Chamber of Representatives (Belgium)

Last updated

Chamber of Representatives

55th legislature (2019–2024)
Emblem of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives.svg
Type
Type
Leadership
Patrick Dewael, Open VLD
since 27 June 2019
Majority leaders
Opposition leaders
Structure
Seats150 representatives
Belgium Chamber of Representatives 2019.svg
Political groups
Minority Government (38)

Confidence-and-supply (57) [lower-alpha 1]

Opposition (55)

Length of term
5 years
Elections
Open list proportional representation within eleven constituencies, with 5% constituency electoral thresholds
Last election
26 May 2019
Next election
2024
Meeting place
Chambre Belgique interieur.jpg
Palace of the Nation
Flag of Belgium.svg Brussels, Region of Brussels, Belgium
Website
www.dekamer.be
lachambre.be
State Coat of Arms of Belgium.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Belgium

The Chamber of Representatives (Dutch: Loudspeaker.svg Kamer van Volksvertegenwoordigers  , French: Chambre des représentants, German: Abgeordnetenkammer) is one of the two chambers in the bicameral Federal Parliament of Belgium, the other being the Senate. It is considered to be the "lower house" of the Federal Parliament.

Contents

Members and elections

Article 62 of the Belgian Constitution fixes the number of seats in the Chamber of Representatives at 150. There are 11 electoral districts, which correspond with the ten Provinces (five Dutch- and five French-speaking) and the Brussels-Capital Region. Prior to the sixth Belgian state reform, the province of Flemish Brabant was divided into two electoral districts: one for Leuven and the other, named Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde (BHV), which encompassed both the 19 bilingual municipalities from the Brussels-Capital Region and the 35 Dutch-speaking municipalities of Halle-Vilvoorde in Flemish Brabant, including seven municipalities with linguistic facilities for French-speaking inhabitants.

The seats are divided among the political parties using the D'Hondt method of proportional representation, which slightly favours large parties and coalitions. There is an electoral threshold of 5%. [1]

The Representatives are divided into two so-called "language groups". Of the total of 150 representatives, 88 are part of the Dutch-language group, which consists of representatives from the Dutch-language area, and 62 are part of the French-language group, which consists of representatives from the French-language area and the German-language area. For the representatives from the Brussels region, the language in which they take their oath as a representative determines which language group they belong to. Following the 2007 federal election, the Chamber has a German-speaking member (Kattrin Jadin) for the first time since 1999. [2]

Nevertheless, because of the Belgian constitution, both linguistic communities are granted equal powers in the parliament. Although in general bills can be passed without a majority in both linguistic groups, bills relating to specific issues (so-called 'community laws') can not and need the consent of both language groups. [3]

The following table shows the current (2019) distribution of seats between the language groups and the electoral districts.

The Palace of the Nation in Brussels, home to both Chambers of the Federal Parliament of Belgium Belgian Senate, Brussels.jpg
The Palace of the Nation in Brussels, home to both Chambers of the Federal Parliament of Belgium
Dutch language groupFrench language group
Electoral districtSeatsElectoral districtSeats
Brussels Capital Region (bilingual)2/15 Brussels Capital Region (bilingual)13/15
Antwerp 24 Hainaut 18
East Flanders 20 Liège 15
Flemish Brabant 15 Luxembourg 4
Limburg 12 Namur 6
West Flanders 16 Walloon Brabant 5
Total89Total61

Qualifications

Leopold II takes the oath Prestation de serment de Leopold II le 17 decembre 1865.jpg
Leopold II takes the oath

Article 64 of the Belgian constitution sets forth four qualifications for representatives: each representative must be at least 21 years old, possess the Belgian nationality, have the full enjoyment of civil and political rights, and be resident in Belgium. A representative can only enter into office after having taken the oath of office, in either of the three official languages in Belgium: Dutch, French or German. He or she can also choose to take the oath in more than one language. The oath of office is as follows: "I swear to observe the Constitution". (Dutch : Ik zweer de Grondwet na te leven, French: Je jure d'observer la Constitution, German: Ich schwöre, die Verfassung zu befolgen)

Certain offices are incompatible with the office of representative. [4] Members of a regional or community parliament who take the oath of office as a representative automatically cease to sit in the regional or community parliament, in accordance with the Belgian Electoral Code. The same applies the other way around as well, a representative who takes the oath of office in a regional or community parliament automatically ceases to be a representative. A member of the Chamber of Representatives may not also be a member of the Senate at the same time, and senators must give up their seats in the Senate in order to join the Chamber of Representatives.

