North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, regional Agenda (setting) initiative [PAX] - Volksinitiative

General Typology

Instrument
Agenda (setting) initiative [PAX]
Location
North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Political level
regional
Local Name:
Volksinitiative
Normative Level:
constitutional
Legally Binding:
no
Legally Defined:
Article 67a

(1) Agenda initiatives can be directed towards bringing specific matters of political decision-making before the State Parliament within the limits of its decision-making competence. An initiative can also be based on a reasoned bill.

(2) Agenda initiatives must be signed by at least 0.5 per cent of voters. Article 31, paragraph 1 and paragraph 2, first sentence, on the right of election shall apply accordingly to the right to vote.

(3) The details shall be regulated by legislation.

References: Constitution of the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia, 1950 (2011)

(I). Agenda initiative

§ 1

(1) The intention to collect signatures for a agenda initiative, is to report to the Ministry of the Interior in writing. The report must include the information pursuant to paragraph 3 No. 1 and name the representatives pursuant to paragraph 3 No. 3. The Ministry of the Interior informs the representatives, whether there are legal concerns, and advises regarding the further procedure. About the intended agenda initiative, the Ministry responsible for Internal Affairs shall inform the Parliament and the Government.

(2) The request for treatment of an agenda  initiative in the Parliament shall be directed in writing to the President of the Parliament.

(3) the application must contain

1. (a) the exact description of the subject of the political process, the State Parliament to deal with or

(b) a prepared and reasoned bill, stating the costs expected to be incurred;

2. According article 67a, paragraph 2 sentence 1 of the Constitution of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia the personal and hand-written signature of the needed quorum of the electorate (§ 1 of the State Electoral Code), which upon receipt of the application shall not be older than one year. Voters who are illiterate or prevented through physical affliction to register, can use help of another person for the registration. § 13, paragraph 4, sentence 2 and 3, paragraph 3 sentence 3 shall apply mutatis mutandis;

3. naming a representative and a deputy, who are authorized to represent the applicants in all transactions related to the people's initiative. If the naming is missing so the person who signed first is considered as representative and the one who has signed second, as Deputy Representative. If in a request referred to in paragraph 1 more than half of the signatories declare in writing that the representative or the deputy should be replaced by another person, so this person replaces to the position, as soon as the notice is received by the President of the State Parliament.

4. Note that the undersigned and signatories, as well as the representatives use the collected personal data only for the process of the agenda initiative.

(5) For the request, signature sheets are to use, which correspond to paragraphs 3 and 4, as well as the provisions adopted by decree according to § 33.

(6) Registrations are not valid if

1. they do not occur in a signature list corresponding to the regulations,

2. the entries violate paragraph 3 No. 2 or paragraph 4, or

3. the confirmation of the voting right (paragraph 4 sentence 4) is missing or incorrect.

(7) The procurement of the signature sheets is a matter of those who follow the agenda initiative. The applicants bear the cost incurred up to the submission of the application to the President of the State Parliament.

§ 3

The agenda initiative is not admissible, if

1. it does not comply with the requirements of article 67a para 1 of the State Constitution or the application conditions according to § 1 or

2. the Parliament within the last two years prior to the application due to a agenda initiative dealt with a factually same subject matter of political decision-making.

§ 4

(1) The State legislature will decide within three months of receipt of the application whether the conditions are fulfilled according to the § 1 para 2 to 5 and 3. As for the calculation of the required total number of voters under article 67a para 2 sentence 1 of the State Constitution the number of all eligible voters is officially identified according to the last State election. If the application meets the requirements, the agenda initiative is validly concluded by the determining decision of the Parliament.

(2) About the decision referred to in paragraph 1 sentence 1 by the President of the Parliament the applicants are informed and is to publish in the North Rhine-Westphalia Law and Regulation Gazette. If the application for treatment of the agenda initiative is inadmissible is the decision to justify.

(3) If the application contains remediable violations of section 1, a reasonable period is to provide for the applicants , but not more than a month, for the elimination of the deficiencies. Sentence 1 does not apply to missing signatures. After the deadline, defects can no longer be remedied.

(4) If the request does not reach the required number of signatures according to § 1 para 3 No. 2, the Parliament can send it with the common consent of the representatives to the Committee on Petitions of the State Parliament.

(5) The State Legislature has to handle the agenda initiative within three months after its conclusion. The representatives must be heard by the relevant committees of Parliament. A decision of the Parliament is to provide to the applicants by the President of the State Parliament, and to make publicly known in the State Gazette of North Rhine-Westphalia.

References: Gesetz über das Verfahren bei Volksinitiative, Volksbegehren und Volksentscheid; 1. Oktober 2004, (2014)

Subject Matter:

To bring specific matters of political decision-making before the State Parliament

Actors

Author:
Citizens
Initiator:
Citizens
Decision maker:
Parliament

Requirements

Number Of Signatures:
0.5% of electorate
Available Time:
Signatures may not be older than 12 months
Geographical Quorum:
None
Excluded Issues:
Other Formal Requirements:

Procedural Elements

Collection Mode:
free
Specify Collection Mode:
§ 1

2. According article 67a, paragraph 2 sentence 1 of the Constitution of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia the personal and hand-written signature of the needed quorum of the electorate (§ 1 of the State Electoral Code), which upon receipt of the application shall not be older than one year. Voters who are illiterate or prevented through physical affliction to register, can use help of another person for the registration. § 13, paragraph 4, sentence 2 and 3, paragraph 3 sentence 3 shall apply mutatis mutandis;


(4) In addition to the signature, family name, first name and address (main residence) of each signatory at the day of signing must be noticed in of clearly legible form. A supplementary or reservation is prohibited. The voting right of each applicant may be exercised only once. It is to prove by a confirmation issued by the municipality of the main residence free of charge.

References: Gesetz über das Verfahren bei Volksinitiative, Volksbegehren und Volksentscheid; 1. Oktober 2004, (2014)


Interaction With Authorities:
Supervision And Support:
The Ministry of the Interior informs the representatives, whether there are legal concerns, and advises regarding the further procedure
Transparency And Finance:

Practice

Archive:
Remarks: