the right to participate in (..)  local agenda initiative, local citizens’ initiative and local referendum. Other residents shall have the right to participate in agenda initiatives and local agenda initiatives; the right to participate in citizen's initiatives and referendums, as well as local citizen's initiatives and local referendums shall be granted to these persons as soon as and insofar as it is permitted by the Federal Basic Law.

(3) Elections and referendums shall be general, direct, equal, free and secret. (..)

References: Constitution of the Land of Brandenburg, 1992 (accessed Nov. 6, 2019)

§ 15 Citizens' initiative, referendum
(1) The citizenship of the municipality can apply for a citizen's decision (citizens' initiative) on a municipal matter which lies within the decision-making competence of the municipal representation or the main committee. The citizen's initiative must be submitted in writing to the municipal election officer; § 3a of the Administrative Procedure Act for the State of Brandenburg does not apply. The citizen's initiative may also be directed against a decision of the municipal representation or the main committee; in this case it must be submitted within eight weeks of the publication of the decision in accordance with § 39 Paragraph 3 plus the period of transmission of the cost estimate from the date of notification of the citizen's initiative. The citizen's initiative must contain the question to be decided and a statement of reasons. The administration shall inform the authorised representatives in writing of an estimate of the costs associated with the implementation of the requested measure (cost estimate). The citizen's initiative must be signed by at least 10% of the citizens. On the Citizens' initiative are to be nominated a trusted person and a deputy trusted person; otherwise § 31 of the Brandenburg Municipal Election Act applies accordingly. Each signature list must contain the full text of the question including the cost estimate communicated by the administration; § 81 Paragraph 3 Sentence 3 Nos. 2 to 4 of the Brandenburg Municipal Election Act shall apply mutatis mutandis.
In particular, entries are invalid,
1. which have been made on lists which do not comply with the requirements of sentence 7,
2. which have been made earlier than one year before the receipt of the citizens' petition at the municipal election officer or
3. which, in the case of sentence 3, have already been made before a resolution is passed by the municipal council or the main committee.
§ Section 81 (4) Nos. 3 to 8 and (5) of the Brandenburg Municipal Election Act shall apply mutatis mutandis.
(2) The competent municipal supervisory authority pursuant to section 110 subs. 1 and 2 shall decide without delay on the admissibility of a citizens' petition. § 81 Paragraph 6 of the Brandenburg Municipal Election Act shall apply mutatis mutandis. If the citizen's initiative is admissible, the matter must be submitted to the citizens of the municipality for a vote (citizen's decision); § 81 Paragraph 7 of the Brandenburg Municipal Election Act applies accordingly. The persons in a position of trust may jointly appeal directly to the administrative courts against the decision on inadmissibility. The decision on the admissibility of a citizens' petition has the effect that until the decision the municipal authorities contrary to the request may no longer be made and no execution actions contrary to the request may be carried out. The citizen's decision does not apply if the municipal representation or the main committee decides to implement the measure requested with the citizen's initiative.
(..)
(4) In the case of a referendum, the question asked may only be put to the vote by a yes or no vote. The question shall be decided in the manner in which it has been answered by a majority of the valid votes, provided that such majority is at least 25 per cent of those entitled to vote. In the event of a tie, the question shall be deemed to have been answered in the negative. In all other respects § 81 Paragraph 9 of the Brandenburg Municipal Election Act applies accordingly. If the quorum required according to sentence 2 last half sentence has not been reached, the municipal representation has to decide on the matter, as far as nothing else is legally determined.
(5) A citizen's decision in which the majority of yes votes required under subsection 4 sentence 2 has been reached has the effect of a final resolution of the municipal representation. It can only be changed within two years by a new citizen's decision, which can also be made on the basis of a resolution of the municipal council.
(6) Unless otherwise stipulated in this Act or in the main statutes of the municipality, the provisions on the election of mayors in the Brandenburg Municipal Election Act and in the ordinances issued on the basis of this Act shall apply mutatis mutandis to the implementation of the citizens' decision.

References: Kommunalverfassung des Landes Brandenburg, 2007 (accessed Nov. 6, 2019)

Subject Matter:

To call a referendum on matters within the jurisdiction of a municipality or county

Actors

Author:
Citizens
Initiator:
Citizens
Decision maker:
Electorate

Requirements

Number Of Signatures:
10% of the electorate
Available Time:
No deadline found
Turnout Quorum:
None
Approval Quorum:
Majority of the valid votes cast, provided that this majority is at least 25 per cent of the electorate
Geographical Quorum:
None
Excluded Issues:

(3) A citizen's decision shall not be taken on
1. to perform duties in accordance with instructions and in matters of assignment,
2. questions concerning the internal organisation of the municipal administration and the municipal representation,
3. the legal relationships of the municipal representatives, the mayor and the municipal employees,
4. the opening balance sheet and the budget statutes, including the business plans of the own holdings,
5. municipal charges, municipal levies, tariffs for municipal facilities and tariffs for utilities and transport companies in the municipality,
6. the approval of the annual financial statements of the municipality and its own operations as well as the overall financial statements,
7. statutes in which an obligation to connect or use is to be regulated,
8. decisions in appeal or appeal proceedings,
9. the preparation, amendment and cancellation of urban land-use plans, decisions pursuant to Section 36 of the Building Code and matters to be decided within the framework of a plan approval procedure or a formal administrative procedure.

Other Formal Requirements:

Procedural Elements

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

Question only can be answered with Yes or No

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.