The Petition to Initiate Legislation

Should the Landtag not assent to a draft bill or a motion to dissolve the Landtag within four months, a Petition to Initiate Legislation takes place on the demand of the representatives of the Popular Initiative. The request for a Petition to Initiate Legislation to be executed must be made in writing within one month of the notification of the adverse decision by the Landtag in the Official Gazette for the Land of Brandenburg or, in the event of a non-decision, within one month of the expiry date of the four-month period, and sent to the President of the Landtag. The request does not become legally binding until it has been signed by hand by at least three representatives.

A Petition to Initiate Legislation is adopted if at least 80,000 persons entitled to vote – or at least 200,000 for a dissolution of the Landtag – have indicated their support for it within six months by having their names entered on the official registration lists.

Support for a Petition to Initiate Legislation is indicated by having your name recorded on an official list by the election authorities (Ämter administrative units and independent non-Amt municipalities). The Land Election Supervisor announces the request for a petition to initiate legislation immediately by stating the names and addresses of the representatives in the Official Gazette for Brandenburg and, at the same time, specifies the beginning and end of the period during which the petition can be supported.

The election authorities must inform the public of the subject of the requested Petition to Initiate Legislation and when and where they can register their support. The authorities may use their own discretion to decide whether and to what extent additional opening hours and extra registration rooms need to be provided.

All citizens may participate in a Petition to Initiate Legislation who

  • have attained the age of 16
  • have habitually resided in the Land of Brandenburg for at least one month and
  • are not excluded from the right to vote.

The right to register your support may only be exercised with the election authority in the municipality in which your sole or main residence is situated. The authority is obliged to check the entitlement to be registered before entering any names. You are therefore requested to bring valid identity papers with a photograph (personal ID card, passport, driving licence etc.). As is the case with popular initiatives, the entry must include name, forename, date of birth, address, signature and the date of signature. This entry cannot be withdrawn.

The Presiding Committee of the Landtag will declare the result of the Petition to Initiate Legislation once the report by the Land Elections Committee has been submitted. Checks are made at the same time to make sure that the Petition to Initiate Legislation has come about in due form. This is duly notified by the Landtag President in the Official Gazette for the Land of Brandenburg Part I. The assessment of the Presiding Committee of the Landtag as to whether the Petition to Initiate Legislation has come about in due form can be challenged by the representatives of the initiative before the Land Constitutional Court within one month of the announcement of the result.

If the Petition to Initiate Legislation has been adopted, the Landtag must deal with the draft bill, the motion or other bill within two months of the announcement of the result. The Land Government must submit a statement on the Petition to Initiate Legislation to the Landtag. The representatives of the initiative have the right to appoint two experts, who must be invited to a hearing by the responsible committee.

If the Petition to Initiate Legislation is not adopted, the public legislation procedure is duly concluded.