Federal Council of Germany
|President||Ole von Beust, CDU|
since 1. An upper house is one of two chambers of a Bicameral Legislature, the other chamber being the Lower house. In Germany, the President of the Bundesrat (German Bundesratspräsident) is the body's chairperson or speaker Carl-Friedrich Arp Ole Freiherr von Beust, generally called Ole von Beust, born April 13 1955, in Hamburg, Germany, has been The Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands) is the largest Political party in Germany. 11. 2007
|Political groups||Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union|
Social Democratic Party
Free Democratic Party
The Left. The Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands) is the largest Political party in Germany. The Free Democratic Party ( Freie Demokratische Partei, FDP is a liberal Political party in Germany. The Left (Die Linke is a German political party that came into being on 16 June 2007 as a merger of The Left Party/PDS the former
|Meeting place||Preußisches Herrenhaus, Berlin|
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The Bundesrat ("federal council" or "upper house of German parliament") is the representation of the 16 Federal States (Länder) of Germany at the federal level. The Prussian House of Lords (Preußisches Herrenhaus was the first chamber of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1850-1918 Berlin is the capital city and one of sixteen states of Germany. Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. Politics of Germany takes place in a framework of a federal parliamentary representative democratic Republic, whereby the Federal Chancellor The Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany (Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland is the Constitution of Germany. Based on the experience with the atrocities of the Nazi regime, human rights in Germany are protected extensively by the constitution The Federal Assembly (aka Federal Convention Bundesversammlung is a special body in the institutional system of Germany, convened solely for the purpose of electing The Bundestag ("Federal Diet " or "Lower House of German Parliament" is the Parliament of Germany. The Federal Constitutional Court (in German: Bundesverfassungsgericht BVerfG) is a special Court established by the Basic Law for the Federal Republic The “ Federal Court of Justice of Germany ” ( German: “ Bundesgerichtshof ” or “ BGH ” is the highest court in the system of ordinary jurisdiction The President of Germany (deutscher Bundespräsident is Germany 's Head of state. Horst Köhler ( born 22 February 1943) is a German politician ( CDU) and economist who serves as the current President of Germany. The Head of government of Germany is called Chancellor (Kanzler (ˈaŋɡela doʁoˈteːa ˈmɛɐ̯kəl (born Angela Dorothea Kasner, 17 July 1954 in Hamburg, West Germany) is the Chancellor of Germany. The Cabinet of Germany ( German: Bundeskabinett or Bundesregierung) is the chief executive body of the Federal Republic of Germany Germany (Deutschland is a Federal Republic consisting of sixteen States, known in German as Länder (singular German districts (de ''Kreise'' or de ''Landkreise'' in the states of Nordrhein-Westfalen and Schleswig-Holstein, singular de ''Kreis'' and de ''Landreis'' The following information deals with elections in Germany, including elections to the Federal Diet (the lower house of the federal parliament the Landtags This is a list of political parties in Germany. Germany has a Multi-party system with two large parties three substantial smaller parties and a number of minor The Federal Republic of Germany is a Central European country and member of the European Union, Group of 8 and NATO (among others The European Union is a unique entity possessing elements of Intergovernmentalism, Supranationalism and a Multi-party Parliamentary democracy Information on politics by country is available for every Country, including both De jure and De facto independent Germany (Deutschland is a Federal Republic consisting of sixteen States, known in German as Länder (singular Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. It has its seat at the former Prussian House of Lords in Berlin. The Prussian House of Lords (Preußisches Herrenhaus was the first chamber of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1850-1918 Berlin is the capital city and one of sixteen states of Germany.