Another important incompatibility is based on the separation of powers. A representative who is appointed as a minister ceases to sit in the Chamber of Representatives and is replaced for as long as he or she is a minister, but if that individual resigns as a minister, he or she can return to the Chamber, in accordance with Article 50 of the Belgian Constitution. A representative cannot be a civil servant or a member of the judiciary at the same time, however, a civil servant who is elected to the Chamber is entitled to political leave and doesn't have to resign as a civil servant. It is also not possible to be a member of the Federal Parliament and a Member of the European Parliament at the same time.

The Chamber of Representatives does not systematically check whether any of these (or other) incompatibilities apply to its members, however, newly elected members are informed of the most important incompatibilities at the start of their mandate and it is up to them to verify whether they are in compliance with the regulations regarding incompatibilities and, if not, to determine which office they will abandon.

Officers

The Chamber of Representatives elects a presiding officer, known as the president, at the beginning of each parliamentary term, which starts on the second Tuesday of October each year. The President is assisted by up to five vice-presidents, two of which are known respectively as the first vice-president and the second vice-president, who are also elected at the beginning of each parliamentary term. The President is customarily a member of one of the parties forming the government coalition, only thrice in the history of the Chamber has the President been a member of the opposition. The first vice-president is usually a member of the other language group than that of the President. The current President of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives is Patrick Dewael of the Open Vld.

The president presides over the plenary assembly of the Chamber of Representatives, guides and controls debates in the assembly, and is responsible for ensuring the democratic functioning of the Chamber, for the maintenance of order and security in the assembly and for enforcing the Rules of the Chamber of Representatives. To this end, he or she is given considerable powers. He or she also represents the Chamber at both the national (to the other institutions) and the international level. The President also assesses the admissibility of bills and proposals.

The president of the Chamber, together with the President of the Belgian Senate, ranks immediately behind the King in the order of precedence. The elder of the two takes the second place in the order of precedence. The presidents of the Chamber of Representatives and the Senate rank above the Prime Minister.

The Bureau of the Chamber of Representatives is composed of the President, the Vice-Presidents, the Secretaries and the floor leaders of the fractions with at least five members. The fractions that have at least 12 members and have no President, Vice-President or Secretary sitting on the Bureau can appoint an additional member. The Bureau is elected for the duration of one parliamentary term, but in practice the composition of the Bureau remains the same for the entire duration of the legislature, which is four years, unless the Federal Parliament is dissolved early. The Bureau is responsible for the management of the Chamber of Representatives. In addition, the Bureau also appoints and dismisses the staff of the Chamber of Representatives. The Bureau usually meets once every three months.

There is also a Conference of Presidents, which is one of the most important bodies of the Chamber of Representatives. It consists of the president and vice-presidents of the Chamber, former presidents of the Chamber who are still members of the Chamber and the floor leader and a member of each fraction. A member of the federal government responsible for the relations with the Chamber attends the meetings of the Conference as well. The Conference meets weekly to discuss the day-to-day business and the work of the Chamber.

The Chamber of the Representatives has, just like the Senate a College of Quaestors, which consists of five representatives who are elected by the plenary assembly for a duration of two years. The Quaestors are in charge of the housekeeping of the Chamber, they are also responsible for matters such as human resources and computers. The Colleges of Quaestors of the Senate and the Chamber meet regularly to settle common problems concerning the library, buildings, security, catering, etc.

