Bundesrat is a German word that means federal council and may refer to:
The German Bundesrat (literally "Federal Council"; pronounced [ˈbʊndəsʁaːt]) is a legislative body that represents the sixteen Länder (federated states) of Germany at the national level. The Bundesrat meets at the former Prussian House of Lords in Berlin. Its second seat is located in the former West German capital of Bonn.
The Bundesrat participates in legislation, alongside the Bundestag, the directly elected representation of the people of Germany, with laws affecting state competences and all constitutional changes requiring the consent of the body. For its similar function, it is sometimes described as an upper house of parliament along the lines of the US Senate, the Canadian Senate or the British House of Lords.Bundesrath (from 1901 on: Bundesrat, according to a general spelling reform) was the name of similar bodies in the North German Confederation (1867) and the German Empire (1871). Its predecessor in the Weimar Republic (1919–1933) was the Reichsrat.
The political makeup of the Bundesrat is affected by changes in power in the states of Germany, and thus by elections in each state. Each state delegation in the Bundesrat is essentially a representation of the state government and reflects the political makeup of the ruling majority or plurality of each state legislature (including coalitions). Thus, the Bundesrat is a continuous body and has no legislative periods. But for organizational reasons the Bundesrat structures its legislative calendar in years of business (Geschäftsjahre), beginning each year on 1 November. Each year of business is congruous with the term of the presidium. The sessions are counted continuously since the first session on 7 September 1949: The session on 19 October 2018, the last session of the 69th year of business, has been the 971st session of the Bundesrat.Constitution of the German Empire
The Constitution of the German Empire (German: Verfassung des Deutschen Reiches) was the basic law of the German Empire of 1871-1918, from 16 April 1871, coming into effect on 4 May 1871. German historians often refer to it as Bismarck's imperial constitution, in German the Bismarcksche Reichsverfassung (BRV).
According to the constitution, the empire was a federation (federally organised national state) of 25 German states under the permanent presidency of Prussia, the largest and most powerful state. The presidency of the confederation (Bundespräsidium) was a hereditary office of the King of Prussia, who had the title of German Emperor. The Emperor appointed the Chancellor, the head of government and chairman of the Bundesrat, the council of representatives of the German states. Laws were enacted by the Bundesrat and the Reichstag, the Imperial Diet elected by male Germans above the age of 25 years.
The constitution followed an earlier constitution of 1 January 1871, the Constitution of the German Confederation. That constitution already incorporated some of the agreements between the North German Confederation and the four German states south of the River Main. It renamed the country to Deutsches Reich (conventionally translated to 'German Empire') and gave the Prussian King the title of German Emperor.The constitutions of 1 January and 4 May 1871 are both essentially an amended version of the North German Constitution, which had likewise been instigated by Otto von Bismarck. The political system remained the same.
The constitution lost its effect in the November Revolution of 1918: the legislative and executive powers were performed by a new revolutionary organ. A national assembly created in 1919 a new, republican constitution: the Weimar Constitution, which has the same title in German as its predecessor (Verfassung des Deutschen Reiches, or 'Constitution of the German Reich').Daniel Günther
Daniel Günther (born 24 July 1973) is a German politician of Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU). Since 28 June 2017 he serves as the Minister President of Schleswig-Holstein. Since 1 November 2018 he also serves as President of the Bundesrat.Federal Constitutional Court
The Federal Constitutional Court (German: Bundesverfassungsgericht; abbreviated: BVerfG) is the supreme constitutional court for the Federal Republic of Germany, established by the constitution or Basic Law (Grundgesetz) of Germany. Since its inception with the beginning of the post-WW2 republic, the court has been located in the city of Karlsruhe—intentionally distanced from the other federal institutions in Berlin (earlier in Bonn) and other cities.The main task of the court is judicial review, and it may declare legislation unconstitutional, thus rendering them ineffective. In this respect, it is similar to other supreme courts with judicial review powers, yet the court possesses a number of additional powers, and is regarded as among the most interventionist and powerful national courts in the world. Unlike other supreme courts, the constitutional court is not an integral stage of the judicial or appeals process (aside from cases concerning constitutional or public international law), and does not serve as a regular appellate court from lower courts or the Federal Supreme Courts on any violation of federal laws.
The court's jurisdiction is focused on constitutional issues and the compliance of all governmental institutions with the constitution. Constitutional amendments or changes passed by the Parliament are subject to its judicial review, since they have to be compatible with the most basic principles of the Grundgesetz defined by the eternity clause.Federal Council (Austria)
The Federal Council (German: Bundesrat, pronounced [ˈbʊndəsʁaːt]) is the upper house of the Austrian Parliament, representing the nine States of Austria on federal level. As part of a bicameral legislature alongside of the National Council, it can be compared with an upper house or a senate. In fact, however, it is far less powerful than the National Council: although it has to approve every new law decided for by this "lower" chamber, the latter can—in most cases—overrule the Federal Council's refusal to approve.
