Lower Austria, Austria, local Popular or citizens initiative [PCI] - Bürgerbefragung (Cities)

General Typology

Instrument
Popular or citizens initiative [PCI]
Location
Lower Austria, Austria
Political level
local
Local Name:
Bürgerbefragung (Cities)
Normative Level:
statutory
Legally Binding:
no
Legally Defined:

II.Main part

Direct democracy

§ 6

Right of initiative, application for initiative

(1) The right of initiative of city citizens consists in the demand that tasks be taken care of or measures taken, as far as they are in the interest of the city or individual parts of the city area.

(2) The right of initiative is limited to one's own sphere of activity. The right of initiative shall not apply to individual administrative acts and matters which have an influence, either wholly or predominantly, on levies.

(3) The city citizens exercise the right of initiative by an initiative request. This must contain:

a) a specific request;

b) the organ to which it is addressed;

c) the name and address of an authorised recipient and his representative;

d) the names and addresses as well as the signatures of city citizens entitled to vote.

(4) The initiative proposal must be supported by at least as many eligible city citizens as the number of votes required to obtain a municipal council mandate at the last municipal election.

§ 7

Procedure of the initiative proposal

(1) The petition for initiative shall be submitted to the Magistrate.

(2) In the event of an objection to the initiative proposal under § 6 Para. 3, the Mayor shall inform the authorised representative in writing that the application has not been dealt with by the municipal election authority and shall state the reasons for this.

(3) If the application complies with § 6 Para. 3, the mayor shall convene a meeting of the municipal electoral authority to examine the initiative application. The meeting must take place within four weeks of receipt of the application.

(4) The municipal election authority shall determine the number of citizens who have signed the initiative application and are entitled to vote in the municipal council (§ 6 Para. 4). The day on which the application is received by the Magistrate shall be the deadline.

(5) If the initiative application has not been signed by a sufficient number of city citizens (§ 6 Para. 4), the chairman of the city election authority shall inform the authorized recipient that

- the treatment by the called organ is omitted and

- to state the reasons for it.

§ 8

Treatment of the initiative proposal

(1) The mayor shall ensure that an initiative proposal, the subject of which falls within the sphere of activity of the municipal council or city senate, is dealt with at the next meeting of the responsible body in compliance with the rules of procedure.

(2) The organs of the city must treat the initiative requests addressed to them, which were supported in sufficient number (§ 6 Abs. 4).

They must reject their treatment, if

- not a matter of one's own sphere of influence,

- individual administrative file or

- matters which have an influence, wholly or mainly, on duties, and

- Measures which have already been implemented by the competent bodies,

(3) If more than 10% of all city citizens entitled to vote support a petition for initiative on the order of a permissible consultation of citizens (§ 9), the municipal council must order a consultation of citizens if the subject matter of the consultation has not already been dealt with by the responsible municipal body and the authorized recipient does not insist on the implementation of the consultation of citizens. Whether the initiative application was signed by a sufficient number of citizens of the city is verified by the City electoral authority within the framework of the examination procedure according to § 7 Para. 4.

(4) The mayor shall inform the authorised recipient of the result of the handling of the initiative application.

§ 9

Citizen consultation

(1) The municipal council may order a citizens' consultation in matters within its own sphere of influence. This resolution requires the approval of two thirds of the members of the municipal council, except in the case of § 8 Para. 3. A citizen survey is also possible for parts of the city area. A citizen survey may not be carried out on individual administrative acts and matters which have a complete or predominant influence on taxes.

(2) The question to be decided by the citizen survey shall be formulated in such a way that it can be answered with "Yes" or "No". If two or more options are to be decided on, it must be possible to clearly identify the option chosen.

(3) In addition, the local council may decide that the result of the citizens' consultation shall be deemed equivalent to a decision of the local council if at the same time provision is made to cover any expenses.

§ 12

The results of the consultation and further treatment

(1) The result of the citizens' consultation shall be made public at the latest three days after its implementation and shall not be subject to any appeal.

(2) The question posed shall be deemed to have been answered in the affirmative if more than half of the valid votes are in the affirmative.

If several options have been decided, the option which received the most votes shall be deemed to have been chosen.

(3) The result of the citizens' consultation shall be submitted by the mayor to the competent body for consideration.

References: NÖ Stadtrechtsorganisationsgesetz (NÖ STROG), 2018 (accessed Oct. 8, 2018)

Subject Matter:

To call a citizens consultation on city issues 

Actors

Author:
Citizens of a city
Initiator:
Citizens of a city
Decision maker:
Electorate

Requirements

Number Of Signatures:
Min. 10% of the electorate
Available Time:
No time limit found in legal source
Turnout Quorum:
No turnout quorum found in legal source.
Approval Quorum:
More than half of the valid votes. Several options: the one which received the most votes
Geographical Quorum:
No geographical quorum found in legal source
Excluded Issues:

Individual administrative acts and matters which have a complete or predominant influence on taxes

Other Formal Requirements:

Procedural Elements

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

Practice

Archive:
Remarks:

The English version here is a courtesy translation!