Procedure

Like the Senate, the Chamber of Representatives meets in the Palace of the Nation in Brussels. The hemicycle of the Chamber is decorated in green. In contrast, the hemicycle of the Senate is decorated in red. These colours were inspired on the colours used by the House of Commons and the House of Lords of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. [5]

The Belgian Constitution provides that the Federal Parliament meets by right on the second Tuesday of October every year for a parliamentary session of at least 40 days. This means that the parliamentary session is opened automatically without being convened by the King. The Constitution also provides that the Senate cannot meet when the Chamber of Representatives is not in session. Although the Constitution provides that the Federal Parliament must remain in session for at least 40 days, in practice it remains in session throughout the year. In principle, an ordinary session lasts from the second Tuesday of October until the day before the second Tuesday of October the following year, however, the Federal Parliament goes into recess three times a year, for the Christmas holidays, the Easter holidays and for the summer holidays from 20 July until the end of September. In the event that the Federal Parliament is dissolved and new elections are held before the end of the parliamentary term, the newly elected Chamber meets in extraordinary session until the start of the next ordinary session. [6]

The committees of the Chamber of Representatives usually meet on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Wednesday, the Conference of President meets to set the agenda for the plenary session. On Thursday morning the fractions meet. The Chamber of Representatives usually meets for a plenary session on Thursday afternoon and every two weeks it meets in plenary session on Wednesday as well. Every Thursday afternoon between 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. is Question Time. There are usually no parliamentary activities on Friday. [6]

Article 53 of the constitution provides that at least a majority of its members must be present in order for the Chamber to make decisions. It is noteworthy that this does not apply to all business of the Chamber, such as debates or questions to members of the federal government, but that a quorum must only be present in order to make decisions. If not enough members are present, the decision is invalid. In order to make a decision, at least 50% plus 1 of the members present and voting must vote in the affirmative. If a vote is tied, the president does not have a casting vote and the proposal is rejected. The procedure outlined in Article 53 of the constitution applies to all most decisions, however, the constitution establishes two exceptions: to amend the constitution, a two-thirds majority of the members must be present and at least two-thirds of the votes cast must be in the affirmative, and in order to adopt a so-called special law, a qualified majority of 50% plus 1 of each language group must be present and at least 50% plus 1 must be present and at least 50% plus 1 of the votes cast in each language group, as well as two-thirds of the votes cast of the two language groups together, must be in the affirmative. [7]

The Chamber may vote in three manners. Firstly, it may vote by roll call. In the past, the names of the members were read in alphabetical order and each member had to announce his or her vote when his name was called, however, since 1995, voting by roll call has been done electronically. Voting by roll call is the most frequently used method and is compulsory in three cases: at the end of debates on a government statement, the vote on bills as a whole and when requested by at least eight members. Secondly, the Chamber may vote by sitting and standing. This method is used in less important cases requiring quick treatment and in which there is a clear majority. In the event of doubt, the vote is taken again or done electronically. Voting by sitting and standing is anonymous and is used for votes on amendments and individual articles of a bill. Finally, the Chamber may conduct a secret vote. In principle, the votes are public and votes on legislation are never secret, only the appointments and nominations the Chamber has to make take place by secret vote. [7]

Committees

The Chamber of Representatives uses committees for a variety of purposes. The Chamber has several standing committees, each of which has responsibility for a particular area of government (for example justice or social affairs). These standing committees examine and consider bills and legislative proposals, and may for this purpose hold hearings. A standing committee comprises 17 Representatives, members are appointed using proportional representation. The chairpersons of the committees are also divided among the parties in accordance with the same principle of proportional representation. As a result, some committees are chaired by members of the opposition.

Standing committees

This is a list of standing committees:

Special committees

There are also special committees, such as the Committee on Naturalisations.

Legislative functions

the Hemicycle with statue of Leopold I, king of the Belgians Chambre Belgique interieur.jpg
the Hemicycle with statue of Leopold I, king of the Belgians

Since the elections of 21 May 1995, there has been a breakdown of powers [8] between the Chamber of Representatives and the Senate, which resulted in the Senate having fewer competences than the Chamber of Representatives. Prior to that, the Chamber of Representatives and the Senate did the same legislative work on an equal footing. This means that the both chambers had to pass exactly the same version of a bill.

In certain matters both the Chamber and the Senate still have equal power, which means that both Chambers must pass exactly the same version of the bill. These include constitutional revisions, laws requiring a qualified majority (the so-called "community laws"), laws on the basic structure of the Belgian State, laws approving agreements of cooperation between the Federal State, the Communities and the Regions, laws on the approval of international treaties, and laws on the organisation of the judiciary, the Council of State, and the Constitutional Court of Belgium. However, bills concerning international treaties are introduced in the Senate first before moving on to the Chamber.