The composition of the Bundesrat is different from other legislative bodies representing states (such as the Russian Federation Council or the U.S. Senate). Federation Council of Russia (Сове́т Федера́ции Sovet Federatsii) is the Upper house of the The United States Senate is the Upper house of the bicameral United States Congress, the Lower house being the House of Representatives First, its members are not elected, neither by popular vote nor by the state parliaments, but are normally members of the state cabinets which appoint them and can remove them at any time. Normally, a state delegation is headed by the respective minister-president. A minister-president (Ministerpräsident is the Head of government in a number of European countries or subnational governments who presides over the council of ministers Second, the states are not represented by an equal number of delegates, since the population of the respective state is a factor, as the following table shows.
|Inhabitants||Seats||States||Governing parties (May 2008)|
|> 7 million||6||Baden-Württemberg|
|CDU / FDP|
CDU / FDP
CDU / FDP
|6-7 million||5||Hesse||CDU (minority government)|
|SPD / The Left|
SPD / CDU
CDU / SPD
CDU / SPD
CDU / SPD
|< 2 million||3||Bremen|
|SPD / Greens|
CDU / Greens
SPD / CDU
What the table actually shows is the number of votes each state has in the Bundesrat, so the votes cast are not the votes of the delegates, but of the state. Baden-Württemberg is one of the 16 states ( Bundesländer) of the Federal Republic of Germany. Bavaria ( German:, with an area of 70553 Km² (27241 square miles and almost 12 Lower Saxony ( German: Niedersachsen ch is pronounced before an s --> lies in north-western Germany and is second North Rhine-Westphalia (Nordrhein-Westfalen usually shortened to NRW, official short form NW is the westernmost and - in terms of population and economic output - the The Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands) is the largest Political party in Germany. The Free Democratic Party ( Freie Demokratische Partei, FDP is a liberal Political party in Germany. Hesse (Hessen is a state of Germany with an area Berlin is the capital city and one of sixteen states of Germany. Brandenburg ( Lower Sorbian: Bramborska; Upper Sorbian: Braniborska) is one of the sixteen states of Germany. Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz is one of the 16 federal states (German Bundesländer) of Germany. The Free State of Saxony (Freistaat Sachsen ˈzaksən Swobodny Stat Sakska is the easternmost federal state of Germany. Saxony-Anhalt ( Sachsen-Anhalt) is one of the sixteen ''Bundesländer'' (federal states that make up the Federal Republic of Germany. is the northernmost of the 16 ''Bundesländer'' in Germany. The former English name was Sleswick-Holsatia the Danish name is The Free State of Thuringia (Freistaat Thüringen is located in central Germany. The Left (Die Linke is a German political party that came into being on 16 June 2007 as a merger of The Left Party/PDS the former The Free Hanseatic City of Bremen (German Freie Hansestadt Bremen) is the smallest of Germany's 16 Federal States ( Bundesländer) Hamburg (English, German: ˈhambʊɐk local pronunciation Low German / Low Saxon: Hamborg) is the second-largest city in Germany Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, sometimes translated as Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania or Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, is a state in Northern Germany comprising Saarland (ˈzaːɐ̯lant in German; French: Sarre) is one of the 16 federal states (German Bundesländer) of Germany. The Alliance '90/The Greens ( Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) the German Green party, is a Political party in Germany whose regional The state cabinet then may appoint as many delegates as the state has votes, but is under no obligation to do so; it can restrict the state delegation even to one single delegate. However, this does not affect the influence of the respective state in the Bundesrat, due to its unusual voting system (see below). Anyway, this system of unequal representation, although designed to reflect Land populations more accurately than equal representation would, in fact still affords greater representation per inhabitant to the smaller Länder. Since state elections are not coordinated across Germany and can occur at any time, the majority distributions in the Bundesrat can change after any such election.
The votes allocation can be approximated as 2. 01+Square_root(1. 24*land's population in millions) with the additional limit of maximum 6 votes so it is consistent with Penrose method (also called Square root method) based on game theory. The Penrose method is a method devised in 1946 by Professor Lionel Penrose, for allocating seats or votes in legislatures based on the Square root of the Game theory is a branch of Applied mathematics that is used in the Social sciences (most notably Economics) Biology, Engineering, However this agreement with the Penrose method is accidential, therefore 4 (5 without constraints) out of 16 Länder have one vote less than they ought to have according to the Penrose method. But it is an example where political processes converge to game theoretical results.
