Public Legislation

The Constitution of the Land of Brandenburg supplements representative democracy with elements of public legislation. Article 75 of the Land Constitution states: “Bills may be introduced from the floor of the Landtag, by the Land Government or by a Petition to Initiate Legislation.” To do this, it is necessary to go through a three-stage procedure that starts off with a Popular Initiative and, depending on the case arising, may pass through a Petition to Initiate Legislation and go all the way to a Referendum.

20,000 signatories are needed for a popular initiative (1st level), 80,000 signatures for a Petition to Initiate Legislation (2nd level). A Referendum (3rd level) is adopted when the majority of those who cast their vote (but at least a quarter of the voters) has voted in favour of it.

The Popular Initiative

1st stage of the Public Legislation Procedure

All residents have the right to submit certain items of political decision-making to the Landtag within the scope of its competence. They may also table bills and motions to dissolve the Landtag. This initiative must be signed by at least 20,000 residents.

The Petition to Initiate Legislation

2nd stage of the Public Legislation Procedure

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. It is adopted if at least 80,000 voters indicate their support.

The Referendum

3rd stage of the Public Legislation Procedure

If the Landtag fails to comply with an admissible Petition to Initiate Legislation within two months, a referendum takes place within a further three months. The electoral area is the Land, which is divided into electoral districts and constituencies in the same way as it is for elections to the Landtag.


Landtag Brandenburg
Alter Markt 1
14467 Potsdam
Phone: (0331) 966-0
Fax: (0331) 966-1210