For almost all other legislation, the Chamber of Representatives takes precedence over the Senate. However, the Senate may still intervene as a chamber of consideration and reflection as it has the opportunity to, within specific time limits, examine the texts adopted by the Chamber and, if there is a reason to do so, make amendments. The Chamber can subsequently adopt or reject the amendments proposed by the Senate or make new proposals. Whatever the case, the Chamber has the final word on all "ordinary legislation". The Senate may also submit a bill it has adopted to the Chamber which can approve, reject or amend it, in this case the Chamber also has the final word.

There are also certain matters for which the Chamber of Representatives is exclusively responsible. These matters include the granting of naturalisations, passing legislation with regard to the civil and criminal liability of the ministers of the Federal Government, the government budget and the State's accounts, appointing parliamentary ombudsmen and examine their activities, and determining military quotas.

Relationship with the Government

The members of the Federal Government are answerable to the Chamber of Representatives, in accordance with Article 101 of the Constitution. On taking office, the Federal Government must have the confidence of the majority of the representatives. The Chamber of Representatives is also exclusively responsible for the political control of the Federal Government. The confidence in the Federal Government may be revoked by the Chamber at any time by the adoption of a motion of no confidence or by the rejection of a motion of confidence. [9]

Due to the fragmented nature of Belgian politics, no party family has a realistic chance of winning the 76 seats needed for an outright majority in the Chamber of Representatives. As a result, nearly all Belgian governments since the end of World War I have been coalitions between two or more parties or party families.

Latest election

e    d  Summary of the results of the 26 May 2019 Belgian election to the Chamber of Representatives
  2014 2019
Belgium Chamber of Representatives 2019.svg
2024  
PartyLeader(s)Votes%+/–Seats+/–
New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) Bart De Wever 1,086,78716.034.23 Decrease2.svg
25 / 150
8 Decrease2.svg
Flemish Interest (VB) Tom Van Grieken 810,17711.958.28 Increase2.svg
18 / 150
15 Increase2.svg
Socialist Party (PS) Paul Magnette 641,6239.462.21 Decrease2.svg
20 / 150
3 Decrease2.svg
Christian Democratic & Flemish (CD&V) Joachim Coens 602,5208.892.72 Decrease2.svg
12 / 150
6 Decrease2.svg
Workers' Party of Belgium (PVDA-PTB) Peter Mertens 584,6218.624.90 Increase2.svg
12 / 150
10 Increase2.svg
Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats (Open VLD) Egbert Lachaert 579,3348.541.24 Decrease2.svg
12 / 150
2 Decrease2.svg
Reformist Movement (MR) George-Louis Bouchez 512,8257.562.08 Decrease2.svg
14 / 150
6 Decrease2.svg
Socialist Party Differently (sp.a) Conner Rousseau 455,0346.712.12 Decrease2.svg
9 / 150
4 Decrease2.svg
Ecolo Jean-Marc Nollet
Zakia Khattabi
416,4526.142.84 Increase2.svg
13 / 150
7 Increase2.svg
Green (Groen) Meyrem Almaci 413,8366.100.78 Increase2.svg
8 / 150
2 Increase2.svg
Humanist Democratic Centre (cdH) Maxime Prévot 250,8613.701.28 Decrease2.svg
5 / 150
4 Decrease2.svg
Democratic, Federalist, Independent (DéFI) Olivier Maingain 150,3942.220.42 Increase2.svg
2 / 150
0 Steady2.svg
People's Party (PP) Mischaël Modrikamen 75,0961.110.41 Decrease2.svg
0 / 150
1 Decrease2.svg
DierAnimal Constance Villalon 47,7330.70New
0 / 150
0 Steady2.svg
Listes Destexhe Alain Destexhe 42,7120.63New
0 / 150
0 Steady2.svg
Collectif Citoyen21,0920.31New
0 / 150
0 Steady2.svg
La Droite15,0750.220.16 Decrease2.svg
0 / 150
0 Steady2.svg
Nation Hervé Van Laethem 10,5830.160.00 Steady2.svg
0 / 150
0 Steady2.svg
Les Belges d'Abord10,4630.15New
0 / 150
0 Steady2.svg
Agir7,5980.11New
0 / 150
0 Steady2.svg
Pirate Party 7,5210.110.23 Decrease2.svg
0 / 150
0 Steady2.svg
Belgian Union (BUB) Hans Van De Cauter 6,6110.100.08 Decrease2.svg
0 / 150
0 Steady2.svg
D-SA5,9490.09New
0 / 150
0 Steady2.svg
Lutte Ouvrière5,7350.080.03 Increase2.svg
0 / 150
0 Steady2.svg
PRO5,6820.08New
0 / 150
0 Steady2.svg
Wallonie Insoumise5,3540.08New
0 / 150
0 Steady2.svg
PV&S3,2170.05New
0 / 150
0 Steady2.svg
De Coöperatie1,7320.03New
0 / 150
0 Steady2.svg
Volt Europa (Volt)1,6690.02New
0 / 150
0 Steady2.svg
Communist Party of Belgium (PCB) Arne Baillière 1,6260.02New
0 / 150
0 Steady2.svg
Turquoise6260.01New
0 / 150
0 Steady2.svg
Valid votes6,780,53893.93
Blank and invalid votes438,0956.07
Totals7,218,633100.001500Steady2.svg
Electorate (eligible voters) and voter turnout8,167,70988.38
Source: Federal Public Services Home Affairs