In contrast to many other legislative bodies, the delegates to the Bundesrat from any one state are required to cast the votes of the state as a bloc (since the votes are not those of the respective delegate). Furthermore, it is possible (and quite customary) that only one of the delegates (the Stimmführer or "leader of the votes" — normally the minister-president) casts all votes the respective state has, even if the other members of the delegation are present in the chamber. Because coalition governments are very common in state governments, many states choose to abstain if their coalition cannot agree on a position. A coalition government, or coalition cabinet, is a Cabinet of a parliamentary Government in which several parties cooperate This is a compromise only on first sight; because every decision of the Bundesrat requires an absolute majority of the votes of all states, abstaining means, in effect, casting a "nay" vote. Conflict between delegation members may lead to a split vote, which invalidates the respective state's entire vote. The delegates (or their leader) are not allowed to reconsider and cast a unanimous vote. During a vote on an immigration bill in 2002, the Brandenburg delegation split, due to such a conflict among the coalition partners. See also 2002 (disambiguation Year 2002 ( MMII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. Brandenburg ( Lower Sorbian: Bramborska; Upper Sorbian: Braniborska) is one of the sixteen states of Germany. This caused much controversy and ultimately, the law was declared void by the German Constitutional Court since without the votes from Brandenburg, the bill had not received a majority. The Federal Constitutional Court (in German: Bundesverfassungsgericht BVerfG) is a special Court established by the Basic Law for the Federal Republic
The chairperson or speaker is the President of the Bundesrat (Bundesratspräsident). In Germany, the President of the Bundesrat (German Bundesratspräsident) is the body's chairperson or speaker By tradition, the presidency rotates annually among the minister-presidents of each of the federal Länder (states). A minister-president (Ministerpräsident is the Head of government in a number of European countries or subnational governments who presides over the council of ministers Germany (Deutschland is a Federal Republic consisting of sixteen States, known in German as Länder (singular The President of the Bundesrat convenes and chairs plenary sessions of the body and is formally responsible for representing the Federal Republic in the Bundesrat. He or she is aided by three vice-presidents who play an advisory role and deputise in the president's absence. The four together make up the Bundesrat's praesidium.
Because the Bundesrat is so much smaller than the Bundestag, and also because it is more or less an organized cooperation of Land governments rather than a real parliament, it does not require the extensive organizational structure of the lower house. The Bundesrat typically schedules plenary sessions once a month for the purpose of voting on legislation prepared in committee. In comparison, the Bundestag conducts about fifty plenary sessions a year. The voting Bundesrat delegates themselves rarely attend committee sessions; instead, they delegate that responsibility to civil servants from their ministries, as allowed for in the Basic Law. The delegates themselves tend to spend most of their time in their state capitals, rather than in the federal capital. The delegations are supported by the Landesvertretungen, which function basically as embassies of the states in the federal capital. A diplomatic mission is a group of people from one State or an international Inter-governmental organization (such as the United Nations) present in
The legislative authority of the Bundesrat is subordinate to that of the Bundestag, but it nonetheless plays a vital legislative role. The federal government must present all its legislative initiatives first to the Bundesrat; only thereafter can a proposal be passed to the Bundestag. Further, the Bundesrat must approve all legislation affecting policy areas for which the Basic Law grants the Länder concurrent powers and for which the Länder must administer federal regulations. The Bundesrat has increased its legislative responsibilities over time by successfully arguing for a broad, rather than a narrow, interpretation of what constitutes the range of legislation affecting Land interests. In 1949 only 10 percent of all federal laws, namely, those directly affecting the Länder, required Bundesrat approval. In 1993 close to 60 percent of federal legislation required the Bundesrat's assent. The Basic Law also provides the Bundesrat with an absolute veto of such legislation. Constitutional changes require a majority of 2/3 of all votes, thus giving the Bundesrat an absolute veto against constitutional change. Against all other legislation the Bundesrat has a suspensive veto, which can be overridden by passing the law again. As an added provision, a law vetoed with a majority of 2/3 must be passed again with a majority of 2/3 in the Bundestag. If the absolute veto is used, the Bundesrat, the Bundestag, or the government can convene a joint committee to negotiate a compromise. That compromise cannot be amended and both chambers (Bundesrat and Bundestag) are required to hold a final vote on the compromise as is.  