Bundestag

The Bundestag (German pronunciation: [ˈbʊndəstaːk] (listen), "Federal Diet") is the German federal parliament. It is the only federal representative body that is directly elected by the German people. It is comparable to the United States House of Representatives or the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. The Bundestag was established by Title III[lower-alpha 4] of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Grundgesetz, pronounced [ˈɡʁʊntɡəˌzɛt͡s] (listen)) in 1949 as one of the legislative bodies of Germany and thus it is the historical successor to the earlier Reichstag.

German Bundestag

Deutscher Bundestag
20th Bundestag
History
Established7 September 1949; 72 years ago (1949-09-07)
Preceded byReichstag (Nazi Germany, 1933–1945)
Leadership
Bärbel Bas, SPD
since 26 October 2021
Aydan Özoğuz, SPD
since 26 October 2021
Yvonne Magwas, CDU/CSU
since 26 October 2021
Wolfgang Kubicki, FDP
since 24 October 2017
Petra Pau, The Left
since 7 April 2006
Wolfgang Schäuble, CDU/CSU
since 26 October 2021
Olaf Scholz, SPD
since 8 December 2021
Friedrich Merz, CDU/CSU
since 15 February 2022
Structure
Seats736[1]
Political groups
Government (416)
  •   SPD (206)
  •   The Greens (118)
  •   FDP (92)

Opposition (320)

Elections
Mixed-member proportional representation (MMP)
Last election
26 September 2021
Next election
On or before 26 October 2025
Meeting place
Reichstag building
Mitte, Berlin, Germany
Website
www.bundestag.de/en
Rules
Rules of Procedure of the German Bundestag and Mediation Committee (English)

The members of the Bundestag are representatives of the German people as a whole, are not bound by any orders or instructions and are only accountable to their electorate.[lower-alpha 5] The minimum legal number of members of the Bundestag (German: Mitglieder des Bundestages) is 598;[lower-alpha 6] however, due to the system of overhang and leveling seats the current 20th Bundestag has a total of 736 members, making it the largest Bundestag to date.

The Bundestag is elected every four years by German citizens[lower-alpha 7] aged 18 or over.[lower-alpha 8] Elections use a mixed-member proportional representation system which combines first-past-the-post elected seats with a proportional party list to ensure its composition mirrors the national popular vote. An early election is only possible in the cases outlined in Articles 63 and 68 of the Grundgesetz.

The Bundestag has several functions. It is the chief legislative body on the federal level. The individual states (Bundesländer) of Germany participate in legislative process through the Bundesrat, a separate assembly.[2] The Bundestag also elects and oversees the chancellor, Germany's head of government, and sets the government budget.

Since 1999, it has met in the Reichstag building in Berlin.[3] The Bundestag also operates in multiple new government buildings in Berlin and has its own police force (the Bundestagspolizei). The current president of the Bundestag since 2021 is Bärbel Bas of the SPD. The 20th Bundestag has five vice presidents.


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