Bundesrat – staatsrecht.honikel.de

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The Bundesrat is the federal element in the legislation (Article 50 GG).


Building of the Bundesrat in Berlin


Through the Bundesrat the Laender (federal states of the Federal Republic) work in the legislation of the Federation (for example Article 76 I GG). Furthermore, the Bundesrat is involved at the administration of the Federation (for example Article 84 II, 85 II GG). It controls the government (for example Article 53 GG) and participates at the election of other federal organs (for example Article 94 I S 2 GG)

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At present the Bundesrat consists of 69 members. The number of the votes and members per Land depend on the number of inhabitants of it (Article 51 II GG). Baden-Wuerttemberg has more than 7 million inhabitants and because of that 6 votes in the Bundesrat.

Article 51 II

Each Land shall have at least three votes; Länder with more than two million inhabitants shall have four, Länder with more than six million inhabitants five, and Länder with more than seven million inhabitants six votes.

Contrary to the delegates of the Bundestag the Members of the Bundesrat are not elected by the people, but they are members of their federal state government (for example Prime Minister, Minister) and sent by this.

Article 51 I

The Bundesrat shall consist of members of the Land governments, which appoint and recall them. Other members of those governments may serve as alternates.

They will be send to the Bundesrat by majority decision usually for the duration of their affiliation to the federal state government and they could be replaced by other members of their government.

They are not free and independent with their casting of votes contrary to the Members of the Bundestag, but bind to the instructions of their federal state government (imperative mandate). They may not belong to the Bundestag at the same time (incompatibility).

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Legislative Period

The Bundesrat has contrary to the Bundestag no Legislative period, it is a so called "eternal Federal organ". Parts of the Members of the Bundesrat change if in one of the Laender a new government is elected.

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Adoption of resolutions (Article 52 III GG)

In principle the Bundesrat decides its resolutions with absolute majority, that means with at least the majority of its legal votes (Article 52 III S 1 GG).

The Bundesrat is able to make a decision, if more than half of its members are present.

During the election the votes of a Land can be delivered only uniformly and only by present members or their representatives, thus by cabinet members, (Article 51 III S 2 GG). A member can give on behalf all votes of the Land.

Article 51 III

Each Land may appoint as many members as it has votes. The votes of each Land may be cast only as a unit and only by Members present or their alternates.

In the event of constitution-changing laws and at the accusation of the Federal President a twothird majority is necessary (Article 79 II GG, Article 61 I GG).

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Organization (Article 52 I and II GG)

The Bundesrat elects a president for one year from its members (Article 52 I GG). Usually an Prime Minister of one Land.

The Bundesrat president summons the Bundesrat. He must do this, if the representatives of two Laender demand this (Article 52 II GG). He leads the presidency with the meetings. In addition the president of the Bundesrat is the deputy of the Federal President (Article 57 GG).

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Website of the Bundesrat

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