Citizens' Initiatives

Service Description

A citizens' initiative is a community founded on the basis of a specific cause. It does not have a specific legal form. The goal of a citizens' initiative is to influence public opinion, state institutions, parties or other groups.

Other ways of asserting interests at the municipal level: citizens' petition, citizens' initiative and citizens' referendum.

The citizens'petition
Citizens can use the citizens' petition to oblige the municipal council to deal with a specific municipal matter. A citizens' motion must relate to a municipal matter for which the municipal council is responsible. It may be rejected if the same matter has already been the subject of an admissible citizen petition within the past year.
The citizens' petition, which must contain a concrete request and a justification, must be submitted in writing to the municipality. The municipal council decides on the admissibility of the citizens' petition. The citizens' petition must be signed by a minimum number of 4 percent to 8 percent of the citizens, depending on the number of citizens in the municipality.
If the citizens' petition is admissible, the municipal council must deal with the matter within three months.

The citizens' petition and the citizens' referendum
''Citizens' petitions and citizens' referendums'' allow citizens to decide directly for themselves instead of the municipal council on many municipal matters. A citizens' petition aims at the implementation of a citizens' referendum, which has the effect of a municipal council decision.
The implementation of a citizens' petition must be applied for at the municipality and must contain a question to be decided with ''Yes'' or ''No'' on a concrete municipal matter, a justification as well as a proposal for the coverage of the costs of the demanded measures that is feasible according to the legal regulations. The petition must also name three persons authorized to represent the signatories of the citizens' petition.
If the citizens' petition is directed against a resolution of the municipal council or a committee, the application for admission of the citizens' petition must be submitted within four weeks of the announcement of the resolution.
The municipal administration examines the application and determines the beginning of the eight-week period for the collection of signatures. The citizens' petition must be signed by 13 to 17 percent of the citizens, depending on the size of the municipality.
Within eight weeks of the submission of the registration lists, the municipal council decides on the admissibility of the citizens' petition. If the required number of signatures has been reached and there are no legal objections, the citizens' referendum on the question of the citizens' petition takes place.
In a citizens' referendum, the question posed is decided in the sense in which it was answered by the majority of the valid votes cast. This majority must be at least 25 percent in municipalities with up to 3,000 citizens, at least 23 percent from 3001 up to 10,000 citizens, and at least 20 percent of those eligible to vote (i.e., the members of the municipality eligible to vote) in municipalities with more than 10,000 citizens.
The rejection of a petition in a referendum shall preclude a citizens' petition on the same matter for a period of two years, unless the factual or legal situation on which the referendum was based has changed significantly.

Source: Zuständigkeitsfinder Thüringen (Linie6PLus)

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