Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, regional Popular or citizens initiative and authorities counter-proposal [PCI+] - Volksbegehren

General Typology

Instrument
Popular or citizens initiative and authorities counter-proposal [PCI+]
Location
Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
Political level
regional
Local Name:
Volksbegehren
Normative Level:
constitutional
Legally Binding:
yes
Legally Defined:

Article 2 Democracy, separation of powers

(1) All State power emanates from the people.

(2) The people express the will through elections and referendums. It acts through its elected representatives in the State, in the municipalities and municipal associations, as well as by referendums.

Section IV The legislation

Article 44 Legislative procedure

(1) The Bills are introduced by the Government or by individual or several members of parliament or by initiatives from the people.

(2) The laws are decided by the Parliament or by referendum.

Article 47 Constitutional laws

(1) This Constitution can be amended only by a law that explicitly changes or supplements the wording.

(2) Such a law requires the consent of two thirds of the members of Parliament or the approval of the people referred to in article 49 paragraph 4 sentence 2 and 3.

Article 49

Citizens' initiative and referendum

(1) If the State legislature does not adopt the bill or the template referred to in article 48 [agenda initiative] within a period of four months, so the representatives of the initiative shall be entitled to apply for conducting a citizens' initiative. The period starts with the date of the decision on the admissibility of the initiative. The Parliament decides whether the proposed citizens' initiative is admissible. At the request of the State Government or a quarter of the members of the Parliament, the State Constitutional Court decides on the compatibility of the contested citizens' initiative with article 48 paragraph 1 sentence 1 and 2. A citizens' initiative has been concluded if at least 80,000 voters approved the citizens' initiative within six months.

(2) If a citizens' initiative is established, a referendum must be conducted on the bill or the other template within nine months. The Parliament may submit simultaneously an own bill or a different template to the vote. A referendum does not take place, if

1. the Parliament adopts the Bill or the other template up to the determining of the voting day by the President of Parliament unchanged or in a version approved by the representatives of the initiative.

2. at the request of the State Government or a quarter of the members of the Parliament, the State Constitutional Court denies the compatibility of the concluded referendum with article 48 (1) sentence 1 and 2 or paragraph 2.

(3) Ahead of the vote on a citizens' initiative or before conducting a referendum, the State Government has to publish the reasoned draft bill or the other template without an own opinion in due form. If the citizens' initiative is established, the representatives of the initiative are entitled to reimbursement of the necessary costs of appropriate advertising for the referendum.

(4) The Bill or the other template is adopted by referendum, if the majority of those who cast their votes, but at least 15 per cent of the electorate agrees. A constitutional amendment by referendum requires the consent of two-thirds of votes cast, but at least half of the electorate. Only the valid Yes and No-votes count.

(5) The further regulates a law.

References: Verfassung des Landes Schleswig-Holstein, 1950 (accessed Jan. 08, 2016)

Section III Citizen Initiative

§ 11 Request for implementation of a citizens' initiative

(1) The request for conducting a citizens' initiative is to submit in writing by the representatives pursuant to § 6 para 2 No. 3 at the President of Parliament. The application is to submit within four months after notification of the Parliament decision according to § 10 paragraph 3.

(2) The representatives can base the application on a draft law or other template in a slightly amended form, if the main content is not affected by the changes.

(3) The President or the State Parliament informs the State Government about the receipt of the request, as well as on the reasoned bill or the other template.

§ 12 Decision on admissibility, notice on the citizens' initiative, to supply the registration list

(1) The State legislature will decide on the admissibility according to § 11 para 1 and 2 within one month after receipt of the request to conduct a citizens' initiative. The decision is to reason if the admissibility is negated. It is to deliver to the representatives and to make known. (..)

§ 19 Result of the citizens' initiative

(1) The State Election Committee determines the total number of the participation of eligible persons and the numerical result of the citizens' initiative. It is not bound by the opinion of municipalities and administration offices on the validity of the registration.

(2) The Parliament determines the quorum pursuant to article 49 (1) sentence 5 of the Constitution of the State of Schleswig-Holstein and acquaints it with determining whether the citizens' initiative is established. The decision shall be notified to the representatives.

Article 20 Admissibility of the referendum

(1) If a citizens' initiative is established, a referendum on the bill or the other template takes place within nine months from the announcement of this statement according to § 19, paragraph 2, sentence 1. (2) § 13 shall apply mutatis mutandis.

§ 24 Determination of the voting results

(1) The Voting Board performs the act of voting in the voting district and directly determines the result after the vote. It decides on the validity of the votes. The District and City Electoral Committees have the right for review.

(2) The County and Municipal Electoral Committees determine the result of the vote in the county, cities without administered by counties. The Voting Committee immediately determines the total number of the electorate and the result of the vote in the State. The findings will be announced by the State Electoral Officer.

§ 26 Result of the referendum, Execution and publication

(1) On his decision according to § 25 paragraph 2 the Parliament notes, whether a bill or other template has been adopted by referendum.

