Germany 1949 Constitution (reviewed 2014)

Table of Contents

IV. The Bundesrat

Article 50. [Functions]

The Länder shall participate through the Bundesrat in the legislation and administration of the Federation and in matters concerning the European Union.

Article 51. [Composition – Weighted voting]

  1. The Bundesrat shall consist of members of the Land governments, which appoint and recall them. Other members of those governments may serve as alternates.
  2. Each Land shall have at least three votes; Länder with more than two million inhabitants shall have four, Länder with more than six million inhabitants five, and Länder with more than seven million inhabitants six votes.
  3. Each Land may appoint as many members as it has votes. The votes of each Land may be cast only as a unit and only by Members present or their alternates.

Article 52. [President – Decisions – Rules of procedure]

  1. The Bundesrat shall elect its President for one year.
  2. The President shall convene the Bundesrat. He shall be obliged to do so if the delegates of at least two Länder or the Federal Government so demand.
  3. Decisions of the Bundesrat shall require at least a majority of its votes. It shall adopt rules of procedure. Its meetings shall be open to the public. The public may be excluded.
  4. For matters concerning the European Union the Bundesrat may establish a Chamber for European Affairs, whose decisions shall be considered decisions of the Bundesrat; the number of votes to be uniformly cast by the Länder shall be determined by paragraph (2) of Article 51.
  5. Other members or representatives of Land governments may serve on committees of the Bundesrat.

Article 53. [Attendance of members of the Federal Government]

The members of the Federal Government shall have the right, and on demand the duty, to participate in meetings of the Bundesrat and of its committees. They shall have the right to be heard at any time. The Bundesrat shall be kept informed by the Federal Government with regard to the conduct of its affairs.