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Districts Of Germany
The primary administrative subdivision of German states is called a _LANDKREIS_ ("rural district "), except in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein where it is called simply a _KREIS_. Most major cities in Germany are not part of a rural district, but perform district-like functions on their own. In this context, those cities are referred to as _KREISFREIE STADT_ (literally "district-free town") or _STADTKREIS_ ("urban district"). Rural districts are at an intermediate level of administration between the German states (_Länder_) and the municipal governments (_Gemeinden _). They correspond to level 3 administrative units of the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS 3), and are roughly equivalent to counties in the United States . Previously, the similar title _Reichskreis_ ( Imperial Circle ) was given to groups of states in the Holy Roman Empire . The related term _Landeskommissariat_ was used for similar administrative divisions in some German territories until the 19th century. CONTENTS * 1 Types of districts * 2 Responsibilities * 3 District council * 4 District administration * 5 See also * 6 Notes TYPES OF DISTRICTS Administrative divisions of Germany The majority of German districts are "rural districts" (German: _Landkreise_) of which there are 295
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Regierungsbezirk
_REGIERUNGSBEZIRK_ (pronounced , often abbreviated to REG.-BEZ.; English: Administrative district ) is an administrative region at federal state level in Germany. The regional authority is called a _Regierungspräsidium_ or _Bezirksregierung_ (district government) and is headed by a _Regierungspräsident_ (district president). The _Regierungsbezirke_ do not pass any legislation. Within the federal state authority, they act as a mid-level agency, concerned mostly with administrative decisions on a regional level for the affiliated rural or urban districts . CONTENTS * 1 Translations * 2 History * 3 _Regierungsbezirke_ by state * 4 Historic _Regierungsbezirke_ * 5 References * 6 External links TRANSLATIONS_Regierungsbezirk_ is variously translated as "governmental district", "administrative district" or "province", with the first two being closest literal translations. HISTORYThe first _Regierungsbezirke_ were established in the Kingdom of Bavaria (1808) and in the course of the Prussian reforms between 1808 and 1816, when the Kingdom of Prussia divided its provinces into 25 _Regierungsbezirke_; eventually Prussia had 37 such districts in 12 provinces. By German unification in 1871, the concept of Regierungsbezirke had been adopted by most States of the German Empire
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Germany
Coordinates : 51°N 9°E / 51°N 9°E / 51; 9 Federal Republic of Germany _Bundesrepublik Deutschland_ (German ) Flag Coat of arms MOTTO: "Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit " "Unity and Justice and Freedom" (de facto) ANTHEM: _ Deutschlandlied _ (English: "Song of Germany") (third verse only) Location of Germany (dark green) – in Europe (green "> (green) – Capital and largest city Berlin 52°31′N 13°23′E / 52.517°N 13.383°E / 52.517; 13.383 Official language and national language German ETHNIC GROUPS (2015 ) * 7001790000000000000♠79.0% Germans
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Politics Of Germany
Germany is a democratic, federal parliamentary republic , and 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). There is a multi-party system that, since 1949, has 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. 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 G8 , the G20 and the OECD
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Basic Law For The Federal Republic Of Germany
The BASIC LAW FOR THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY (German: _Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland_) is the constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany . The Basic Law was approved on 8 May 1949 in Bonn , and, with the signature of the western Allies of World War II on 12 May, came into effect on 23 May. Its original field of application (German: _Geltungsbereich_) comprised the states of the Trizone that were initially included in the then West German Federal Republic of Germany , but not West Berlin . As part of the Two Plus Four Agreement of 1990 between the two parts of Germany and all four Allied Powers, a series of amendments were agreed to be implemented. In the subsequent Unification Treaty of 1990, this amended Basic Law was adopted as the constitution for a united Germany. The German word _GRUNDGESETZ_ may be translated as either _Basic Law_ or _Fundamental Law_ (_Grund_ is cognate with the English word _ground_). The term _Verfassung_ (constitution) was not used, as the drafters regarded the _Grundgesetz_ as an interim arrangement for a provisional West German state ; expecting that an ultimate reunified Germany would adopt a full-blown constitution enacted under the provisions of Article 146 of the Basic Law, where it is stipulated that such a constitution must be "freely adopted by the German people"
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Human Rights In Germany