Current composition

Current party standings, as of September 2019:

AffiliationLanguage
group
Members
New Flemish Alliance (N-VA)Dutch25
Socialist Party (PS)French20
Vlaams Belang (VB)Dutch18
Reformist Movement (MR)French14
Ecolo French13
Christian Democratic & Flemish (CD&V)Dutch12
Workers' Party of Belgium (PVDA-PTB)Bilingual12
Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats (Open VLD)Dutch12
Socialist Party Differently (sp.a)Dutch9
Groen Dutch8
Humanist Democratic Centre (cdH)French5
Democratic, Federalist, Independent (DéFI)French2
Total150

Former compositions

Before 1993: 212 MPs

1978–1981

263115725152214114141
BSPPSBPSB (LUX)CVPPSCPRLWPVVVUFDF + RWRWUDRT-RADKPB-PCBVB

1981–1985

22263543182428208321
AgalevEcoloSPPSCVPPSCPRLPVVVUFDF + RWUDRT-RADKPB-PCBVB

1985–1987

4532354920242216311
AgalevEcoloSPPSCVPPSCPRLPVVVUFDFUDRT-RADVB

1987–1991

633240431923251632
AgalevEcoloSPPSCVPPSCPRLPVVVUFDFVB

1991–1995

7102835391820261033121
AgalevEcoloSPPSCVPPSCPRLPVVVUFDF + PPWROSSEMVBFN

After 1993: 150 MPs

1995–1999

562021291218215112
AgalevEcoloSPPSCVPPSCPRL + FDFVLDVUVBFN

1999–2003

9111419221018238151
AgalevEcoloSPPSCVPCDHPRL + FDFVLDVU&IDVBFN

2003–2007

4232521824251118
EcoloSP.A + SpiritPSCD&VCDHMROpen VLDN-VAFNVB

2007–2010

841420301023185117
EcoloGroen!SP.APSCD&V + N-VACDHMROpen VLDLDDFNVB

2010–2014

8513261791813271112
EcoloGroen!SP.APSCD&VCDHMROpen VLDN-VALDDPPVB

2014–2019

2661323189201433123
PTB-GO!EcoloGroenSP.APSCD&VCDHMROpen VLDN-VAPPFDFVB

2019–

12138920125141225218
PTB-GO!EcoloGroenSP.APSCD&VCDHMROpen VLDN-VAFDFVB

See also

Related Research Articles

Bundestag Federal parliament of Germany

The Bundestag is the German federal parliament. It is the only body that is directly elected by the German people on the Federal level. It can be compared to the lower house similar to the United States House of Representatives or the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. The Bundestag was established by Title III of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949 as one of the legislative bodies of Germany and thus it is the historical successor to the earlier Reichstag.

House of Representatives (Australia) Lower house of Australia

The House of Representatives is the lower house of the bicameral Parliament of Australia, the upper house being the Senate. Its composition and powers are established in Chapter I of the Constitution of Australia.

House of Commons of Canada Lower house of the Canadian Parliament

The House of Commons of Canada is the lower chamber of the bicameral Parliament of Canada, along with the sovereign and the Senate of Canada. The House of Commons currently meets in a temporary Commons chamber in the West Block of the parliament buildings on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, while the Centre Block, which houses the traditional Commons chamber, undergoes a ten-year renovation.

