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What parliament does

Deputees in the Plenary Hall raise their hands.
© Hamburgische Bürgerschaft/Michael Zapf

The Hamburg Parliament (Bürgerschaft) is Hamburg’s elected representative body. Its most important functions are making laws, checking the work of the Senate, electing the First Mayor and the members of the Hamburg Constitutional Court, and confirming the appointment of the Senators – the Land government. It also has budgetary powers, in other words it votes to set Hamburg’s budget.

Hamburg is a city state, which means it is both one of the German federal states and a municipality. Therefore the Hamburg Parliament not only works as a Land parliament but also carries out tasks typical of a local council. For example it deals with issues such as development plans, children’s day care, ticket prices on public transport and public utility charges.

This short film explains the work and actors of the Hamburgische Bürgerschaft: