Comprehensive guide to Berlin Germany with information on Local government.

Getting Started
Berlin Senate
Economic Develop.
Federal government
Embassies A - K
Embassies L - Z
Chamb. Commerce
Local government

The Berlin State Constitution and Governement

The current form of the constitution of the Federal State of Berlin was put into place in 1950 in former allied-controlled West Berlin. It was applied to re-unified Berlin starting January 1991. A commission was established in September 1991 under article 88 of the Constitution to review and revise the Constitution and draft a parliamentary reform. On 18 May 1994, the commission reported its results to the city parliament, which approved a revised draft on 22 June 1995. A referendum during city and district elections on 22 October 1995 produced an overwhelming endorsement of the revised draft, with 75.1% in favour and 24.9% against.
Significant amendments include: a commitment to protecting marriage, families, and unmarried partnerships, women's equality, and the environment, as well as new provisions for referenda, and that house committee meetings will be open to the public.

The Berlin House of Representatives , has 169 representatives, who are elected for a term of four years. The House is currently in the 14th election period. The House elects the Mayor of Berlin and with the Mayor elects the 8 Senators. Only the House has the authority to dismiss a Senator. The House also controls the budget for the State of Berlin.

Senators are responsible for their respective departments. Policy disputes between Senators and the Mayor are decided by the body of Senators.

Berlin Local Government Elections (Oct 21st, 2001)

There are around 63,000 non-German EU residents in Berlin who are entitled to vote in the forthcoming elections, provided they are over 18 on the day of the vote and have been residents here for three months.

The vote is twofold: firstly for the members of the Berlin parliament (Abgeordnetenhaus), which will decide the mayor, and secondly for the district representatives (Bezirksverordnetenversammlungen). Non-Germans are only entitled to vote in the second of these ballots. You should have already received your eligibility slip, which details the address of your local voting station. Bring this with you to the voting station along with your passport. If you don't have the slip, check at the voting department (Wahlamt) about your eligibilty. Postal votes must be applied for at the Wahlamt of your local Rathaus, and should be received by 6.00pm on the 21st.

Although you don't get a chance to help put your favourite mayoral candidate in the Roter Rathaus, this is still an opportunity to exercise your democratic powers as an EU citizen, and have a say in how the Bezirke are run.

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