Human rights in Germany are protected extensively by the Grundgesetz . The country has ratified most international human rights treaties. Reports from independent organizations such as Amnesty International certify a high level of compliance with human rights, while still pointing out several issues, in particular police brutality and mistreatment of refugees . The 2008 Freedom in the World report by US-funded Freedom House gives Germany a score of "1" (the best possible) for both political rights and civil liberties . CONTENTS * 1 Law * 2 Treaties * 3 Reports * 4 Topics * 4.1 Custody * 4.2 Freedom of Speech * 4.3 Freedom of Assembly * 4.4 Freedom of Press * 4.5 Police brutality * 4.6 Torture * 4.7 Surveillance * 5 Vulnerable populations * 5.1 Minority and foreign parents * 5.2 Human trafficking * 5.3 LGBT rights * 5.4 Intersex rights * 6 Footnotes * 7 External links LAWThe constitution of Germany, the Grundgesetz , which came into effect in May 8, 1949, puts a particular emphasis on human rights. Its first sentence, "Human dignity is inviolable", is being interpreted as protecting the sum of human rights. This paragraph is protected by an "eternity clause " and cannot be changed. It has wide-ranging effects on judicial practice; for example, it has been used to justify the right on Informational self-determination in a 1983 finding of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany
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Federal Constitutional Court Of Germany
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
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President Of Germany
The PRESIDENT OF GERMANY, officially the 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. However, the President has a role which, while not an executive post, is more than ceremonial. Presidents have extensive discretion regarding the way they exercise their official duties. The President gives 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 ). 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 he or she only vetoes a law that he/she believes to violate the constitution. The President, by his or her actions and public appearances, represents the state itself, its existence, its legitimacy, and unity. The President's office involves an integrative role and the control function of upholding the law and the constitution
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Frank-Walter Steinmeier
FRANK-WALTER STEINMEIER (German: ; born 5 January 1956) is the President of Germany , serving since 19 March 2017. He previously served as Minister for Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs
from 2005 to 2009 and again from 2013 to 2017, and as vice chancellor from 2007 to 2009. He was chairman-in-office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in 2016. Steinmeier is a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), holds a doctorate in law and was formerly a career civil servant. He was a close aide of Gerhard Schröder when Schröder was Prime Minister of Lower Saxony during most of the 1990s, and served as Schröder's chief of staff from 1996. When Schröder became Chancellor of Germany
Germany
in 1998, Steinmeier was appointed Under-Secretary of State in the German Chancellery with the responsibility for the intelligence services . From 1999 to 2005 he served as Chief of Staff of the Chancellery . Following the 2005 federal election , Steinmeier became Foreign Minister in the first grand coalition government of Angela Merkel , and from 2007 he additionally held the office of vice chancellor. In 2008, he briefly served as acting chairman of his party. He was the SPD's candidate for chancellor in the 2009 federal election , but his party lost the election and he left the federal cabinet to become leader of the opposition
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Chancellor Of Germany (1949–)
The CHANCELLOR OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY (in German called BUNDESKANZLER(IN ), literally "FEDERAL CHANCELLOR", or Kanzler(in) for short) is, under the German 1949 constitution , the head of government of Germany . It is historically a continuation of the office of Chancellor (German : Kanzler, later Reichskanzler, Chancellor of the Realm) that was originally established as the office of Chancellor of the North German Confederation in 1867. The 1949 constitution increased the role of the Chancellor compared to the 1919 Weimar Constitution by making the Chancellor much more independent of the influence of the Federal President and granting the Chancellor the right to set the guidelines for all policy areas, thus making them the real chief executive. The role is generally comparable to that of Prime Minister in other parliamentary democracies. There have been eight chancellors since 1949. The current Chancellor of Germany is Angela Merkel , who was elected in 2005. She is the first female Chancellor since the establishment of the original office in 1867, and known in German as Bundeskanzlerin, the feminine form of Bundeskanzler. Merkel is also the first Chancellor elected since the fall of the Berlin Wall to have been raised in the former East Germany
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Angela Merkel
ANGELA DOROTHEA MERKEL (English: /ˈæŋɡələ ˈmɜːrkəl/ , German: ; _née_ KASNER; born 17 July 1954) is a German politician and the Chancellor of Germany since 2005. She is also the leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). A former research scientist with a doctorate in physical chemistry , Merkel entered politics in the wake of the Revolutions of 1989 , and briefly served as a deputy spokesperson for the first democratically elected East German Government headed by Lothar de Maizière in 1990. Following German reunification in 1990, Merkel was elected to the Bundestag for the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern , and has been reelected ever since. Merkel was appointed as the Minister for Women and Youth in the federal government under Chancellor Helmut Kohl in 1991, and became the Minister for the Environment in 1994. After her party lost the federal election in 1998 , Merkel was elected Secretary-General of the CDU before becoming the party's first female leader two years later in the aftermath of a donations scandal that toppled Wolfgang Schäuble . Following the 2005 federal election , Merkel was appointed Germany's first female Chancellor at the head of a grand coalition consisting of the CDU, its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)
