Berlin is the center of economic and political decision making in Germany. The major constitutional bodies in the Federal Republic of Germany are based in Berlin: the Federal Government (Bundesregierung), the Federal Parliament (Bundestag) and the states´chamber of parliamen (Bundesrat). Every one of the sixteen German states has an official representation in the federal capital of Berlin. Businesses in Berlin have a decisive advantage through their close proximity to policy makers.
Germany's capital, Berlin, is both a city and a federal state (Land). The Berlin Senate is the governing body that fulfills the duties of both the city and state government. It comprises up to ten senators plus the mayor.
At the state level, the position of Governing Mayor of Berlin corresponds to that of a Minister President of one of the other federal states (Länder). The Senate meets at Berlin's City Hall (Rotes Rathaus) while the House of Representatives (Abgeordnetenhaus) meets at the Prussian Landtag.
Diplomatic representatives from all over the world are also based in Berlin, making the city an important hub for German foreign policy. Many embassies are located in the traditional diplomatic quarter of Tiergarten.
The Berlin state government
The Berlin state government comprises:
- The governing mayor
- Ten senators
The representatives of the state government are elected by the Berlin House of Representatives. The governing mayor nominates the senators.
State Government 2016:
Michael Müller (SPD)
Mayor and Senator for Culture and Europe:
Dr. Klaus Lederer (DIE LINKE)
Mayor and Senator for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises:
Ramona Pop (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen Berlin)
Senator for Education, Youth and Family
Sandra Scheeres (SPD)
Senator for Finance
Dr. Matthias Kollatz-Ahnen (SPD)
Senator for Health, Care and Equality
Dilek Kalayci (SPD)
Senator for the Interior and Sport
Andreas Geisel (SPD)
Senator for Integration, Labor and Social Issues
Elke Breitenbach (DIE LINKE)
Senator for Justice, Consumer Protection and Antidiscrimination
Dr. Dirk Behrendt (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen Berlin)
Senator for Urban Development and Housing:
Katrin Lompscher (DIE LINKE)
Senator for Environment, Transport and Climate Protection:
Regine Günther (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen Berlin)
(Source: Governing Mayor of Berlin, Senate Chancellery, 2018)
Berlin's administration is assured at two levels:
- By the city's central administration and
- By the district administrations
The central administration
The Senate administrations, each led by a Senator, constitute the highest-level state agencies of the state of Berlin.
The Senate administrations are responsible for
- Making decisions about basic policy;
- Planning and supervising the overall development of the city;
- Overseeing universities and corporations under public law.
- Chief of Police (Polizeipräsident),
- Fire Department,
- Authorities administering justice.
The district administrations
The administrative reforms of 2001 created the 12 district administrations that exist in Berlin today.
A district administration consists of the Bezirksamt plus those institutions that have no legal jurisdiction (such as district schools).
The district administrations are responsible for:
- District-level affairs;
- Carrying out special duties conferred on them.
The Senate maintains oversight over the district administrations.
(Source: Press and Information Office of the State of Berlin (Presse- und Informationsamt des Landes Berlin) 2013)
Federal Authorities in Berlin
The major federal authorities of Germany are headquartered in Berlin and numerous other federal agencies maintain offices here.
The federal authorities are administrative agencies of the federal government. The highest executive bodies of Germany are termed Supreme Federal Authorities. These include the Federal Ministries (Bundesministerien), the Office of the Federal President (Bundespräsidialamt), the Federal Chancellery (Bundeskanzleramt) and the Federal Audit Office (Bundesrechnungshof).
Subordinate to these are the Higher Federal Authorities. They must follow the directives of the Supreme Federal Authorities and fulfill those duties for which the Federation has legislative power. Among the Higher Federal Authorities are the:
- Federal Central Tax Office
(Bundeszentralamt für Steuern - BZSt)
- Federal Office for Central Services and Unsettled Property Issues
(Bundesamt für zentrale Dienste und offene Vermögensfragen - BADV)
- Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution
(Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz - BfV)
- Federal Cartel Office
- Federal Environment Agency
The other Central Federal Agencies are each subordinate to a Federal Ministry as well. They are responsible for a specific field of activity nationwide. These include the Higher Federal Authorities, the Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt) and the German Patent and Trademark Office (Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt) .
(Source: Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany)
Associations and organizations
Berlin is home to the umbrella organizations for German business and industry as well as important economic institutions and alliances. Many other associations and organizations maintain offices in the German capital. The organizations and associations located here are an important component of Berlin's role as a decision making center.
Confederation of German employer organizations
(Bundesvereinigung der deutschen Arbeitgeberverbände - BDA)
Haus der Deutschen Wirtschaft
Breite Strasse 29
Bundesvereinigung der Deutschen Arbeitgeberverbände
+49 30 2033-0
Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry
(Deutscher Industrie- und Handelskammertag - DIHK)
Breite Strasse 29
+49 30 20308-0
Fax: +49 30 20308-1000