Vienna, Austria, local Popular or citizens initiative [PCI] - Volksbefragung
- Popular or citizens initiative [PCI]
- Vienna, Austria
- Political level
- Local Name:
- Normative Level:
- Legally Binding:
- Legally Defined:
Popular consultation and referendum
(1) Matters of the municipality's own sphere of activity which fall within the competence of the municipal council, with the exception of those listed in para. 2, may be the subject of a consultation of the members of the municipality entitled to vote (popular consultation).
(2) The election of the organs of the municipality, municipal levies, fees (tariffs), personnel and official matters as well as measures which would interfere with fundamental rights and freedoms protected by constitutional law may not be the subject of a popular consultation.
(3) A popular consultation shall be held (..) if it is required by the required minimum number of members of the municipal constituency entitled to vote. The minimum number shall be 5 per cent of the members of the parish who were entitled to vote at the last municipal elections.
(4) A popular consultation shall also only be carried out in a part of the urban area if a matter within the meaning of para. 1 is of importance exclusively or predominantly for the population of this area and the municipal council decides to carry out such a popular consultation. The exact delimitation of the area in which the popular consultation is to take place shall be laid down in the decision of the municipal council. and in the call for the popular vote.
(5) The question which is to be the subject of a popular consultation shall be put in such a way that it can be answered either with "yes" or "no" or, if two or more variants are to be decided on, the variant chosen can be clearly identified.
Result and Announcement
(1) The result of the consultation shall be published in the Official Gazette of the City of Vienna.
(2) The question posed shall be deemed to have been answered in the affirmative if more than half of the valid votes cast are in the affirmative. If two or more variants have been decided, the variant shall be deemed to have been affirmed if more than half of the valid votes cast are in favour of it.
(3) The result of the referendum shall be forwarded to the municipal council for discussion in accordance with the rules of procedure at the next meeting.
References: Verfassung der Bundeshauptstadt Wien (Wiener Stadtverfassung – WStV), 2013 (accessed Oct. 6, 2018)
Initiation of the procedure for a popular consultation on the demands of community members
§ 3. (1) The holding of a popular consultation shall be requested at the Magistrate. The application must be signed by 5 per cent of the members of the municipality who were entitled to vote at the last council election (§ 112 a Paragraph 3 WStV). This number shall be determined by the City Senate after the conclusion of the election procedure with effect until the conclusion of the next election procedure. Decimal remainders are irrelevant. The number shall be published in the Official Gazette of the City of Vienna.
(2) The motion shall contain the following information:
a) the explicit request to hold a popular consultation,
(b) the question formulated pursuant to section 112a(5) WStV, including any variants,
(c) the names of at least three but not more than six representatives of the application (first and last name or surname, occupation and address) and their signatures, and
(d) the list of signatories to the application.
(3) The signatories of the application shall add their family names or surnames and forenames in block letters, the date of birth and their signatures by hand. The representatives and signatories of the application must be registered as entitled to vote in the electoral register of the municipality of Vienna on the day the application is submitted. In all other respects, the application must comply with Annexes 2 and 3 in form and content. ./2, ./3
(4) The representatives of the application (para. 2 lit. c) shall exercise their functions in the order resulting from their appointment. If, for whatever reason, the last representative also no longer exercises his function, the Magistrate shall discontinue the procedure. The responsible city council in charge reports on this to the municipal council (§ 22 WStV).
(5) After the application has been filed, the provision of subsequent signature lists (Annex 3) is inadmissible. The verification of signatures for their authenticity shall only take place until the call has been issued, without prejudice to the preliminary proceedings in the case of administrative violations (§ 20 no. 1).
Examination of the application
§ 4. (1) The Magistrate shall examine the application in order to determine whether
1. it meets the conditions of § 3 para. 2 lit. a, c and d as well as § 3 para. 3,
2. the proposed question as to content and form is admissible pursuant to Section 112 a (1), (2) and (5) WStV and
3. the applicant is exempt from the required minimum number of applications on the day the application is submitted by the people who are entitled to vote.
(2) If such a question is provided for in the application, which cannot be the subject of a referendum within the meaning of § 112 a paras. 1 and 2 WStV and cannot be reformulated into a permissible question without changing the essential meaning, or if the statutory minimum number (§ 112 a par. 3 WStV and § 3 par. 5) has not been reached, the magistrate shall, after granting the right set forth in § 45 par. 3 AVG 1991, not give effect to the application by written decision.
(3) In the case of defects that could be improved, the Magistrate shall instruct the representative of the application to do so within a reasonable period of time. If this is not fully complied with in due time, the application is not to be followed in the same way.
(4) An appeal to the Administrative Court Vienna against notices within the meaning of subsections 2 and 3 shall be admissible.
§ (1) The mayor shall call a popular consultation if the application fully complies with the legal requirements. The four-week period pursuant to section 112 b subs. 1 WStV shall not include the period between an agreement or a mandate (section 4 subs. 2 and 3) and the decision of the Administrative Court Vienna (section 4 subs. 4).
Acceptance points, prohibition zones, daily voting time
§ (1) No later than the fifth day before the beginning of the popular consultation, the number and location of the receiving offices, including the prohibition zones and the daily voting time, shall be determined by a notice to be issued by the Magistrate. The announcement may also include relevant references to the call, the voting procedure and the provisions in place to ensure the legality of the popular consultation. If a popular consultation is to be conducted only in a part of the city area (§ 112 a Para. 4 WStV), the announcements shall be restricted to the relevant districts.
(2) A call (section 2) and one announcement (subsection 1) shall be attached to each building of the receiving office for the duration of the consultation period.
(3) The acceptance offices, the number and location of which shall be determined after hearing the district heads, shall be established in analogous application of the provisions of Sections 53 and 56 GWO 1996. In case of special need, the additional establishment of receiving offices is permitted at any time after the beginning of the consultation period. A corresponding immediate announcement shall be made at the buildings of the nearest collection points.
References: Gesetz über die Durchführung von Volksbefragungen (Wiener Volksbefragungsgesetz – WVBefrG), 1980 (accessed Oct. 6, 2018)
- Subject Matter:
To consult voters on matters of the municipality's own sphere of activity which fall within the competence of the municipal council.
- Decision maker:
- Number Of Signatures:
- 5% of electorate
- Available Time:
- No time limit found in legal source
- Turnout Quorum:
- No turnout quorum found in legal source
- Approval Quorum:
- The total number of votes in favour, the total number of votes cast in 'No'; and the total number of votes cast for any variants. The question posed shall be deemed to have been answered in the affirmative if more than half of the valid votes cast are in the affirmative
- Geographical Quorum:
- No geographical quorum found in legal source
- Excluded Issues:
The election of the bodies of the municipality, municipal levies, fees (tariffs), personnel and official matters as well as measures which would interfere with fundamental rights and freedoms protected by constitutional law may not be the subject of a popular consultation.
- Other Formal Requirements:
Within four weeks of the decision being taken by the municipal council or of receipt of the request supported by the required minimum number, the mayor shall announce the popular consultation in such a way that it is held on three consecutive days within two months of the date of the announcement.
- Collection Mode:
- Specify Collection Mode:
- Wording Of Ballot Question:
The question which is to be the subject of a popular consultation shall be put in such a way that it can be answered either with "yes" or "no" or, if two or more variants are to be decided on, the variant chosen can be clearly identified.
- Interaction With Authorities:
- Supervision And Support:
- Transparency And Finance:
The English version here is a courtesy translation!