Vorarlberg, Austria, local Agenda (setting) initiative [PAX] - Volksbegehren nach dem Gemeindegesetz

General Typology

Instrument
Agenda (setting) initiative [PAX]
Location
Vorarlberg, Austria
Political level
local
Local Name:
Volksbegehren nach dem Gemeindegesetz
Normative Level:
statutory
Legally Binding:
no
Legally Defined:

Article 76

Referendum and popular consultation

The law shall regulate the conditions under which matters within the municipality's own sphere of activity in the area of state execution are to be decided or decreed (referendum) and reviewed ( popular consultation) by a vote of the voters of the municipality (Art. 13 para. 4).

References: Verfassungsgesetz über die Verfassung des Landes Vorarlberg, 1999 (accessed Oct. 6, 2018)

III. MAIN PART

Citizens' initiative according to the municipal law

§ 24

Application

(1) An application to initiate the procedure for a citizens' initiative may contain only one single request at a time, to be specified in detail. The request may be substantiated. One person entitled to file an application shall be named as a proxy and another as his deputy. In all other respects, the application must comply with the model set out in Annex 2 and must be signed by the authorised representative and his deputy.

(2) The abbreviation of the citizens' initiative to be included in the application shall refer to the content of the citizens' initiative and shall clearly differ from the abbreviation of other citizens' initiatives with regard to which an application is pending with the municipal election authority.

(3) The petition to initiate the procedure for a citizens' initiative shall be submitted to the Municipal Electoral Authority. The proxy may withdraw the petition until a decision has been made on the petition.

(4) Upon request, the mayor shall inform each eligible voter (§ 2, Sub-Clause 3) of the number of eligible voters of the municipality included in the electoral roll at a specific time.

§ 25

Deposit

(1) At the same time as the application pursuant to § 24 is submitted, an amount of 360 euros shall be deposited, failing which the application shall be deemed not to have been submitted.

(2) If the m Municipal Election Authority decides in accordance with § 28 para. 2 that a citizens' initiative has been submitted, the deposit shall be refunded immediately. The deposit must also be refunded if the application is withdrawn in accordance with § 24 Para. 3. Half of the deposit shall be refunded if the Municipal Election Authority rejects the application to initiate a citizens' initiative or if at least half of the required registrations are obtained in the registration procedure.

(3) To the extent that the deposit pursuant to subsection (2) is not to be returned, it shall be forfeited in favour of the municipality.

§ 26

Admissibility, preparation of the registration procedure

(1) The Municipal Election Authority shall decide on the application to initiate the procedure for a citizens' initiative without unnecessary delay, at the latest within four weeks after submission. The petition shall be granted if the petition is admissible under the provisions of the Municipalities Act, the requested act does not obviously contradict superior law and the requirements of sections 24 and 25 are fulfilled. Otherwise, the application shall be rejected. The notice shall be served on the authorised representative for his own account. An appeal against this decision to the Regional Administrative Court is not admissible.

(2) If two or more applications are granted with a similar request, the Municipal Electoral Authority may, with the consent of the authorised representatives, combine the various citizens' initiatives into one. In this case, each person entitled to make an application who has been named as a proxy in the individual applications shall have the legal status of a proxy.

§ 29

Submission to the mayor and the municipal council

(1) If the Municipal Electoral Authority decides that a citizens' initiative has been submitted in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Act, it shall notify the Mayor of the citizens' initiative without delay, at the latest within one week.

(2) The mayor shall ensure that the citizens' initiative is dealt with under a separate agenda item in the municipal council without unnecessary delay, at the latest within three months of receipt. Prior to this, the applicants shall be invited to an oral hearing in the municipal council or in a preparatory committee.

(3) The right to be heard under subsection 2 shall be vested in the proxy, his deputy and another person entitled to vote to be appointed by the proxy.

References: Landes-Volksabstimmungsgesetz, 1987 (accessed Oct. 6, 2018)

§ 21

Citizens' initiative

(1) A citizens' initiative may require that matters of the municipality's own sphere of activity be dealt with in a certain manner.

(2) Administrative acts addressed to certain persons may not be the subject of a citizens' initiative.

(3) A citizens' initiative shall be dealt with by the municipal council if it is requested by at least one number of voters of the municipality (§ 20), which shall be determined as follows:

a) for the first up to 1,500 voters: 20% thereof;

plus

b) for the next up to 1,500 voters: 15 % thereof;

plus

(c) for the number of persons entitled to vote in excess thereof: 10 % thereof.

(4) If the municipal representation refuses to take into account a citizens' initiative submitted by at least 25% of the voters of the municipality (§ 20), it shall be submitted to a referendum.

(5) If the municipal representation decides that the citizens' initiative is to be taken into account, it shall instruct any other organs of the municipality responsible for dealing with the matter in question accordingly.

Referenxes: Gemeindegesetz, 1985 (accessed Oct. 6, 2018)

Subject Matter:

To require that matters of the municipality's own sphere of activity be dealt with in a certain manner

Actors

Author:
Citizens
Initiator:
Citizens
Decision maker:
Municipal Council

Requirements

Number Of Signatures:
< 1501 voters: 20% ; next 1500 voters: +15% ; additional voters: 10% therof
Available Time:
8 weeks
Geographical Quorum:
No geographical quorum
Excluded Issues:

The requested act does not obviously contradict superior law

Other Formal Requirements:

Procedural Elements

Collection Mode:
restricted
Specify Collection Mode:

§ 27

Registration procedure

(1) Forms pursuant to section 26 subs. 3 shall be used for registration. Those entitled to vote (§ 2 par. 3) who, on the record date of the citizens' initiative, have been entered in the electoral register of the municipality.

(2) Sections 12 and 13 (2) to (6) shall apply mutatis mutandis to the registration procedure with the proviso that the Municipal Electoral Authority shall make the registration form available for download on the homepage of the municipality.

Subsection 2

Registration procedure

§ 12

Publication, requirement

(1) The mayor shall publish the text of the petition to initiate the procedure for a citizens' initiative, together with a possible statement of reasons in the municipal office, during the period specified in § 11 paras. 1 and 2 and publish the registration form in accordance with § 11 par. 3 during the official hours intended for party business.

(2) The mayor shall immediately announce the initiation of the citizens' initiative, the deadline for registration and the official hours intended for party dealings in the manner customary in the town. The notice shall state that voters may also register for the citizens' initiative, at the municipal office of the municipality in which they have their principal residence during the official hours designated for party communication.

(3) The State Electoral Authority shall make the registration form pursuant to § 11 para. 3 available for download from the homepage of the State.

§ 13

Registration

(2) Registration may take place at the municipal office of the municipality in which the person entitled to vote has his main place of residence, or at any other place.

(3) The registration shall be submitted to the mayor of the municipality in which the person entitled to vote has his principal place of residence within the period specified in section 11(1). It may also be submitted to the municipal office of the municipality in which the person entitled to vote has his main place of residence.

(4) Within two weeks of receipt, the mayor shall confirm on the registration that

(a) the registration has been received during the registration period,

(b) the person named in the registration is entitled to vote; and

(c) the registration is not made by a person already registered.

This confirmation shall only be issued if the entry contains all the information required in the form pursuant to § 11 (3) and the signature of the person entitled to vote during the registration period.

(5) If an entry is not confirmed and the reason for this is not already apparent from the entry, it shall be noted on the entry.

(6) The issue of the confirmation shall be noted in a copy of the electoral roll.

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

Practice

Archive:
Remarks:

The English version here is a courtesy translation!