Hamburg, Germany, regional Popular or citizen-initiated referendum [PCR] - Referendumsbegehren

General Typology

Instrument
Popular or citizen-initiated referendum [PCR]
Location
Hamburg, Germany
Political level
regional
Local Name:
Referendumsbegehren
Normative Level:
constitutional
Legally Binding:
yes
Legally Defined:

Article 50

(3) (..) The referendum will take place on the day of the election to Parliament or to the German Bundestag. At the request of the citizen's initiative, the referendum on ordinary laws and other templates can take place also on another day. The same applies if the Parliament requests it in the case of a referendum according (4) or (4 a). If the referendum takes place on the election day to Parliament or to the German Bundestag, a bill or other template is adopted if the majority agrees and at least the number of votes on the bill or the other template corresponds to the majority of the Hamburg vote represented in the Parliament at the same time. Constitutional amendments require a majority of two-thirds of those voting and at least two-thirds of the Hamburg vote represented in the Parliament at the same time. If voters according the Electoral Code have more than one vote then the calculation of the Hamburg vote represented in the Parliament according to the sentences 10 and 11, will be so that the actual number of votes is to be converted in a way that only one vote is equivalent to every voter.

If the referendum does not take place on the day of the election to Parliament or to the German Bundestag, it is accepted if the majority of votes and at least one-fifth of eligible voters agree.

(4) A law approved by the people which is amended or repealed by Parliament (Amendment Act), does not come into force before the expiration of three months after its promulgation.

Within this period, two and a half per cent of the electorate may require a referendum on the amendment. In this case, the amending act will not come into force before the implementation of the referendum. The people decide on the amendment. Paragraph 3, sentences 5, 7 and 10 to 13 apply accordingly.

References: Verfassung der Freien und Hansestadt Hamburg, 1952, (accessed Dec. 3, 2019)

§ 25 Amendment Act and citizen initiated referendum 

(1) A law by Parliament, repealing or amending a law approved by referendum (Amendment Act), does not take effect before the expiration of three months after its promulgation. Within this period, two and a half per cent of the electorate (referendum initiative) may require a referendum on the amendment. Up to the time of the statement on the conclusion of the referendum initiative the amendment act does not take effect.

(2) Within a month after the determination of the conclusion of a referendum initiative is to publish in the Hamburg State Gazette. In this case the amendment will not enter into force before the referendum. The subject of the referendum is the amending act.

(3) The failure of the conclusion of a referendum initiative is to publish within one month after the determination about the failure of conclusion in the Hamburg State Gazette. Unless a later time is determined for the entry into force in the amendment Act, it will take effect the day after the publication in the Hamburg State Gazette, but not before the expiration of three months after its promulgation.

§ 25c. Conclusion of the referendum initiative

(1) The registration lists must be submitted within three months after the promulgation of the amendment act at the Government. The Government shall immediately inform Parliament about receiving the signature lists.

(2) The Government determines within four months after the promulgation of the amendment act, whether the referendum initiative to an amendment act received the support of a total of at least two and a half per cent of the eligible voters for Parliament and therefore succeeded.

(3) The determination of the Government is to deliver to a representative of each initiative for signature collection, which has submitted signatures, and to inform the Parliament immediately.

§ 25g Amendment decision and Referendum Initiative 

(1) A referendum on another template is binding for the Parliament and Government. The binding character can be eliminated by a decision of the Parliament (Amendment decision). The decision is to be announced in the Hamburg State Gazette.

(2) The amendment decision will not take effect before the expiration of three months after its promulgation.

(3) Two and a half per cent of the eligible voters of a referendum initiative may request a referendum on an amendment decision.

(4) If a referendum initiative is concluded the amendment resolution will not take effect before the implementation of the referendum. Subject matter of the referendum is the amendment decision.

(5) § § 25-25f apply mutatis mutandis.

§ 25 d The referendum 

(1) The Government conducts the referendum on the amendment at the following election to the Parliament or to the German Federal Parliament, but not before four months after the conclusion of the referendum initiative (§ 25 c paragraph 2). Except for a referendum on an amendment to the Constitution, the Government conducts the referendum at the request of Parliament four to seven months after the submission on a Sunday or public holiday, determined by the Parliament.

(2) § 18 (3), sentences 2 and 3 apply correspondingly.

References: Hamburgisches Gesetz über Volksinitiative, Volksbegehren und Volksentscheid (Volksabstimmungsgesetz - VAbstG), 1996, (accessed Dec. 3, 2019)

Subject Matter:

To call a referendum on a law approved by Parliament which repeals or amends a law approved by referendum.

Actors

Author:
Parliament
Initiator:
Citizens
Decision maker:
Electorate

Requirements

Number Of Signatures:
2.5% of electorate
Available Time:
3 months
Turnout Quorum:
None
Approval Quorum:
-> If the referendum does not take place on the day of the election to Parliament or to the German Federal Parliament, it is accepted if the majority of votes and at least one-fifth of eligible voters agree. -> Referendum on election day - State Parliament or German Federal Parliament: majority of the valid votes and at least corresponds to the majority of the Hamburg votes represented in the elected Parliament at the same time; Constitutional amendments and amendments on the Electoral Code of the State Parliament of Hamburg, or to the District Assemblies require a majority of two-thirds of the valid votes and at the same time at least two-thirds of the Hamburg votes represented in the election to Parliament(s). If in a simultaneous vote on the same subject on several bills or several other templates not only one bill or one other template receives more valid Yes-votes as No-votes, so the bill or the other template is adopted, which receives the biggest number of votes. If the number of valid votes is equal for several bills or several other templates, the one is accepted which receives after the substraction of the No-votes the biggest number of Yes-votes.
Geographical Quorum:
None
Excluded Issues:

Laws only which repeal or amend a law approved by referendum or templates

Other Formal Requirements:

Procedural Elements

Collection Mode:
free
Specify Collection Mode:

§ 25a Notice

(1) The start of the collection of signatures for a referendum initiative is to be submitted in written form to the Government. § 1a and § 3 paragraph 2 number 3 and paragraph 3 shall apply mutatis mutandis.

(2) The State Electoral Board makes public notice about the signature collection immediately, but not later than within one month after the notification referred to in paragraph 1. The notice contains

1. the amendment act and the law adopted by referendum,

2. first and family names and availability of address of the representatives,

3. the end of the period to support the referendum initiative,

4. the possibilities of registration.

§ 25c. Conclusion of the referendum initiative

(1) The registration lists must be submitted within three months after the promulgation of the amendment act at the Government. The Government shall immediately inform Parliament about receiving the signature lists.

(2) The Government determines within four months after the promulgation of the amendment act, whether the referendum initiative to an amendment act received the support of a total of at least two and a half per cent of the eligible voters for Parliament and therefore succeeded.

(3) The determination of the Government is to deliver to a representative of each initiative for signature collection, which has submitted signatures, and to inform the Parliament immediately.

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

§ 1 a Consulting

The initiators of an intended or initiated agenda initiative may have independent and comprehensive advice in particular by the State Electoral Board; for this purpose the State Electoral Board involves the concerned authorities and Government offices as well as the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information. The advice includes constitutional, budgetary and procedural requirements and questions. Concerns shall be notified immediately. Fees and expenses will not be charged.

Transparency And Finance:

Practice

Archive:
Remarks:

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