How is the German petition system included? – Framework conditions for political participation (23.1.2017)


Introductory lecture by Prof. Dr. Michael Opielka within the framework of the expert talk

We have to talk – listening and changing. For a revival of the petition law

23rd January 2017, 17.00 – 21.00 – German Bundestag, Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-House

Download: Michael Opielka, Wie inklusiv ist das deutsche Petitionswesen, Vortrag, Bundestag 23.1.2017

E-petitions have been booming for years. Hundreds of petitions are published every week, some of which come to hundreds of thousands of supporters – on private platforms. However, the use of the right to petition the German Bundestag has developed in ambiguity: the website of the Petitionsausschuss is by far the most successful Internet offer of the Bundestags, more and more people are signing petitions on this platform. At the same time, fewer petitions are submitted to the Bundestag.

This shows that the citizens want to participate – but trust in the fact that Parliament and the government are the right addressees for their concerns and proposals is disappearing. At the same time, the right to petition entails enormous potential, particularly in times of great social uncertainty and challenges. No Parliamentary Assembly is as close to the citizens as the Petitions Committee.

How can the parliamentary right to petition be strengthened? Why are certain population groups and others not participating? How can new and attractive approaches be created for those who do not or no longer participate? To what extent can petitions also be a gateway for right-wing populist agitation and how is it to deal with it? What can be learned from the successful private petition platforms for the parliamentary petitions?