Germany, regional Popular or citizens initiative and authorities counter-proposal [PCI+] - Länderneugliederungsinitiative

General Typology

Popular or citizens initiative and authorities counter-proposal [PCI+]
Political level
Local Name:
Normative Level:
Legally Binding:
Legally Defined:

Art. 29

(4) If in any clearly defined and contiguous residential and economic area located in two or more Länder and having at least one million inhabitants one tenth of those entitled to vote in Bundestag elections petition for the inclusion of that area in a single Land, a federal law shall specify within two years whether the change shall be made in accordance with paragraph (2) of this Article or that an referendum shall be held in the affected Länder.

(5) The referendum shall establish whether the changes the law proposes meet with the voters approval. The law may put forward not more than two distinct proposals for consideration by the voters. If a majority approves a proposed
change of the existing division into Länder, a federal law shall specify within two years whether the change shall be made in accordance with paragraph (2) of this Article. If
a proposal is approved in accordance with the third and fourth sentences of paragraph (3) of this Article, a federal law providing for establishment of the proposed Land shall
be enacted within two years after the advisory ballot, and confirmation by referendum shall no longer be required.

(6) A majority in a referendum or in an advisory referendum shall consist of a majority of the votes cast, provided that it amounts to at least one quarter of those entitled to vote in Bundestag elections. Other details concerning referenda, petitions and advisory referenda shall be regulated by a federal law, which may also provide that the same petition may not be filed more than once within a period of five years.

Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany Published: 23.05.1949 Last amended 21. July 2010

19 Application for admission
(1) The conducting of a referendum petition has to be requested with the Federal Minister of the Interior. The request must be supported of at least one per cent of the signatures of inhabitants, entitled to vote to the last Bundestag elections, of the area for which the referendum is requested to be, however not more than 7,000 inhabitants, personally and handwrittenly signed.
(2) A person entitled to sign is each inhabitant of the area, with the ability to request for voting in the election to the Bundestag and at least living for three months in the area with a dwelling, in case of several dwellings its main dwelling.

25 Publication of the certified request
(2) the display period begins at the earliest the first, at the latest two months after the publication in the federal law gazette. The duration will be two weeks. The entry hours are to be determined in such a way that each person entitled to sign can take part in the referendum. Therefore the entry hours also have to be planed outside of the usual office-hours, in particular also at sundays and holidays.

33 Display of the signature entry lists
(1) During the display period of the signature lists have to be displayed under supervision by the municipality, according the sample announced by the Federal Minister of the Interior.

34 Contents of the entry
The entry in the signature list has to contain
1. Name and surnames,
2. Date of birth,
3. Residence and dwelling,
4. The signature.

Section 38 subject-matter of the referendum
The question is thus to formulate, that the respondents clearly can state, whether they would like to vote in favour of the proposed amendment of being citizen to the state or whether they retain the previous status. If the law provides two amendments of ties to a state for the referendum, the question is to formulate in such a way, that the respondents can clearly express, which one of the two proposed amendments of belonging to a state they want to agree with or whether they want to retain the previous status.

References:Law about the procedure during popular vote, referendum and opinion poll according to the article 29 (6)of the Basic Law, 1979

The English version is a courtesy translation only

Subject Matter:

Ballot initiative in order to create new states out of regions in existing states.


Decision maker:
Electorate of the affected states : The law distinguishes between the citizens who live in the region that wants to unite and those who do not.


Number Of Signatures:
Ten percent
Available Time:
2 weeks
Turnout Quorum:
Legal source does not mention turnout quorum
Approval Quorum:
Majority equals at least 25 percent of total electorate in each area (region)
Geographical Quorum:
The approval of the majority in each state can be rejected by a super majority of two third in the states
Excluded Issues:
Other Formal Requirements:

The "area", according to Art. 29, 4 "clearly defined and contiguous residential and economic" is a precondition of the whole process.

Procedural Elements

Collection Mode:
Specify Collection Mode:

In authority offices

Wording Of Ballot Question:
Interaction With Authorities:
Supervision And Support:
Transparency And Finance: