How does a direct democracy work

Direct democracy

In direct democracy procedures, the population makes direct decisions (without the involvement of MPs) on political issues. The Berlin constitution provides for different procedures at the state level and at the district level.

At the level of the State of Berlin, Berliners can get through Popular initiatives achieve that the House of Representatives has to deal with certain political issues. All Berlin residents aged 16 and over are allowed to take part in a popular initiative.

With the Referendum there is the possibility of enacting new laws, changing existing laws or repealing them entirely. That is the preliminary stage to the referendum Referendum. All Berliners who are also entitled to vote for the House of Representatives can take part in both procedures. With the referendum, a certain number of eligible voters prepares the way for the referendum with their signature. In order for a referendum to be successful, a minimum number of all eligible voters must take part in the vote and cast a vote. In 2014, for example, a referendum prevented the Senate from developing the Tempelhof field.

After all, the constitution of Berlin also provides for a few, specific cases to be mandatory Referendums before, for example for a merger with the state of Brandenburg.

At the district level there is the possibility of Referendum and Referendums perform. Citizens' petitions can be initiated by those entitled to vote in the districts on issues on which the respective district council assembly (BVV) has to pass a resolution. After a referendum has been made, the BVV either agrees to the petition or a referendum is carried out within four months. A successful referendum has the same legal effect as the decision of a district assembly. For example, a referendum in 2008 in the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district led to the renaming of part of Kochstrasse to Rudi-Dutschke-Strasse.

Boschüre ‘Elections and Direct Democracy in Berlin’

Voting results of elections, votes and referendums

Legal bases