Municipalities from all over the world are cooperating with their German counterparts and jointly implementing projects at the local level. In order to understand which tasks and duties German municipalities actually carry out and in which areas they rely on superordinate government levels, it is helpful to know the administrative structures in Germany. A new publication helps German partner municipalities learn more about the specifics of German local government.
Public governance in Germany comprises three levels: the central government, the 16 federal states (Länder) and some 11,000 municipalities, which include cities, towns and other entities. Municipalities play a crucial role in governing various aspects of daily life: They provide key services to ensure the basic needs of the population. These include basic infrastructure such as water and energy supply, the maintenance of local roads, schools as well as social services and cultural and recreational facilities. A special characteristic of the German constitution is the municipalities' right to self-government. Municipalities can decide on their own local affairs as long as they comply with applicable law. They are thus far more than just public implementing authorities at the local level.
Local development cooperation, howewer, is not an obligatory task for German municipalities. But due to their proximity to the citizens, cities and towns are key players when it comes to implementing measures and strategies aimed at achieving the 2030 Agenda.