The Free Hanseatic City of Bremen (German: Freie Hansestadt Bremen, pronounced [ˈbʁeːmən]) 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 consists of two cities (Bremen and Bremerhaven) in the North of Germany, both separated from each other being surrounded by the larger state Lower Saxony.
The state of Bremen consists of two separated enclaves: Bremen, officially the 'City' (Stadtgemeinde Bremen) which is the state capital, and the city of Bremerhaven (Stadt Bremerhaven). Both are located on the River Weser; Bremerhaven is further downstream and serves as a North Seaharbour (the name Bremerhaven means "Bremen's harbour"). Both cities are completely surrounded by the neighbouring State of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen). The two cities are the only administrative subdivisions the state has.
The territory of Bremen in 14th and 18th centuries
The legislature of the state of Bremen is the Bürgerschaft (citizens' assembly), elected by the citizens in the two cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven.
The executive is constituted by the Senate of Bremen, elected by the Bürgerschaft. The Senate is chaired by the President of the senate (Senatspräsident), who is also one of the mayors of the city of Bremen (Bürgermeister) and is elected directly by the Bürgerschaft. The Senate selects of its members as a second mayor who serves as deputy of the president. In contrast to the Federal Chancellor of Germany or other German states, the President of the Senate has no authority to override senators on policy, which is decided upon by the senate collectively. Since 1945, the Senate has continuously been dominated by the Social Democratic Party.
On a municipal level, the two cities in the state are administered separately:
The administration of the city of Bremen is headed by the two mayors and controlled by the portion of the Bürgerschaft elected in the city of Bremen.
Bremerhaven, on the other hand, has a municipal assembly distinct from the state legislature and an administration under a distinct head mayor (Oberbürgermeister) and a distinct second mayor.
2003 state reelections
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.
Seat results -- SPD in red, CDU in black, Greens in green, FDP in yellow, The Left in purple, DVU in brown. Note: The only DVU representative, Siegfried Tittmann, left the party in July 2007 and has not joined another party.