German County Association
The German County Association (“Deutscher Landkreistag”, DLT) is the leading association of the 294 German federal administrative counties (Landkreise). The sector covers around 96% of the surface area of the Federal Republic of Germany and represents three quarters of the local authorities, who in turn represent 55 million inhabitants or 68% of the German population. The association understands itself as promoter of the rural areas in Germany. The German County Association represents public interests via the local authorities which are politically responsible to German citizens. The main tasks of the German County Association are to promote local self-government and foster common interests between all local government bodies vis-à-vis the Federal State, the European institutions, and the public. One of the most important aims of the German County Association is safeguarding and establishing equal living, supply, working, administration, and development conditions in rural areas in proportion to urban areas. The association is especially concerned with sustainable development in peripheral rural areas, covering issues such as demographic change. Another focus lies within the commitment of the counties as responsible authority for social welfare as well as children and youth social services and local employment policy as well as municipal law, e-government, modernisation of administration, public services law, savings banking, local services of general interest (energy, water, wastewater, waste), business development, health, transport law, environmental law, planning law and European affairs.