Regional reorganization

the regional reorganization - also called “(local ) reorganisation “- is more political and at the same time also the education of larger administrative units on the respective level of the municipalities, districts and/or. Circles, urban areas and/or. circle-free cities in Germany.

The municipality andthe circle reform were separated either temporally or accomplished at the same time. The citizens were not asked and had no possibility of co-ordinating on it.

Table of contents

to municipality reform


for the regional reorganization of the municipalities a set of principles one developed, which aimed at an enlargement of the existing units by incorporation or combination of neighbouring municipalities. Goals are among other things Savings andEfficiency increase of the municipal administration and further mechanisms.

During the pool approximately equal large municipalities a new municipality name is mostly introduced. During the integration of smaller municipalities the larger usually their names keep.


the integration or combinationfrom municipalities already set toward end 19. Century , when many cities grew in connection with the industrialization and needed new surfaces. That was predominantly in the rheinisch westfälischen industrial area (Ruhr district) the case, where municipalities in the meantime on a sizefrom more than 100,000 inhabitants had increased.

Between 1967 and 1978 the western Lands of the Federal Republic reduced the number of their municipalities. This became partly by agreements between the municipalities on freiwilliger basis, i.e. the municipalities decided, in which way them in the future togetherto work wanted, partly by sovereignty document reached. While in some countries incorporations and municipality unions prevailed, became in Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate and Schleswig-Holstein new municipality unions on intermediate stage establishes (integrated municipalities, convention communities, offices).

Before the reform it gave in thatAs well as Federal Republic of about 24,000 municipalities, of those 10,760 less than 500 inhabitants had 139 circle-free cities and 425 (land) circles. After the reform remained 8505 municipalities, 92 circle-free cities and 235 (land) circles.

After a transitional phase different depending upon Land of the Federal Republic that closedLegislator in the middle of the 1970er years the municipality reform off, by deciding the reorganisation of the municipalities by law.

These re-organizations did not encounter with the citizens always approval. Examples are

in individual cases the combinations were cancelled again by the courts. In Lower Saxony the federal state parliament decided 1990 a correction of the municipality reform and the city ash village as well as thoseMunicipalities Langförden, Vörden and Mulsum the local autonomy shown. This law was tilted however by the Federal Constitutional Court. Some celebrity attained 1978 also the village Ermershausen with approximately 800 inhabitants in the district of hate mountains. It opposed the vehement integrationinto the municipality Maroldsweisach. That culminated in an occupation of the city hall and the establishment of barricades by citizens of Ermershausen to prevent with the purpose the transfer of the local administration after Maroldsweisach. The village became finally from several groups of one hundredthe auxiliary police stormed and the city hall clearing. Since 1994 Ermershausen is however again independent. In the GIF horn of Lower Saxony by the inhabitants of the municipality Gamsen vehement resistance was carried out. That culminated 1974 in unloading of several tons muck in and overGIF horns the city hall. The municipality hearing gau in Bavaria reached 1983 by a judgement of the Bavarian constitutional court yard that the incorporation was waived after Zusmarshausen.

As successful example the municipality reform of the cities Treysa and Ziegenhain in North Hesse can be stated. Outthe new city Schwalmstadt with 20.000 inhabitants was formed for only 5 km lying apart cities, which became thereby the largest city in the likewise again created Schwalm Eder circle. After now thirty years it grew together in symbiosis.

To the reunification went alsothe new Lands of the Federal Republic municipality reforms on. In individual countries it is today not yet final until, so that itself the number of the municipalities in Germany (spring 2003: over 13.000) still further to reduce might.

circle reform

of principles

For the regional reorganization (land) of the circles, urban areas and/or. circle-free cities a set of principles was developed, which aimed at an enlargement of the existing units.

In North Rhine-Westphalia 150,000, in compression areas even 200,000 inhabitants were considered as minimum size. Otherwise were the principles of the land development planto consider, according to which the circles should economiceconomics units represent and within their borders balanced variety of municipalities of the type A (Unterzentren) and B (central centers) have. Development axis could be not borders, but because of the interdependence thatmutual use to be transversecut.


the first districts in the today's sense, as Prussia its national territory to 30 was formed. April 1815 in provinces and governmental districts and afterwards to 23. April 1816 into districts divided. Already few yearsafterwards the first “circle reforms” were accomplished, with which individual districts were dissolved and combined with neighbouring circles. Examples:1823 the combination of the districts DIN sheets and meals to the new district Duisburg and the pool of the districts Rhine mountain and funds, 1832 thoseCombination of the district of federations with the district Herford and the combination of the district Brakel with the district Höxter.

Larger regional reorganizations were accomplished in that Weimar time. In particular in the Ruhr district became at the 1. August 1929 a large circle reform accomplished. At that timedeveloped among other things the Ennepe Ruhr circle, the Rheinisch Bergi circle, in the meantime again the dissolved Rhine Wupper circle as well as the circle-free cities rem-separate and Wuppertal. The largest circle reforms were accomplished in West Germany however in the 1960er and 1970er years.

In Lower Saxony to1. August 1977 final circle reform had to be corrected for resolution of the high court of state Bueckeburg. The dissolved district Friesland and the city Jever had raised complaint against the reform law and had gotten right. The district Friesland has itself 1980 from up toCircle reform existing municipalities regressed. The municipalities were divided into two different districts.

Also the new Lands of the Federal Republic accomplished circle reforms after the reunification.
Here however the following must be before-noticed: The GDR was after dissolution of the countries in the year 1952 in 14 Districts (without east Berlin) and arranged into 217 districts. Before it there were only 132 districts in the area of the GDR. To that extent it concerns with the newer reforms quasi a reverse circle reform.

After conclusion of all circle reforms in Germany reducedthe total number (land) of the circles of 614 to 323.
In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania at present already a further circle reform discussed by reduction on only 5 great circles, also in Saxonia-Anhalt gives it similar planning.

historical data


  • Detlev Vonde: District of the large villages. Industrialization and town development in the Ruhr district. Plain language, meal 1994 ISBN 3-88474-123-3
  • Hans Joachim of Oertzen and Werner Thieme (Hrsg.): The local regional reorganization. Series of publications, Nomos, Baden-Baden 1980-1987
  • Hamann Philipp: Municipality regional reorganization in Bavaria - history of the development, balance and perspectives, Utz publishing house, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-8316-0528-9

see also


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