Municipal authorities and politics in Münster
Local self-government is firmly anchored in Germany's Basic Constitutional Law. Cities like Münster have the right to regulate and rule on all matters concerning the local community in an independent manner within the bounds of Federal legislation.
Every five years, German citizens and foreign citizens from the European Union living in the city elect the local parliament, or city council. This is the most important decision-making committee for local authority matters. The next local government elections are due to take place in 2020.
At present, Münster's city council comprises 72 members, elected for the current legislative period. 25 members represent the CDU (German Christian Democratic Party), 19 the SPD (German Social-Democratic Party), 14 the Bündnis 90/die Grünen/GAL (Alliance 90/The Greens/GAL (Green Alternative List)), 4 the FDP (Free Democratic Party), 4 the Linke (Left List), 2 the ÖDP (Ecological-Democratic Party) and Piraten (Pirates Party), 1 the UWG (Independent Voting Alliance) and 1 the AfD (Alternative for Germany). 2 members do not belong to a political party. A proportion of the local self-government electees are responsible for the district councils in the city’s six districts. For example, they take decisions regarding the maintenance and provision of schools, sports complexes and parks in their particular municipal districts.
In addition to the city council and district councils, the citizens also elect the lord mayor directly. He represents the city in his capacity as "first citizen", and is also in charge of the municipal authorities with around 4,000 employees. The mayor also chairs the city council.