The Bundesrat has its seat at the Austrian Parliament Building in Vienna, in a conclave of the former Herrenhaus chamber of the Imperial Council (Reichsrat). During a major renovation of the Parliament Building the Federal Council meets in the Hofburg.Federal Council (Switzerland)
The Federal Council is the seven-member executive council that constitutes the federal government of the Swiss Confederation and serves as the collective head of state and of government of Switzerland.
While the entire council is responsible for leading the federal administration of Switzerland, each Councillor heads one of the seven federal executive departments. The position of Federal President rotates among the seven Councillors on a yearly basis, with one year's Vice President becoming the next year's President. Ueli Maurer is the incumbent president of the council since 1 January 2019.Gemeinsamer Ausschuss
The Joint Committee (German: Gemeinsamer Ausschuss) is a special body in the constitutional and institutional system of Germany established by Article 53a of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany (Grundgesetz, GG). It exists to ensure a functioning legislature during a constitutionally established and declared state of defense. During a state of defense, as well as prior to its declaration, the Federal Government must inform the committee about its plans.
The joint committee consists of members of the Bundestag (two-thirds) and members of the Bundesrat (one third). Each Land may appoint any member of the Bundesrat that it wishes to represent it in the committee, but unlike in the Bundesrat, where states may give instructions on voting on each matter to its respective delegations, each state cannot give binding instructions to its representative in the Gemeinsamer Ausschuss. The powers of the joint committee are restricted in such a way that they cannot be abused to exploit the special circumstances to abolish the constitutional order.
Even with the joint committee working under a state of defense, the Bundestag's other members may still meet, as well as can other committees of the Bundestag, and members of the Federal Government can still continue to be required to attend any of these meetings as well.German order of precedence
The German order of precedence is a symbolic hierarchy of the five highest federal offices in Germany used to direct protocol. It has no official status, but has been established in practical use.
The President of Germany, the head of state of Germany.
The President of the Bundestag, the speaker of the German parliament, the Bundestag.
The Chancellor of Germany, the head of the government of Germany.
(1.) The President of the Bundesrat, the speaker of the Bundesrat, a federal legislative chamber, in which the governments of the sixteen german states are represented. He or she is ex officio also deputy to the President of Germany (Basic Law, Article 57). Thus, he or she becomes first in the order, while acting on behalf of the President or while acting as head of state during a vacancy of the presidency.
The President of the Federal Constitutional Court, the supreme court of Germany.Indirect election
An indirect election is an election in which voters do not choose between candidates for an office, but elect people who then choose. It is one of the oldest forms of elections, and is still used today for many presidents, cabinets, upper houses, and supranational legislatures. Presidents and prime ministers can be indirectly elected by parliaments or by a special body convened solely for that purpose. The election of the executive government in most parliamentary systems is indirect: elect the parliamentarians, who then elect the government including most prominently the prime minister from among themselves. Upper houses, especially of federal republics, can be indirectly elected by state legislatures or state governments. Similarly, supranational legislatures can be indirectly elected by constituent countries' legislatures or executive governments.
Examples of indirectly elected individuals include:
the election of the United States President and the Vice President is indirect election. Voters elect the Electoral College, which then elects the President. The Electoral College is a controversial issue in American politics, as the Electoral College vote may not agree with the popular vote.
The President of Germany is similarly elected by a Federal Convention.
in the United Kingdom, the Prime Minister usually is a member of the House of Commons, the lower, elected house of Parliament, and is the leader of the political party with the most seats able to command a majority either outright or by agreement with other parties. Similar arrangements are used in the devolved assemblies and most local councils.
in Spain, the Congress of Deputies votes on a motion of confidence of the king's nominee (customarily the party leader whose party controls the Congress) and the nominee's political manifesto, an example of an indirect election of the Prime Minister of Spain.
Many countries with parliamentary systems elect their head of state indirectly (Germany, Italy, Estonia, Latvia, Malta, Hungary, India, Israel, Bangladesh). In most of these, head of state is merely a ceremonial figurehead with limited power.