Parliament of Canada the federal legislative branch of Canada

The Parliament of Canada is the federal legislature of Canada, seated at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, and is composed of three parts: the Monarch, the Senate, and the House of Commons. By constitutional convention, the House of Commons is dominant, with the Senate rarely opposing its will. The Senate reviews legislation from a less partisan standpoint and may initiate certain bills. The monarch or their representative, normally the Governor General, provides royal assent to make bills into law.

Storting supreme legislature of Norway

The Storting is the supreme legislature of Norway, established in 1814 by the Constitution of Norway. It is located in Oslo. The unicameral parliament has 169 members, and is elected every four years based on party-list proportional representation in nineteen plurinominal constituencies. A member of the Storting is known in Norwegian as a stortingsrepresentant, literally "Storting representative".

A bicameral legislature has legislators in two separate assemblies, chambers, or houses. Bicameralism is distinguished from unicameralism, in which all members deliberate and vote as a single group, and from some legislatures that have three or more separate assemblies, chambers, or houses. As of 2015, fewer than half the world's national legislatures are bicameral.

Parliament of Finland Legislature of Finland

The Parliament of Finland is the unicameral supreme legislature of Finland, founded on 9 May 1906. In accordance with the Constitution of Finland, sovereignty belongs to the people, and that power is vested in the Parliament. The Parliament consists of 200 members, 199 of whom are elected every four years from 13 multi-member districts electing 7-36 using the proportional D'Hondt method. In addition, there is one member from Åland.

Bundesrat of Germany Legislative body representing the German federated states since 1949

The German Bundesrat is a legislative body that represents the sixteen Länder of Germany at the federal level. The Bundesrat meets at the former Prussian House of Lords in Berlin. Its second seat is located in the former West German capital of Bonn.

Parliament of Australia legislative branch of the Commonwealth of Australia

The Parliament of Australia is the legislative branch of the government of Australia. It consists of three elements: the Crown, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The combination of two elected chambers, in which the members of the Senate represent the states and territories while the members of the House represent electoral divisions according to population, is modelled on the United States Congress. Through both chambers, however, there is a fused executive, drawn from the Westminster system.

Florida Legislature State legislature of the U.S. state of Florida

The Florida Legislature is the legislature of the U.S. State of Florida. It is organized as a bicameral body composed of an upper chamber, the Senate, and a lower chamber, the House of Representatives. Article III, Section 1 of the Florida Constitution, adopted in 1968, defines the role of the legislature and how it is to be constituted. The legislature is composed of 160 state legislators. The primary purpose of the legislature is to enact new laws and amend or repeal existing laws. It meets in the Florida State Capitol building in Tallahassee.

Flemish Parliament elected legislative body of Flanders (Flemish Community and Flemish Region), Belgium

The Flemish Parliament constitutes the legislative power in Flanders for matters which fall within the competence of Flanders, both as a geographic region and as a cultural community of Belgium.

National Assembly of Pakistan Legislative Assembly in Pakistan

The National Assembly or Aiwān-e-Zairīñ of Pākistān is the lower legislative house of the bicameral Majlis-e-Shura, which also comprises the Senate of Pakistan. The National Assembly and the Senate both convene at Parliament House in Islamabad. The National Assembly is a democratically elected body consisting of a total of 336 members, before 25th amendment they used to be 342' who are referred to as Members of the National Assembly (MNAs), of which 272 are directly elected members and 70 reserved seats for women and religious minorities. A political party must secure 137 seats to obtain and preserve a majority.

Belgian Federal Parliament Federal Parliament of Belgium, consisting of the Chamber of Representatives and the Senate

The Belgian Federal Parliament is the bicameral parliament of Belgium. It consists of the Chamber of Representatives and the Senate. It sits in the Palace of the Nation. The Chamber of Representatives is the primary legislative body; the Senate functions only as a meeting place of the federal communities and regions.

