Hamburg, Germany, regional Agenda (setting) initiative [PAX] - Volksinitiative

General Typology

Instrument
Agenda (setting) initiative [PAX]
Location
Hamburg, Germany
Political level
regional
Local Name:
Volksinitiative
Normative Level:
constitutional
Legally Binding:
no
Legally Defined:

Article 29

If requests and complaints are supported by 10 000 signatures of residents (agenda initiative), the Parliament will deal with the request. A representative of the petitioners will be given the opportunity to explain the request in front of a parliamentary Committee. The law determines the further.

Article 50

(1) The people may apply for the enactment, the amendment or the repeal of a law or to study certain issues of political decision-making (other template). Federal Council initiatives, budgets, taxes, tariffs of public enterprises as well as salaries and pensions cannot be subject of an agenda initiative.

The initiative has been successful if at least 10,000 citizens eligible to vote for parliament support the bill or the other template.

(2) Parliament deals with the concerns of the agenda initiative. It or one-fifth of its members can request the Court of Auditors about a report concerning the financial impact of the agenda initiative. The initiators will have the opportunity to explain the initiative in a parliamentary Committee. If Parliament within a period of four months after submission of the signatures did not pass the law proposed by the agenda initiative or made a decision which fully corresponds to the other template, the initiators of the agenda initiative can request for a citizens' initiative. For this purpose they can submit the draft law or other template, in a revised form. The Government conducts the citizens' initiative. The initiators of the citizens' initiative are entitled to collect signatures on own lists. The citizens' initiative is successful, if it is supported by at least one-twentieth of the eligible voters.

(..)

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

§ 2 Objects of an agenda initiative

(1) The adoption of a law or dealing with an other template can be initiated with the agenda initiative by the people. The draft law may have as subject the amendment or repeal of a law.

(2) A draft bill or other template must contain a justification. To a bill or another template, which increases the expenditures included in the budget, causes new spendings or revenue reductions, a coverage proposal shall be attached.

§ 3 Notification

(1) The Government has to be informed by a writing about the beginning of the collection of signatures for the bill or another template according to § 2 paragraph 1 sentence 1 (§ 4 paragraph 1).

(2) The notification may be only conducted through signature-authorized persons according to § 4 paragraph 2 and must contain

1. a draft law or other template with justification,

2. a sample of the signature list according to § 4 paragraph 1 and

3. the names of three representatives which are according to § 4 paragraph 2 entitled to sign, individually authorized to accept declarations for the initiators and together make congruent declarations; in the event of the withdrawal of a representative, a replacement is appointed; Form and content of the transfer of authority of representation by the initiators must be proved.

(3) The Government shall inform the Parliament about the receipt and content of the notification.

§ 5 Conclusion of the agenda initiative

(1) The signature lists are to be submitted no later than six months after receipt of the notification at the Government. The Government shall inform the Parliament about the submission.

(2) The Government, within one month after submission of the signature lists, will notice whether the agenda initiative is been backed by signatures of at least 10 000 voters eligible to vote for the Parliament and thus concluded.

(3) The determination of the Government is to deliver to a representative immediately and to inform the Parliament.

(4) In the case of significant doubts about whether an enacted agenda initiative preserves the limits of article 50 (1) sentence 2 of the Constitution or is compatible with any other higher-ranking law, the Government does cause a decision of the Hamburg Constitutional Court pursuant to § 26 paragraph 1 number 1.

§ 5a Debating in Parliament about the issue of the agenda initiative

(1) The Parliament deals with the topic of the agenda initiative in public session. Parliament or one-fifth of its members can ask the Court of Auditors for a check and report on the financial impact. The initiators will have opportunity to discuss the issue in a Committee in public session.

(2) A law adopted by the Parliament, which is submitted by agenda initiative or contains a decision which completely matches the other template, the respective decision shall be delivered to a representative and to inform the Government.

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

Subject Matter:

To apply for the enactment, the amendment or the repeal of a law or to study certain issues of political decision-making (other template).

Actors

Author:
Citizens
Initiator:
Citizens
Decision maker:
Parliament

Requirements

Number Of Signatures:
10 000
Available Time:
6 months
Geographical Quorum:
Excluded Issues:

Federal Council initiatives, budgets, taxes, tariffs of public enterprises as well as salaries and pensions

Other Formal Requirements:

Procedural Elements

Collection Mode:
free
Specify Collection Mode:

§4 Support the agenda initiative

(1) The support of agenda initiative referred to in article 50 paragraph 1 sentence 3 of the Constitution is carried out by handwritten signature in signature lists. The signature lists must doubtlessly refer to the bill or the other template (§ 3 paragraph 2 No. 1). The signatories must have opportunity to take note of the full text of the bill or the other template at the entry of their signature in the signature lists. Furthermore it is to give opportunity to them, to take note of the first and family names of the representatives and their powers under this act.

(2) Eligible to sign are persons who upon the submission of signature lists are entitled to vote for Parliament.

(3) The registration in the signature list must contain the first name and family name, the year of birth, address and the signature of the person entitled to support and the date of the signature performance. The registration is also valid, when despite a missing claim of first or family name, year of birth, or to the address, the identity is clearly noticeable or the day of in time signature performance can be determined despite the missing date.

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

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.

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

Transparency And Finance:

§ 30 a Reimbursement of costs

(1) If a referendum is conducted (§ 18), the initiators of the agenda initiative are entitled to refunds of the proven costs of a reasonable information of the public about the goals of a citizens' initiative and referendum. The agenda initiative is carried out by the initiators on their own cost.

(2) The amount of the reimbursement is limited to 0.10 euros for each valid Yes-vote; not more than 400 000 votes are taken into account.

(3) The claim referred to in paragraph 1 is excluded, if the initiators of the agenda initiative did not fulfill their obligation of accountability according to § 30 (1).

(4) After the conducted referendum the initiators of the referendum request have the right of refunds for the proven costs for the adequate information of the public. The paragraphs 2 and 3 shall apply mutatis mutandis, insofar that the valid No-votes are used instead of the Yes-votes. Do the representatives of several registered signature collections make a reimbursement request, the reimbursement amount is reduced according the relationship between the submitted supporting signature lists of each of the initiatives and the referendum request.

(5) If a referendum does not take place due to the repeal of an amendment or changed decision, the initiators of a concluded referendum request, have claim for the reimbursement of the proven expenses for an adequate information to the public in the amount of up to EUR 20,000. Paragraph 3 and paragraph 4 sentence 2 apply mutatis mutandis.

(6) The paragraphs 1 to 3 apply on counter templates in a Parliament plebiscite mutatis mutandis.

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

Practice

Archive:
Remarks:

The initiators of the agenda initiative can request for a citizens' initiative in case Parliament does not adopt the requested measure.


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