The political power of the absolute veto is particularly evident when the opposition party or parties in the Bundestag have a majority in the Bundesrat, which was the case almost constantly between 1991 and 2006. Whenever this happens, the opposition can threaten the government's legislative program. Such a division of authority can complicate the process of governing when the major parties disagree, and, unlike the Bundestag, the Bundesrat cannot be dissolved under any circumstances. Such stalemates are not unlike those that may be experienced under cohabitation in other countries. Cohabitation in government occurs in Semi-presidential systems such as France 's system when the President is from a different Political party
Some observers emphasize that different majorities in the two chambers ensure that all legislation, when approved, has the support of a broad political spectrum--a particularly valuable attribute in the aftermath of unification, when consensus on critical policy decisions is vital. The formal representation of the Länder in the federal government through the Bundesrat provides an obvious forum for the coordination of policy between the Länder and the federal government. The need for such coordination, particularly given the specific, crucial needs of the eastern Länder, has become only more important.
It could also be argued that the Bundesrat serves as a control mechanism on the Bundestag in the sense of a system of checks and balances. Separation of powers, a term ascribed to French Enlightenment Political philosopher Baron de Montesquieu, is a model for the Governance Since the executive and legislative functions are closely intertwined in any parliamentary system, the Bundesrat's ability to revisit and slow down legislative processes could be seen as making up for that loss of separation.
Other observers claim that the opposing majorities lead to an increase in backroom politics, where small groups of high-tier leaders make all the important decisions and the Bundestag representatives only have a choice between agreeing with them or not getting anything done at all. The German "Federalism Commission" was looking into this issue, among others. There have been frequent suggestions of replacing the Bundesrat with a US-style elected Senate, which would be elected at the same date as the Bundestag. This is hoped to increase the institution's popularity, reduce Land bureaucracy influence on legislation, make opposing majorities less likely, make the legislative process more transparent, and generally set a new standard of democratic, rather than bureaucratic leadership. It remains to be seen if existing party leaderships are willing to support such a step.
The German Bundesrat was first founded, together with the second German Empire, in 1871, replacing a body of the same name and with the same functions in the North German Confederation. The German Empire is the name commonly used in English to describe Germany from 1871 to 1918 when it was a semi- Constitutional monarchy: beginning with the Unification Year 1871 ( MDCCCLXXI) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common The North German Confederation (Norddeutscher Bund came into existence in August 1866 as a military alliance of 22 states of northern Germany with the Kingdom of With the Weimar Constitution, it was replaced in 1919 by the Reichsrat (1919-1934). The term Weimar Republic ( ˈvaɪmarɐ repuˈbliːk is used by historians to signify the democratic and Republican period of Germany from 1919 to 1933 Year 1919 ( MCMXIX) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common The Reichsrat was one of the two legislative bodies in Germany under the Weimar constitution, the other one being the Reichstag.
The delegates to the original Bundesrat as those to the Reichsrat, while appointed by the state governments just as today, usually were high-ranking civil servants, not cabinet members. The original Bundesrat was very powerful: Every bill needed its consent, making it a second chamber equal to the popularily elected Reichstag. The Reichstag ( German for "Imperial Diet " was the Parliament of the Holy Roman Empire, the North German Confederation,
The Reichsrat had at least de jure considerably less influence, since it only could veto bills, and then could be overruled by the Reichstag. But overruling the Reichsrat needed a majority of two-thirds in the Reichstag, and the Reichstag was splintered into many parties and frequently dissolved. So in most cases a bill vetoed by the Reichsrat effectively died because there were not enough votes in the Reichstag to overrule the veto.
In 1871, the original members were:
(including states annexed in 1866)
from 1911 it was a Reichsland
|17 other small states|
each with 1 vote