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The Free Hanseatic City of Bremen (German: Freie Hansestadt Bremen, ) is the smallest of Germany's 16 states. A more informal name, but used in some official contexts, is Land Bremen ('State of Bremen').


The state of Bremen consists of two separated enclaves: Bremenmarker, officially the 'City' (Stadtgemeinde Bremen) which is the state capital, and the city of Bremerhavenmarker (Stadt Bremerhaven). Both are located on the River Weser; Bremerhaven is further downstream and serves as a North Seamarker harbour (the name means "Bremen's port"). Both cities are completely surrounded by the neighbouring State of Lower Saxonymarker (Niedersachsen). The two cities are the only administrative subdivisions the state has.


At the unwinding of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806 the Free Imperial City of Bremen (as of 1646, after earlier privileges of autonomy of 1186) was not mediatised but became a sovereign state officially titled Free Hanseatic City of Bremen. In 1811 the First French Empire annexed the city-state. Upon the first, however only preliminary defeat of Napoléon Bonaparte, Bremen resumed its pre-1811 status as city-state in 1813. The Vienna Congress of 1815 confirmed Bremen's independance and it became one of 39 sovereign states of the German Confederationmarker. It became part of the North German Confederationmarker in 1867 and became an autonomous component state of the new-founded German Empiremarker in 1871 and stayed with Germany in its following forms of government.

Bremen, which in 1935 had become a regular city at the de facto abolition of statehood of all component German states within the Third Reich, was reestablished as state in 1947. Being - at that time - actually located in the British Zone of Occupation the Control Commission for Germany - British Element and the Office of Military Government for Germany, U.S. agreed in 1947 to constitute the cities of Bremen and then Wesermündemarker - in their borders altered in 1939 - as a German state named again Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, becoming at that occasion an exclave of the American Zone of Occupation within the British zone. In 1949 the city-state joined the then West German Federal Republic of Germanymarker.


Political system

The Bürgerschaftmarker (city assembly) elects two mayor of the state (Bürgermeister). One of these is then elected by the senate (which forms the executive branch) as president of the senate (Senatspräsident) and is thus head of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen.

2003 state elections

Dr. Henning Scherf (SPD) remained Mayor and Senate President, in an SPD-CDU grand coalition. As promised he resigned after half of the legislative period. The Mayor and Senate President since 8 November 2005 is Jens Böhrnsen.

Party Party List votes Vote percentage Total Seats Seat percentage
Social Democratic Party (SPD) 123,480 42.3% (-0,2) 40 (-7) 48.2%
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 86,819 29.8% (-7,2) 29 (-13) 34.9%
Alliance '90/The Greens 37,350 12.8% (+3,8) 12 (+2) 14.5%
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 12,294 4.2% (+1,7) 1 (+1) 1.2%
Deutsche Volksunion (DVU) 6,642 2.3% (-0,7) 1 (=) 1.2%
Law and Order Offensive Party 12,876 4.3% (+4,3) 0 (=) 0.0%
Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) 4,885 1.7% (-1,2) 0 (=) 0.0%
All Others 7420 2.6% (-0,5) 0 (=) 0.0%
Totals 291,766 100.0% 83 (-17) 100.0%

Seat results -- SPD in red, CDU in black, Greens in green, FDP in yellow, DVU in blue

2007 state elections

The 2007 elections were held on 13 May.

Party Votes % +/– Seats +/– %
Social Democratic Party (SPD) 36.8% –5,5 33 –7 39.8%
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 25.7% –4,1 23 –6 27.7%
Alliance '90/The Greens 16.4% +3,6 14 +2 16.9%
The Left Party.PDS 8.4% +6,7 7 +7 8.4%
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 6.0% +1,8 5 +4 6.0%
German People's Union (DVU) 2.7% +0,4 1 ±0 1.2%
Others 4.0% +1,4 0 ±0 0.0%
Totals 100.0% 83 100.0%


The University of Bremenmarker is the largest university in Bremen. Furthermore Bremen has a University of the Arts Bremenmarker, a University of Applied Sciences in Bremen and another one in Bremerhavenmarker, and more recently the Jacobs University Bremenmarker.

See also

External links


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