Reichstag Building

Berlin, Germany

Reichstag Building


The Bundestag (German pronunciation: [ˈbʊndəstaːk] (listen), "Federal Diet") is the German federal parliament. It is the only federal representative body that is directly elected by the German people. It is comparable to the United States House of Representatives or the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. The Bundestag was established by Title III of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Grundgesetz, pronounced [ˈɡʁʊntɡəˌzɛt͡s] (listen)) in 1949 as one of the legislative bodies of Germany and thus it is the historical successor to the earlier Reichstag.

The members of the Bundestag are representatives of the German people as a whole, are not bound by any orders or instructions and are only accountable to their electorate. The minimum legal number of members of the Bundestag (German: Mitglieder des Bundestages) is 598; however, due to the system of overhang and leveling seats the current 20th Bundestag has a total of 736 members, making it the largest Bundestag to date.

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