Citizen participation

Service Description

The opportunities for citizen participation are derived from Articles 20 (2) and 28 (1) of the Basic Law (Grundgesetz - GG) and Articles 45 and 93 of the Constitution of the Free State of Thuringia. Accordingly, the principle of representative democracy applies to the Federal Republic of Germany. The will is formed primarily by elected representatives and not directly by the people. Consequently, the election of the municipal council, city council and district council is the most important instrument by which the people exercise state power directly. Another important opportunity for participation at the municipal level is provided by the direct election of the mayor, district and local mayors, and the district administrator. Citizens can also become active as candidates for municipal representation (as municipal council members, district council members) and run for the office of district administrator, full-time or honorary mayor, district and local mayor.

In addition to the opportunities for participation based on the principle of representation, the Thuringian Municipal and District Code (Thüringer Kommunalordnung - ThürKO -):

some further participation instruments, which are partly also open to the non-voting resident (e.g. minors):
  • Residents' meeting (§ 15 ThürKO):
    The residents' meeting serves to inform the residents about important matters of the municipality and should be held at least once a year.
  • Residents' motion (§ 16 ThürKO):
    Residents can request that the municipal council discuss and decide on a municipal matter for whose decision it is responsible (residents' motion).
  • Citizens' petition and citizens' referendum (§ 17 ThürKO):
    The citizens of a municipality can request a citizens' referendum on an important matter of the municipality by means of a citizens' petition. In the case of a referendum, the population (eligible to vote) thus decides for itself on factual issues. The referendum is the strongest form of citizen participation and breaks through the principle of representation. However, a negative catalog listed in the ThürKO excludes certain areas for the citizens' referendum (§ 17 para. 2 ThürKO).
In addition, there is the possibility of appointing knowledgeable citizens to the municipal committees in accordance with Section 27 (6) ThürKO and the possibility of forming a foreigners' advisory council in accordance with Section 26 (4) ThürKO. Within the framework of their right to self-organization, the municipalities are free to allow further opportunities for citizens to participate which are not expressly regulated by law (e.g. the formation of further municipal advisory councils, the holding of citizens' forums and citizens' surveys, the organization of opportunities for voluntary work at municipal level). Citizens of all ages can actively participate in all of these areas.
Further information on this topic can be found on the websites of the Thuringian State Election Office and the Thuringian Ministry of the Interior.

Source: Zuständigkeitsfinder Thüringen (Linie6PLus)

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