The local council is a directly - democratic political organ. In Germany, local self- government of the citizens comes, unlike in Switzerland, only very rarely.
In Germany, according to the Basic Law, the Municipal Assembly to take the place of an elected body ( Article 28, paragraph 1, sentence 4 of the Constitution ). This assembly - designed as a " discretionary clause " by the legislature - decide in such a case instead of a corporative organization. To ensure that all citizens can determine all affairs of the community directly in such a case.
As far as this scheme was ever used ( which is in the legal discretion of the federal states), it has been designed only for very small communities. In Schleswig -Holstein, for example, in communities with less than 70 inhabitants a community meeting to decide a municipal council does not need to be formed. Instead of direct municipal assembly occur in all communities as civic participation of residents request, the citizens' initiative and the referendum.
In addition, a municipal policy-oriented community meeting in Germany is under no circumstances to be confused with the mostly annual religious congregation meeting of all members of a Catholic or Protestant church; this corresponds to the difference in the concept of community.
The community meeting in Switzerland is an organ in most small political communities, which account for 90 percent of all communities in the country applies (including cities with almost 20,000 inhabitants possess them in part ). It is the legislative branch of the community and approved and defined a number of organizational units, for example the budget and the accounts of the municipality.
At the community meetings, everyone is entitled to attend and vote who has the full citizenship of the country or city municipalities. The community meeting will be led in most cantons by the mayor or depending on the canton mayor. Only in the canton of Bern, a special church meeting President for a fixed term of office is chosen for this task.