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Bundesrat (Federal Council)

Compare data for parliamentary chambers in the Presidency module

Parliament name -
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Bundesrat / Federal Council
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Deutscher Bundestag / German Bundestag
Title President of the Federal Council
Term - duration: 1 year (from 1 November to 31 October)
- reasons for interruption of the term of office: end of membership of the Land Government
Appointment - elected by the Federal Assembly each year
Eligibility - the Ministers-Presidents of each Land are successively elected
Voting system - the Minister-President of each Land is successively elected President of the Bundesrat in an order determined by the number of inhabitants in each Land. The first President is the Minister-President of the most populated Land - each of the 16 Länder therefore has access to the Presidency once every 16 years
Procedures / results - the former President presides over the Federal Council during the voting
- the former President supervises the voting
- the former President announces the results without any delay
- the result cannot be challenged
Status - ranks second after the Federal President in his capacity of Deputy President of the Republic
- the President of the Bundestag presides over joint meetings of both Houses (for the swearing-in of the Federal President)
- represents the Bundesrat in relations with public authorities and in international bodies. Can be represented by his/her Vice-Presidents or other Members of the Chamber.
- in the absence of the President, one of the three Vice-Presidents can assume his/her role and functions
Board - Präsidium
- composed of the President and three Vice-Presidents
- assisted and advised by a Permanent Consultative Council (Ständiger Beirat) composed of the 16 plenipotentiaries of the Länder.
- is responsible for establishing the budget draft
Material facilities - official expense allowance (remuneration for representational duties) allowance of 1,023 euros per month
- services of the Secretariat of the Presidency
- official car
- bodyguards provided by each state (Bundesland)
- free use of the helicopters of the Federal Boarder Guard Service (Bundesgrenzschutz) and the planes of the Air Force (Luftwaffe)
Organization of parliamentary business - convenes sessions
- establishes and modifies the agenda
- organizes the debates and sets speaking time
- examines the admissibility of bills and amendments
- refers texts to a committee for study
Chairing of public sittings - opens, adjourns and closes sittings
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements concerning the Bundesrat
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures with the assistance of the Secretary General
- establishes the list of speakers, gives and withdraws permission to speak
- establishes the order in which amendments are taken up and selects which amendments are to be debated. The order can be modified by the Bundesrat
- calls for a vote, decides how it is to be carried out, verifies the voting procedure and cancels a vote in the event of irregularities
- checks the quorum
- authenticates the adopted texts and the records of debates
- interprets the rules or other regulations governing the life of the Bundesrat
- has discretionary power to give the floor outside the agenda and thus organizes impromptu debates
Special powers - assigns the Secretary General of the Bundesrat with the agreement of the Bundesrat
- is responsible for relations with foreign Parliaments, with the assistance of the members of the Präsidium, the Members of the Chamber, the Permanent Consultative Council and the Secretariat
- is responsible for security and, in this capacity, can call in the police in the event of disturbance in the Chamber with the assistance of the Secretary General
Speaking and voting rights, other functions - takes the floor in legislative debates
- proposes bills or amendments in his capacity of Representative of his/her Land

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