In Germany there are four levels of self-government: state, federal state, district and municipal level. The cities of Hamburg, Bremen and Berlin are both federal state, district and municipality.
Numerous towns combine the administrative tasks of municipal and district level due to their number of inhabitants and size. German federal states of Brandenburg, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schleswig-Holstein are part of the BSSSC network. Together these states have approximately 8.8 million inhabitants.
The Basic Law (German constitution) states that the execution of state authority and the execution of state tasks lies with the federal states. The national level may determine rules of procedure for the administration of state laws. The municipalities have the constitutional right of self-administration in all matters related to the local community. The same right is allocated to the districts. Nevertheless each level has the duty to assist other levels if needed (Amtshilfe).
Due to the principle of subsidiarity, which is a basic principle of German federalism, most administrative tasks are carried out by the municipal level. The lower levels carry out several tasks, which are delegated by higher levels.
Ms Marlene Rothe