Political party nominees can be indirectly elected in party conventions, such as in the United States. Local caucus attendants vote for delegates, who vote for a nominee in state conventions.Some examples of indirectly elected upper houses include:
the German Bundesrat, where voters elect the Landtag members, who then elect the state government, which then appoints its members to the Bundesrat
In France, election to the upper house of Parliament, the Sénat, is indirect. Electors (called "Grands électeurs") are locally elected representatives.
the Indian Rajya Sabha (upper house of parliament) is indirectly elected, largely by state legislatures; Manmohan Singh was a member of the Rajya Sabha but chosen by the majority party in the Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) as the Prime Minister (2004-2014); as such, Singh as Prime Minister had never won a direct or popular election; introduced as a "technocrat"
the United States Senate was indirectly elected by state legislatures until, after a number of attempts over the previous century, the 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified in 1913.Some examples of indirectly elected supranational legislatures include:
the Parliamentary Assemblies of the Council of Europe, OSCE, the WEU and NATO - in all of these cases, voters elect national parliamentarians, who in turn elect some of their own members to the assembly
most bodies formed of representatives of national governments, e.g. the United Nations General Assembly, can be considered indirectly elected (assuming the national governments are democratically elected in the first place)Josef Munzinger
Martin Josef Munzinger (11 November 1791 – 6 February 1855) was a Swiss politician.
He was elected to the Swiss Federal Council on 16 November 1848, as one of the first seven Councilors. While in office he held the following departments:
Department of Finance (1848–1850)
Political Department (1851)
Department of Finance (1852)
Department of Posts and Construction (1853–1854)
Department of Trade and Customs (1855)and was President of the Confederation in 1851.
Munzinger died in office on 6 February 1855.Karl Arnold
Karl Arnold (21 March 1901 – 29 June 1958) was a German politician. He was Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia from 1947 to 1956. From 7 September 1949 until 8 September 1950 he was President of the German Bundesrat. He is, together with Jens Böhrnsen (in 2010) and Horst Seehofer (in 2012), one of the three Presidents of the Bundesrat who have acted as head of state during a vacancy of the office of President, according to Article 57 of the Basic Law.Kurt Sieveking
Kurt Sieveking (21 December 1897, Hamburg – 16 March 1986, Hamburg) was a German politician (CDU) and First Mayor of Hamburg. On 7 September 1956 he was elected for a one-year-term as President of the German Bundesrat. Because his successor-elect, Governing Mayor of Berlin Otto Suhr, had died on 30 August 1957, Sieveking was re-elected as President of the Bundesrat in order to avoid a vacancy. He resigned on 1 November 1957, when Willy Brandt became the new Governing Mayor of Berlin and President of the Bundesrat subsequently. Because of that, Sieveking is, as yet, the only President of the Bundesrat to be re-elected to a second consecutive term (seven other persons have held two non-consecutive one-year-terms).
Sieveking was from a well known Hamburg family, his great-granduncle Friedrich Sieveking preceded him in office as First Mayor in the 1860s. Many streets and places in Hamburg were named after them: e.g. Sievekingsallee, Sievekingdamm or Sievekingsplatz (53°33'19"N 9°58'34"E).
In 1951, Sieveking was appointed as the consul in Stockholm and later ambassador in Sweden. In 1953, Sieveking was the candidate of the conservative parties for the office of the First Mayor. He won the election, in his office term he reformed the school system and initiated the town twinning with Saint Petersburg (then Leningrad) in 1957. After the election defeat he remained member of the Hamburg Parliament.Sieveking is buried at the Ohlsdorf Cemetery (S25 T25 [11–19]).Malu Dreyer
Maria Luise Anna "Malu" Dreyer (born 6 February 1961) is a German politician (SPD). Since 13 January 2013, she has served as Minister President of Rhineland-Palatinate. She is the first woman to hold this office. She served a one-year-term as the President of the Bundesrat from 1 November 2016-2017, which made her the deputy to the President of Germany while in office. She was the second female President of the Bundesrat and the sixth woman holding one of the five highest federal offices in Germany.Politics of Germany
Germany is a democratic, federal parliamentary republic, where federal legislative power is vested in the Bundestag (the parliament of Germany) and the Bundesrat (the representative body of the Länder, Germany's regional states).
The multilateral system has, since 1949, been dominated by the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). The judiciary of Germany is independent of the executive and the legislature, while it is common for leading members of the executive to be member of the legislature, as well. The political system is laid out in the 1949 constitution, the Grundgesetz (Basic Law), which remained in effect with minor amendments after German reunification in 1990.
The constitution emphasizes the protection of individual liberty in an extensive catalogue of human and civil rights and divides powers both between the federal and state levels and between the legislative, executive and judicial branches.
West Germany was a founding member of the European Community in 1958, which became the EU in 1993. It is part of the Schengen Area, and has been a member of the eurozone since 1999. It is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20 and the OECD.
