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Democracy in Essen

As all cities in Germany, Essen forms part of the state structure of the country.

Accordingly, elections to democratic representative bodies take place regularly - in so-called election period cycles - in our city.

The election period cycles are of different duration, depending on the respective electoral law:

The Federal Parliament is elected every four years; the elections for the European Parliament, State Parliament, for the office of Lord Mayor, for seats on the city council, for the district representations, as well as the Foreign Nationals Advisory Council, on the other hand, only take place every five years.

Besides the opportunity to vote you have the right to directly approach the city council or the district representations with your suggestions and concerns.

Furthermore, the reform of the local government constitution of 1994 created the instruments of the inhabitants' motion and the citzens' petition or the citizens' decision ("referendum").

These are two procedures that provide the people in our city with the opportunity to influence decisions by the city council as well as by the district representations in the area that they live in.

Further information on election procedures and the opportunites for citizens' participation in Essen can be found on additional pages of the Election Office.