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Leitfaden zu Bürgerbegehren und Bürgerentscheiden in NRW

Unter dem Motto „Mehr unmittelbare Demokratie in den Gemeinden wagen“ hat das Ministerium für Heimat, Kommunales, Bau und Gleichstellung des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen eine Infobroschüre zu den Abläufen und Voraussetzungen von Bürgerbegehren und Bürgerentscheiden in NRW herausgegeben.

Das Ministerium schreibt hierzu:

„Nach dem Grundgesetz und der Landesverfassung des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen (Art. 28 Abs. 1 GG und Art. 78 Abs. 1 LV NRW) gilt auch für die Gemeinden der Grundsatz der repräsentativen Demokratie. Die Bürgerschaft wird also durch den Rat und die/den Bürgermeister/in vertreten, die sie in den Kommunalwahlen wählt. Die Verfassung schließt aber die ergänzende Einführung unmittelbar demokratischer Elemente nicht aus.

Mit der Einführung des Bürgerbegehrens und des Bürgerentscheids hat der Gesetzgeber ein wichtiges Element “unmittelbarer oder direkter Demokratie” geschaffen. Dieses unmittelbar demokratische Element durchbricht das repräsentative System. Es dient der Verbesserung der bürgerschaftlichen Beteiligung an der kommunalen Selbstverwaltung.

Die Kommunalverfassung gibt im § 26 den Bürgerinnen und Bürgern das Recht, in einer Vielzahl kommunaler Angelegenheiten selbst zu entscheiden. Der Beschluss der Bürgerschaft tritt an die Stelle der Entscheidung des Rates, denn der Bürgerentscheid hat die Wirkung eines Ratsbeschlusses.

Setzen sich Bürgerinnen und Bürger z.B. für den Erhalt eines Hallen- oder Freibades, einen zusätzlichen Kindergarten, eine weitere verkehrsberuhigte Zone oder für oder gegen den Neubau einer Schule ein, dann können sie diese Entscheidung nunmehr selbst in die Hand nehmen.

Seit der Einführung im Jahr 1994 sind Bürgerbegehren und Bürgerentscheide beispielsweise zu Erholungs-, Freizeit- und Sportangelegenheiten, Schulangelegenheiten, Verkehrsangelegenheiten, Umwelt-, insbesondere Abfallangelegenheiten oder Wohnungs-, Bau- und Grundstücksangelegenheiten durchgeführt worden.

Die Kommunalverfassung gibt im § 26 der Gemeindeordnung den Bürgerinnen und Bürgern das Recht, in einer Vielzahl kommunaler Angelegenheiten selbst zu entscheiden. Wollen sie z.B. einen zusätzlichen Kindergarten, eine weitere verkehrsberuhigte Zone oder den Umbau eines Hallenbades in ein Spaßbad, so können sie diese Entscheidung selbst in die Hand nehmen.“

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