The City of Strasbourg

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The City of Strasbourg

Like all French communes, the city of Strasbourg is run by an elected council (the legislative body) and by the Mayor and his or her deputies (the executive body).

The Mayor

The Mayor is elected by the City Council for a period of six years.

The current Mayor of Strasbourg is Jeanne Barseghian who was elected after the municipal elections of 28 June 2020.

The Mayor's responsibilities

The Mayor has several areas of responsibility:

He or she is the city's representative as regards all the community's actions, legal proceedings, relations with the State authorities and at official receptions. As the executive authority of the city, he or she prepares and carries out the decisions of the City Council and is also responsible for the budget and its use. He or she signs contracts on behalf of the City, under the supervision of the City Council.

As a representatives of the State, he or she has responsibilities of national interest.

  • Under the authority of the Attorney General of the Republic, he or she acts as registrar (recording births and deaths, performing wedding ceremonies) and as a police officer.
  • Under the authority of the Prefect, he or she organises elections, maintains the electoral lists, organises civil and military censuses for the city and publishes and executes the laws and regulations of the Republic.

The Mayor has specific powers: he or she has administrative police power in the city and is responsible for public order and the maintenance and unhindered use of public thoroughfares. He or she is responsible for all measures relating to public health and hygiene, serious threats and catastrophes. As head of the city administration, he or she is responsible for its employees (appointments, promotions, disciplinary measures).

The Mayor is helped in the fulfilment of his or her tasks by deputies to whom he or she delegates areas of specific responsibility.

Mayors of Strasbourg since 1944

  • Charles FREY (1888-1955) - Mayor from 27 November 1944 to 14 October 1955

  • Charles ALTORFFER (1881-1960) - Mayor from 29 October 1955 to 14 March 1959

  • Pierre PFLIMLIN (1907-2000) 
- Mayor from 14 March 1959 to 14 March 1983

  • Marcel RUDLOFF (1923-1996) - Mayor from 14 March 1983 to 25 March 1989

  • Catherine TRAUTMANN (1951- ) - Mayor from 25 March 1989 to 27 June 1997

  • Roland RIES (1945- ) 
- Mayor from 27 June 1997 to 23 June 2000

  • Catherine TRAUTMANN (1951- ) 
- Mayor from 23 June 2000 to 25 March 2001

  • Fabienne KELLER (1959- ) - Mayor from 25 March 2001 to 22 March 2008

  • Roland RIES (1945- ) 
- Mayor from 22 March 2008 to 28 June 2020
  • Jeanne BARSEGHIAN (1980 -) - Mayor until 28 June 2020

The City Council

The City Council is elected every six years by direct universal suffrage. It elects the Mayor and his or her deputies from among its members. The number of deputies is freely determined by the City Council, but the total number must not exceed 30% of the total number of members. The number of council members depends on the population of the commune.

In Strasbourg, the City assembly has 65 elected members.

  • The Mayor,
  • 19 deputies,
  • 45 City councillors

The City Council meets 10 times a year, generally on Mondays, at the invitation of the Mayor, who sets the agenda for the meetings. Meetings are held in public.

Council decisions subject to a vote are first of all examined in closed sessions, either by:

  • The city conference which comprises the Mayor and his or her deputies (the department heads concerned by the different items on the agenda will also be present), or
  • The plenary commission, which comprises all the City councillors.

These bodies can express their opinions, and put forward amendments or suggest the removal of a point, before the item goes before the City Council where it will be debated before the final decision is taken.

The proceedings are posted on panels located at the entrance of the administrative centre. They are also listed in a "register of administrative acts of the City", which is published quarterly and made available to the public.

Responsibilities and tasks of the City of Strasbourg

The general clause of responsibilities

Like every French commune, the City of Strasbourg has its responsibilities outlined within a "general clause of responsibilities". In the words of the law formulated in 1884 and still used now, "the municipal council decides the business of the commune through its proceedings".

Areas of responsibility

While is not possible to draw up a list of all the City's areas of responsibility, the main ones are as follows:

  • culture,
  • schools,
  • social action,
  • youth,
  • sport (except swimming pools),
  • green spaces and forests,
  • public lighting,
  • the mairies de quartier (local administrative offices),
  • civil registers,
  • tourism,
  • the municipal police force…

Certain responsibilities in areas such as culture, schools, social policy, sport and tourism are shared with the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg.