Baden-Württemberg operates an efficient and customer-focused administration on behalf of its citizens. Like the other larger German flatland states, administration in Baden-Württemberg operates on a three-tier system with the ministries at the top. The next tier down comprises the four regional commissioners acting as an intermediate authority on behalf of the administrative regions of Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Tübingen and Freiburg. Beyond this, Baden-Württemberg is broken down into 35 rural districts and 9 urban districts, and 1,101 local authorities, which form the lower administrative tier.
Local authorities and municipalities
Democracy grows from the bottom up. The local authorities form the bedrock of our community. They perform a wide variety of difficult tasks: From running swimming pools and libraries to the upkeep of kindergartens and schools, the issue of identity cards and the staging of elections. Political participation has its roots at the local authority level. Baden-Württemberg continues to be a State made up of small and medium-sized local authorities. There are only nine municipalities with more than 100,000 inhabitants.
The rural district authorities complement the work of the local authorities, assuming responsibility for tasks which arise between local authorities or which are too big for individual local authorities to deal with, such as refuse collection or the running of vocational colleges. As the lowest administrative authority of the State, the Rural District Offices are primarily involved in averting risks to public safety and exercising legal supervision of the local authorities in the district.
To allow planning to take place beyond local boundaries, increased cooperation between the regions is essential. Important tasks undertaken by regional planning include settlement and traffic development planning, the promotion of industry, supply and disposal, environmental protection and cultural matters. The twelve Regional Associations of Baden-Württemberg are corporations under public law.
The four administrative regions act as intermediate authorities between the State Government and the lowest administrational tier of the rural districts and local authorities. The functions distributed across the different ministries on the State level are pooled on the adminstrative region level by the Regional Commissioners, unless assigned to special higher State authorities.