Berlin, capital and at the same time one of the 16 countries in Germany. Berlin covers an area of 892 km 2 with (2019) 3.7 million residents, making it the largest city in Germany in terms of area and population.
According to the new constitution (amended several times), which was confirmed by a referendum on October 22, 1995 and entered into force on November 23, 1995, Berlin is the capital of the united Germany and a regular federal state. The legislative power rests with the House of Representatives (the representatives are elected for 5 years). The executive power is exercised by the Senate, which consists of the governing mayor and a maximum of 8 senators, 2 of whom are also mayors. The governing mayor is elected by the House of Representatives. He appoints and dismisses the senators, represents Berlin externally and, in agreement with the Senate, determines the guidelines for government policy, which must be approved by parliament.
The constitution fixes plebiscitary elements (popular initiative, petition and decision). In addition, the previous basic rights and state objectives (right to work, to housing and protection of the environment) were specified and supplemented (prohibition of any discrimination based on gender, origin, belief, political opinion and sexual identity; obligation of the country to promote education and culture and sport as well as social security).
Elections to the House of Representatives in Berlin
|Elections to the House of Representatives in Berlin 1990-2016 (distribution of seats and votes of the parties)|
|Parties||December 2, 1990||10/22/1995||10/10/1999||October 21, 2001||September 17, 2006||September 18, 2011||September 18, 2016|
|Alliance 90 / Greens 1)||11;||4.4% 2)||30;||13.2% 3)||18;||9.9%||14;||9.1%||23;||13.1%||29;||17.6%||27;||15.2%|
|PDS / Die Linke 5)||23;||9.2%||34;||14.6%||33;||17.7%||33;||22.6%||23;||13.4%||19;||11.7%||27;||15.6%|
|Alternative for Germany (AfD)||-;||–||-;||–||-;||–||-;||–||-;||–||-;||–||25;||14.2%|
|1) Party name since 1993 Alliance 90 / The Greens.2) Due to the division of the electoral area in Berlin (East) and Berlin (West) as required by the Federal Constitutional Court, the Alliance 90 / Greens group in Berlin (East) won 5.2% of the valid votes cast there and was thus able to win seats in the House of Representatives.
3) Including the Greens / AL in Berlin (West) who are running their own list.
4) Abbreviation for alternative list.
5), the PDS renamed in 2005 in “The Left Party” to (in short “The Left” gen.).
Flag and coat of arms: The flag has been white since 1912, based on the state colors of Brandenburg, with red edges on the long sides, with the bear walking upright in the middle.
The coat of arms shows in a silver (white) shield an upright, heraldic, red armored bear striding to the right (the bear is attested on the Berlin coat of arms since 1280). A five-leaf crown has been resting on the shield since 1839, which replaced the crown of the Hohenzollern family and, during the division of Berlin, was red in Berlin (East) (based on a design from 1934), in Berlin (West) since 1954 and gold and with the leaves of the top “People’s Crown” was occupied to express the urban-rural character of Berlin and thus the position of the city as the Land of the Federal Republic of Germany. The state parliament of Berlin decided on January 24th, 1991 to adopt the coat of arms of Berlin (West) for the whole of Berlin. The districts of Berlin have their own coats of arms.
Administration: Berlin is divided into 12 districts, which are involved in the city administration according to the principles of self-administration. Each city district has a district council (the members are elected for 5 years); this elects the members of the district office (district mayor and district councilors). The district mayors are under the supervision of the governing mayor.
Administrative division in Berlin
|Berlin: Administrative division (June 30, 2018)|
|new districts||old districts||Area
(in km 2)
(per km 2)
Law: The law, which was only valid in Berlin (West) until German reunification, was also put into effect in the eastern part of the country with transitional regulations through the law of September 28, 1990. The jurisdiction of the State of Berlin is established by the Constitutional Court (nine elected judges), the Higher Administrative Court (OLG), the Higher Administrative Court (Berlin-Brandenburg), the State Labor Court (Berlin-Brandenburg), the State Social Court (Berlin-Brandenburg), a district court, which has existed since 1992, eleven local courts, one administrative court, one tax court (Berlin-Brandenburg), labor court and social court.