Senate (Belgium) upper house of the Belgian federal parliament

The Senate is one of the two chambers of the bicameral Federal Parliament of Belgium, the other being the House of Representatives. It is considered to be the "upper house" of the Federal Parliament. Created in 1831 as a chamber fully equal to the Chamber of Representatives, it has undergone several reforms in the past, most notably in 1993 and 2014. The 2014 elections were the first without a direct election of senators. Instead, the new Senate is composed of members of community and regional parliaments and co-opted members. It is a chamber of the communities and regions and serves as a platform for discussion and reflection about matters between these federated entities. The Senate today plays a minor role in the federal legislative process. However, the Senate, together with the Chamber, has full competence for the Constitution and legislation on the organization and functioning of the Federal State and the federated entities. Since the reform of 2014, it holds about ten plenary sessions a year.

Italian Parliament Legislature of Italy

The Italian Parliament is the national parliament of the Italian Republic. It is the representative body of Italian citizens and is the successor to the Parliament of the Kingdom of Sardinia (1848–1861), the Parliament of the Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946), the transitional National Council (1945-1946) and the Constituent Assembly (1946-1948). It is a bicameral legislature with 945 elected members and a small number of unelected members (parlamentari). The Italian Parliament is composed of the Chamber of Deputies and Senate of the Republic. The two Houses are independent from one another and never meet jointly except under circumstances specified by the Constitution of Italy.

Hellenic Parliament Legislative body of the Hellenic Republic

The Hellenic Parliament, in Greek known as Voulí ton Ellínon is the parliament of Greece, located in the Old Royal Palace, overlooking Syntagma Square in Athens. The Parliament is the supreme democratic institution that represents the citizens through an elected body of Members of Parliament (MPs).

House of Representatives of Liberia Lower house of Liberian legislature

The House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the bicameral legislative branch of Liberia, and together with the Senate comprises the Legislature of Liberia. The number of seats is fixed by law at 73, with each county being apportioned a number of seats based on its percentage of the national population. House members represent single-member districts within the counties drawn up by the National Elections Commission and serve six-year terms. The House meets at the Capitol Building in Monrovia.

Senate of Kazakhstan upper house of two chambers in Kazakhstans legislature

The Senate of Kazakhastan is the upper house of two chambers in Kazakhstan's legislature, known as the Parliament (Parlamenti). The Senate is composed of elected members - two from each region, the city of republican importance (Almaty) and the capital city of the Republic of Kazakhstan at joint sessions of the members of all representative bodies of respective regions, city of the republican importance and the capital city of the Republic.

A joint session or joint convention is, most broadly, when two normally separate decision-making groups meet together, often in a special session or other extraordinary meeting, for a specific purpose.

Constitution of Belgium constitution

The Constitution of Belgium dates back to 1831. Since then Belgium has been a parliamentary monarchy that applies the principles of ministerial responsibility for the government policy and the Trias Politica. The Constitution established Belgium as a centralised unitary state. However, since 1970, through successive state reforms, Belgium has gradually evolved into a federal state.

References

  1. For the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic
  1. "Répartition des sièges: La Chambre des Représentants". Belgian government web site. Interior department. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  2. "Les 23 députés MR ont prêté serment à la Chambre – Prestation de Serment aussi au Sénat pour les 6 sénateurs MR" (in French). Mouvement Réformateur. 29 June 2007. Archived from the original on 1 July 2007. Retrieved 4 July 2007.
  3. "Fact Sheet on the composition of the Chamber" (PDF). The Belgian Chamber of Representatives. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 November 2005. Retrieved 13 March 2006.
  4. "Incompatibilities and disqualifications". The Belgian Senate. Retrieved 29 June 2007.
  5. "Visitor's Guide to the Belgian Federal Parliament" (PDF). The Belgian Chamber of Representatives and Senate. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 December 2007. Retrieved 16 September 2007.
  6. 1 2 "Factsheet on the workings of the Chamber of Representatives" (PDF). The Belgian Chamber of Representatives. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 December 2007. Retrieved 16 September 2007.
  7. 1 2 "Factsheet on the workings of the Chamber of Representatives: Votes" (PDF). The Belgian Chamber of Representatives. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 December 2007. Retrieved 16 September 2007.
  8. "Factsheet on the Senate" (PDF). The Belgian Chamber of Representatives. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
  9. "Factsheet on the Chamber of Representatives" (PDF). The Belgian Chamber of Representatives. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 1 September 2007.

Coordinates: 50°50′48″N4°21′53″E / 50.84667°N 4.36472°E / 50.84667; 4.36472