All Bundesrat members have twofold roles. They hold an office in their federal state, whilst simultaneously holding a federal office, i.e. they play a political role both in their federal state and at the level of national politics. This means that Bundesrat members assume comprehensive political responsibility. They cannot overlook the impact that political activities relating to their federal state will have on national politics, and, similarly, in their Land ministries they feel the direct impact of the federal policy they help to shape.
Votes cast en bloc
As the interests of the federal states are to be represented through the Bundesrat, each federal state must cast its votes en bloc (Article 51, Sub-section 3, Basic Law). That means that the individual members are not entirely free in this respect. Bundesrat members do not have a "free mandate". Bundesrat members represent their federal state by acting on the basis of a uniform approach, jointly devised in the cabinet.
Start and end of membership
Membership of the Bundesrat is based on a decision by the federal state government in question. This Bundesrat membership ends automatically if a member leaves the federal state government or if the government decides to recall the member (Article 51, Sub-section 1, Basic Law).