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Austrian Parliament

 

Austrian Parliament

Austrian Parliament
Österreichisches Parlament
Logo of the Parliament of Austria
Type
Type
Houses Federal Council
National Council
Leadership
Structure
Seats

245

  • 62 (Federal Council)
  • 183 (National Council)
Current Structure of the Federal Council
Current Structure of the National Council
Elections
Appointment by State Landtags
Proportional representation
Unelected House
28 September 2008
Meeting place
Parliament Building, Vienna
Parlament
Innere Stadt, Vienna
Republic of Austria
Website
Official Website
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Austria
Constitution
Judicial system
Foreign relations

The Austrian Parliament (Österreichisches Parlament) is the institution vested with the legislative power of the Republic of Austria. It consists of two chambers ,

National Council
  • 183 members
  • elected directly in general elections
  • term of office: 5 years
Federal Council
  • variable membership, currently 62 members
  • elected indirectly through provincial diets
  • revolving membership, term of delegates varies by province
Federal Assembly

(joint session of both houses)

The National Council is composed of 183 members elected through proportional representation in a general election. This happens every five years, or earlier if the National Council prematurely moves for its own dissolution. The National Council is the dominant (albeit 'lower') house in the Austrian Parliament, and consequently the terms Parliament and National Council are commonly used synonymously.

The Federal Council is elected indirectly, through the provincial Diets (Landtage) of the nine States of the Federal Republic. The states are represented in the Federal Council roughly in accordance to the size of their populations. Seats are redistributed among the states following each general census, and the overall size of the chamber varies slightly as a result. The current Federal Council is composed of 62 delegates. With regard to most issues, the Federal Council only possesses a dilatory right of veto which can be overridden by the National Council. However, the Federal Council enjoys absolute veto powers over bills intended to alter the powers of either the states, or of the Federal Council itself.

The Federal Assembly (Bundesversammlung) is a body whose function is mostly ceremonial in nature, and consists of the members of both houses of Parliament. The Federal Assembly convenes only rarely, for instance to witness the inauguration of the Federal President. It might be noted, however, that under exceptional circumstances the Austrian constitution endows the Federal Assembly with significant responsibilities. An example of this would be its pivotal role in the hypothetical impeachment of a Federal President.

Both houses of Parliament, as well as the Federal Assembly, convene in the Parliament building located on Vienna's Ringstraße.

See also

External links

  • The Austrian Parliament - Official Homepage

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