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

General Typology

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

Fifth section Agenda initiative, citizens' initiative and referendum

Article 47 Agenda initiative 

70 000 persons entitled to vote can demand in writing that the state assembly deals within the framework of its constitutional power with specific matters of political decision-making. Their representatives have the right to be heard.

Second section Agenda initiative

§ 3 Subject of the agenda initiative

With an agenda initiative 70 000 eligible voters may request that the State Parliament within its constitutional competence deals with certain items of the political process (article 47 1 of the Lower Saxony Constitution).

§ 5 Representatives 

(1) On the signature sheets, at least five persons to a maximum of nine eligiblie voters shall be appointed as representatives of the agenda initiative. At least the first and family name and the mailing address must be specified.

(2) On the efficacy of declarations of the representatives to the agenda initiative, it is sufficient if the majority of the designated representatives declares it. Each representative is on himself empowered to accept decisions and other explanations about the agenda initiative.

§ 9 Submission and evaluation of the signature sheets 

(1) The representatives have to submit the signature sheets within one year after the application at the State Electoral Officer.

(2) The State Electoral Officer notes whether the required number of valid registrations are present and submits the request and the result to the Parliament.

§ 10 Invalidation of registrations 

(1) The registration of an applicant in a signature sheet is not valid if

1. the design of the signature sheet does not comply with the provisions ,

2. the registration is contrary to section 7, paragraph 1,

3. the confirmation of the right to vote (article 8) is missing or is incorrect or

4. the signature sheet is not timely filed.

(2) If a registration in regard to the indication of the first name or the main residence is not without any doubt, in difference to paragraph 1 no. 2 does not to lead to its invalidity, if the reporting authorities can assign the registration with the assistance of the population register clearly to a person. Multiple registrations will be counted as one registration.

§ 11 Treatment in the Parliament 

(1) If an agenda initiative is received by the Parliament pursuant to § 9 para 2, Parliament will decide within six weeks whether it deals with the agenda initiative. The time limit is not running during parliamentary recess. It may be extended with the consent of the representatives. Against a decision of the Parliament the representatives are able to appeal at the Supreme Court within one month after delivery of the decision.

(2) If the State Legislature decided to deal with the agenda initiative, the competent committee hears the representatives in a public session. Then Parliament takes a decision on the subject of the agenda initiative.

References: Niedersächsisches Gesetz über Volksinitiative, Volksbegehren und Volksentscheid, 1994, (accessed Dec. 13, 2019)

Subject Matter:

To demand that the State Assembly deals within the framework of its constitutional power with specific matters of political decision-making.

Actors

Author:
Citizens
Initiator:
Citizens
Decision maker:
Parliament

Requirements

Number Of Signatures:
70000
Available Time:
1 year
Geographical Quorum:
Excluded Issues:
Other Formal Requirements:

Procedural Elements

Collection Mode:
free
Specify Collection Mode:

§ 4 Signature sheets 

(1) For an agenda initiative, signature sheets are to use, which comply with the provisions of this act and the regulations adopted by decree according to § 38.

(2) The signature sheets must show the request from the parliament by the agenda initiative (application).

§ 6 Notification procedure

(1) The intention to collect signatures for an agenda initiative, is to display in writing at the State Electoral Officer. The notice must contain the application and name the representatives. The application must be personally signed by all representatives.

(2) The State Electoral Officer informs parliament and the Government about the intended agenda initiative. If legal concerns preclude the application, so the President of the Parliament informs the representatives about it. The English language version here is provided as a courtesy. The German language text is the official version.

(3) The State Electoral Officer advises the representatives on request about the design of the signature sheets.

(4) The intended initiative is to be introduced in a brief summary of the application and with specifying of the representatives in the Lower Saxony Ministerial Gazette.

§ 7 Registering in the signature sheets 

(1) The applicants shall enrol on the signature sheets with legible indication of the first and family name, the date of birth and the main residence and need to place the handwritten signature. The same person may be registered only once.

(2) A registration may not be withdrawn.

§ 8 Confirmation of the voting rights of the registered 

The voting rights of registered persons is to prove through a confirmation issued by the municipality on the signature sheets free of charge and without delay. The right to vote must exist on the day of confirmation. The undersigned can read on the signature sheets that this confirmation is to obtain in the municipality.

References: Niedersächsisches Gesetz über Volksinitiative, Volksbegehren und Volksentscheid, 1994, (accessed Dec. 13, 2019)

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.