Subject and Keywords:
German municipal law is constituted in such a way as to allow municipalities to develop the ability to independently perform public duties entrusted to them. However, this principle is not always feasible. Despite carrying out significant territorial reforms, both in the old and new federal states, in Germany there are still many ‘weak’ municipalities that have not been abolished due to the lackof social acceptance. In addition, performance of some tasks requires involvement of a larger number of municipalities, regardless of their production capacities. Under such circumstances, municipal German law provides for a possibility of a number of organizational and functional forms of municipal cooperation aiming at carrying out their tasks. The municipal cooperation is of voluntary or compulsory character and involves other municipal and non-municipal entities as well as public and private ones. Legal regulation of the local government in Germany falls within the competence of federal states. Each federal state has its own, separate municipal law. This also applies to municipal cooperation, which is basically regulated by separate, national acts. In order to enable municipal cooperation among different countries, in compliance with art. 30 and art. 70 of the federal constitution, federal states conclude bilateral agreements, having the legal validity of the acts. These agreements specify acceptable legal forms of cross-border cooperation among municipalities and refer to the national law applicable in the adopted forms of cooperation. Additionally, they also appoint competent authorities of the federal state, which are responsible for governing supervisory matters.