The German Association of Towns and Municipalities (DStGB) represents the interests of German towns and municipalities. At state, federal and EU level, it gives municipalities a strong voice and takes up the issues that move citizens locally. Through 17 member associations, 11,000 large, medium and small municipalities are organised and connected to each other via the DStGB. The DStGB works independently of political parties and without state subsidies. The membership of its bodies is based on the vote of the electorate in the municipal elections.