essen.de > Town Hall > Bezirksvertretungen

District Representative Assemblies

In 1975, district parliaments were elected for the first time in the self-governing towns and cities of North Rhine Westphalia. Since that time, the area of Essen has been divided into 9 city districts with 9 representative assemblies, each with 19 unpaid members. On the day that municipal elections are held, these are elected by the citizens for a single election period.

District Representative Assemblies - why ?

Due to the restructuring produced by the major territorial reform in North Rhine Westphalia in 1974, the number of municipalities was considerably reduced. The aim was to increase the efficiency of the administration.

In this connection, the self-governing towns and cities were required by an amendment to local government law in 1974 to divide their areas into individual districts - with a district representation each - in order to practice local government close to the needs of the citizens.

In this subdivision, factors had to be taken into account such as - for example - settlement structure, population numbers, and urban development targets. This was to ensure that all districts are evenly and equally involved in meeting municipal tasks. Over the years, the district representations have increased their significance in local government and municipal politics.

Competencies of District Representations

representations decide in all local district matters whose significance does not essentially go beyond the district. But the concerns of the town or city as a whole must also be taken into account. Measures applying to the town or city as a whole are decided by the council.

District representations are heard in good time on all important district matters before a decision is taken by the town or city council or in a committee or before an administrative decision. This enables them to put forward their views in the decision finding process. In addition, the district representation has a right of suggestion and proposal in all local district matters.

District Representative Assemblies and citizens: Opportunities for the citizens - participation

The can ...

  • take part as an audience in the public sessions of the District Representation.
  • within the framework of residents' question times in the sessions or in citizens' surgeries, ask questions verbally or in writing on local district affairs.
  • address suggestions and complaints verbally, by telephone, and also in writing to the competent District Representation or District Administration Office.

On the level of the local district it is also possible to submit and present residents' motions as well as initiate local petitions and referendums.
For further information follow the adjacent subject links.

However, due to their volume, these pages can only be offered in their German language version