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Vice-Chancellor Of Germany
The DEPUTY TO THE FEDERAL CHANCELLOR (German : _Stellvertreter des Bundeskanzlers_), widely known as the VICE CHANCELLOR (German : _Vizekanzler_) of Germany is, according to protocol, the second highest position in the Cabinet of Germany . He is the equivalent of a deputy prime minister in other parliamentary systems. The current Vice Chancellor is Sigmar Gabriel , who also serves as Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs . CONTENTS * 1 Office * 2 History * 3 Lists of Vice-Chancellors * 3.1 German Empire (Allgemeiner Stellvertreter des Reichskanzlers) * 3.2 Weimar Republic (Allgemeiner Stellvertreter des Reichskanzlers) * 3.3 Nazi Germany (Reichvizekanzler) * 3.4 Federal Republic of Germany * 4 References OFFICEAs provided by the Basic Law (Constitution), Vice Chancellor is not an independent office, but a position held by one of the ministers . Since 1966, it has often been held by the Minister of Foreign Affairs . It is the Chancellor who chooses which minister serves as Vice Chancellor, although the appointment is formally made by the Federal President. Since coalition governments are common in German politics, the Vice Chancellor is in most cases the president of the junior coalition partner. In case of the Chancellor 's absence, the Vice Chancellor acts in his or her place, for instance by heading Cabinet meetings
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Sigmar Gabriel
SIGMAR HARTMUT GABRIEL (born 12 September 1959) is a German politician who has served as Minister for Foreign Affairs since 2017 and Vice Chancellor since 2013. He was chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) from 2009 to 2017, which made him the party’s longest-serving leader since Willy Brandt . He was the Federal Minister of the Environment from 2005 to 2009 and the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy from 2013 to 2017. From 1999 to 2003 Gabriel was Prime Minister of Lower Saxony . Gabriel belongs to the right wing of the SPD, which shares many similarities with Tony Blair 's New Labour
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Cabinet Of Germany
The CABINET OF GERMANY (German : _BUNDESKABINETT_ or _BUNDESREGIERUNG_) is the chief executive body of the Federal Republic of Germany . It consists of the Chancellor and the cabinet ministers . The fundamentals of the cabinet 's organization as well as the method of its election and appointment as well as the procedure for its dismissal are set down in articles 62 through 69 of the _Grundgesetz _ (the Basic Law). In contrast to the system under the Weimar Republic , the Bundestag may both only move a constructive vote of no-confidence (by electing a new Chancellor if it has lost trust in the existing) and can also only choose to dismiss the entire cabinet and not simply individual ministers. These procedures and mechanisms were put in place by the authors of the Basic Law to both prevent another dictatorship and to ensure that there will not be a political vacuum left by the removal of Chancellor through a vote of confidence and the failure to elect a new one in their place, as had happened during the Weimar period with the Reichstag removing Chancellors but failing to agree on the election of a new one. There is a grace period in-between the dismissal of a Chancellor by the Bundestag and until the Bundestag can elect a new Chancellor, so as to allow the federal government, if it so wishes, to advise the Federal President to dissolve the Bundestag so that elections may be held
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Third Merkel Cabinet
The incumbent government of Germany , the third cabinet of Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel , was sworn in on 17 December 2013. Led by Merkel, the government is supported by a coalition of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU), and the Social Democrats (SPD). The CDU received five ministries in addition to the positions of Chancellor and Chancellery Chief of Staff/Minister for Special Affairs. The SPD controls six ministries and the CSU three. Although the CSU received a disproportionate share of ministries relative to its weight in the Bundestag, the six most powerful ministries were divided equally between the CDU and the SPD: the CDU controls the ministries for finance, internal affairs, and defense, while the SPD controls the ministries for foreign affairs, economics and energy, and justice and consumer protection
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Bundesversammlung (germany)
The FEDERAL CONVENTION, also known as the FEDERAL ASSEMBLY (German : Bundesversammlung), is a special constitutional body in the political and federal institutional system of Germany
Germany
, convened solely for the purpose of electing the President of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundespräsident ), either every five years or within 30 days of the premature termination of a presidential term. The Federal Convention mirrors the aggregated majority situation of the Bundestag
Bundestag
and the parliaments of the 16 German federal states . The Basic Law mandates that a maximum of three votes can be held. On the first two rounds, a candidate must receive an absolute majority of delegates to be elected. After that, in the third round, a plurality of all delegates voting is sufficient for election to the office of Federal President. Any delegate may nominate candidates; usually, every parliamentary group puts forth candidates, and there may sometimes be consensus candidates who are supported by several of the major parties
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