(2) After the Parliament, noting that a draft law has been adopted by referendum, the Prime Minister has to execute the Bill and to announce it, noting that the law has been adopted by referendum.

References: Gesetz über Initiativen aus dem Volk, Volksbegehren und Volksentscheid, (accessed Jan. 08, 2020)


Subject Matter:

To adopt the bill or the template

Actors

Author:
Citizens
Initiator:
Citizens
Decision maker:
Electorate
Lead of counter proposal:
Parliament

Requirements

Number Of Signatures:
80000
Available Time:
6 months
Turnout Quorum:
None
Approval Quorum:
Majority of votes cast, but at least 15 per cent of the electorate; in case of constitutional amendment: 2/3rd-Majority of votes cast, but at least 50% of the electorate
Geographical Quorum:
None
Excluded Issues:

Request may not contradict the principles of the democratic welfare State based on the rule of law; Initiatives about the budget of the State, public service salaries and pensions, as well as on taxes are not permitted. (See §48 on corresponding agenda initiative)

Other Formal Requirements:

An agenda initiative has to be conducted prior to the application for a citizens' initiative.

Procedural Elements

Collection Mode:
restricted
Specify Collection Mode:

§ 15 Registration

With the registration, the signature must be done personally and by hand. Persons who are illiterate or physically disabled can support the citizens' initiative by declaration to the minutes of a municipality or an administration.

§ 16 Registration areas, notice

(1) The registration in registration lists or individual applications can be made in official or non-official rooms and other places.

(2) The municipalities not belonging to an administration authority and administration authorities have to provide the registration lists and individual applications for the duration of the registration period. The official registration areas and registration times are to determine in a way that the registration of authorized persons have ample opportunity to participate in the citizen initiative. The municipalities not belonging to an administration office and administration offices as latest locally announce a week before the start the registration period, the subject-matter of the proposed citizens' initiative, the official registration areas, registration times, and the registration period.

(3) On the request of the representatives or by locally assigned persons, the municipalities not belonging to an administration office and the administration offices can before or during the registration period set up further registration rooms or other locations with the consent of the legitimate people. The municipalities not belonging to an administration office and the administration offices publish the other registration areas or other locations.

References: Gesetz über Initiativen aus dem Volk, Volksbegehren und Volksentscheid, (accessed Jan. 06, 2020)

Wording Of Ballot Question:

§ 23 Voting
(1) The question to be submitted to the People for a decision shall be put in such a way that it can be answered "yes" or "no". If there are several bills or other bills on the same subject, but which are incompatible in terms of content, the voting person may indicate for each bill whether he or she accepts it (yes vote) or rejects it (no vote). In addition, he or she may indicate which of the proposals he or she prefers in the event that two or more proposals achieve the required approval (Article 49(4) of the Constitution of the State of Schleswig-Holstein) (tie-break question).
(2) The text of the bill or the other bill shall be printed on the ballot paper or reference shall be made to the bill or the other bill. In the case of several bills or other documents relating to the same subject, their order on the ballot paper shall be determined by the number of valid entries for the citizen initiative. If the Parliament has submitted its own bill or other proposal for simultaneous voting, it shall be listed after the proposals supported by the citizen initiative.
(3) Draft laws or other proposals shall be displayed in the voting room in their full wording, including their justification, and shall be enclosed with the documents for postal voting, unless they are printed on the ballot paper.
(4) If only one of several bills put to the vote in accordance with paragraph 1 sentence 2 has achieved the necessary approval, this bill shall be adopted. If more than one bill has achieved the necessary approval, the bill that receives the majority of valid votes on the tie-break question shall be adopted. If there is a tie between two or more proposals, a new vote shall be taken on these proposals.

References: Gesetz über Initiativen aus dem Volk, Volksbegehren und Volksentscheid, (accessed January 8, 2020)

Interaction With Authorities:
Supervision And Support:
Transparency And Finance:

§12

(5) The applicants have to produce the registration lists and individual applications at its own expense and to submit them to the President of Parliament. He has to submit the registration list and individual applications no later than two weeks prior to the start of the registration period to the municipalities not belonging to an administrative office and the administrative offices. He may use the assistance of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Federal Affairs.

§ 27 Reimbursement of costs

(1) The State reimburses the municipalities and administration offices for the necessary costs which incurred through a referendum under exclusion of the running costs for personnel and equipment. No refund will be granted for the use of their own rooms.

(2) If a citizens' initiative succeeded, the representatives will be reimbursed by the State for the costs of an appropriate advertising for the referendum with a lump sum of 0.28 euros for every yes-vote. The amount of the refund shall not exceed the total amount proven by the representatives for advertising costs. The determination and the payment of the refund amount has to be requested within six months after the announcement of the result of the referendum under § 25 (2) sentence 2 in writing from the President or the Parliament. The President of the State Parliament shall fix the amount of the refund and pays it off. He grants the representatives at their request an advance payment of the amount of 5000 Euros.

References: Gesetz über Initiativen aus dem Volk, Volksbegehren und Volksentscheid, (accessed Jan. 08, 2020)


Practice

Archive:
Remarks:

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