The Economist Intelligence Unit has rated Germany as a "full democracy" in 2017.President of Germany
The President of Germany, officially the Federal President of the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Bundespräsident der Bundesrepublik Deutschland), is the head of state of Germany.
Germany has a parliamentary system of government in which the chancellor is the nation's leading political figure and de facto chief executive. The president has a mainly ceremonial role, but he can give direction to general political and societal debates and has some important "reserve powers" in case of political instability (such as those provided for by Article 81 of the Basic Law). The German presidents have wide discretion about how they exercise their official duties.Under Article 59 (1) of the Basic Law (German Constitution), the president represents the Federal Republic of Germany in matters of international law, concludes treaties with foreign states on its behalf and accredits diplomats. Furthermore, all federal laws must be signed by the president before they can come into effect, but usually they only veto a law if they believe it to violate the constitution.
The president, by their actions and public appearances, represents the state itself, its existence, legitimacy, and unity. The president's role is integrative and includes the control function of upholding the law and the constitution. It is a matter of political tradition – not legal restrictions – that the president generally does not comment routinely on issues in the news, particularly when there is some controversy among the political parties. This distance from day-to-day politics and daily governmental issues allows the president to be a source of clarification, to influence public debate, voice criticism, offer suggestions and make proposals. In order to exercise this power, they traditionally act above party politics.The 12th and current officeholder is Frank-Walter Steinmeier who was elected on 12 February 2017 and started his first five-year term on 19 March 2017.President of the German Bundesrat
In Germany, the President of the Bundesrat or President of the Federal Council (German: Bundesratspräsident) is the chairperson or speaker of the Bundesrat (Federal Council). He or she is elected by the Bundesrat for a term of one year (usually from November 1 to October 31 in the next year). Traditionally, the Presidency of the Bundesrat rotates among the leaders of the sixteen state governments (most of them hold the title Minister President, the head of government of Berlin holds the title Governing Mayor, the head of government of Hamburg holds the title First Mayor and the head of government of Bremen holds the title President of the Senate and Mayor). This is however only an established praxis, theoretically the Bundesrat is free to elect any member it chooses, and a President could also be re-elected. As well as acting as a chairperson the President of the Bundesrat is ex officio deputy of the President of Germany.
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 two vice-presidents who play an advisory role and deputise in the president's absence. The three together constitute the Präsidium of the Bundesrat.
The 73rd and current President of the Bundesrat is Daniel Günther, the Minister President of Schleswig-Holstein, whose one-year term started on 1 November 2018.Reichsrat (Germany)
The Reichsrat was one of two legislative bodies in Germany during Weimar Republic (1919–1933), the other being the Reichstag.
The Reichsrat consisted of members appointed by the German States and participated in legislation affecting all constitutional changes and state competences, while the Reichstag was the elected body of the people. Therefore, the Reichsrat functioned similarly to a parliamentary upper house, such as the House of Lords in the United Kingdom, although the Weimar constitution did not specifically spell out a bicameral parliament. The Reichsrat was the successor body to the Bundesrat of the German Empire (1867–1918), which was a more formalized upper house.Reichstag (German Empire)
The Reichstag (German: [ˈʁaɪçstaːk] (listen), Diet of the Realm or Imperial Diet) was the Parliament of Germany from 1871 to 1918. Legislation was shared between the Reichstag and the Bundesrat, which was the Imperial Council of the reigning princes of the German States.
The Reichstag had no formal right to appoint or dismiss governments, but by contemporary standards it was considered a highly modern and progressive parliament. All German men over 25 years of age were eligible to vote, and members of the Reichstag were elected by general, universal and secret suffrage. Members were elected in single-member constituencies by majority vote. If no candidate received a majority of the votes, a runoff election took place. In 1871, the Reichstag consisted of 382 members, but from 1874 it was enlarged to 397 members.The term of office was initially set at three years, and in 1888 this was extended to five years. The Reichstag was opened once a year by the Emperor. In order to dissolve parliament, the approval of the Imperial Council and the emperor were required. Members of parliament enjoyed legal immunity and indemnity.Same-sex marriage in Germany
Same-sex marriage in Germany has been legal since 1 October 2017. A bill for legalisation passed the Bundestag on 30 June 2017 and the Bundesrat on 7 July. It was signed into law on 20 July by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and published in the Federal Law Gazette on 28 July 2017.
Previously, from 2001 until 2017, registered life partnerships (German: Eingetragene Lebenspartnerschaft) had been available for same-sex couples. The benefits granted by these partnerships were gradually extended by the Federal Constitutional Court (German: Bundesverfassungsgericht) throughout several rulings until they provided for most but not all of the rights of marriage.