Federal Council of Austria

Federal Council of Austria

The Federal Council of Austria or Bundesrat is one of the two chambers of the Parliament of Austria.

The 62 members of the Federal Council are elected by each of the legislatures of the states of Austria for 4- to 6-year terms. The composition of the Bundesrat changes after every election to a state's "Landtag". [For the current composition see: cite web|url=http://www.parlament.gv.at/EN/AP/BR/ZS/ZSBRInhalt_Portal.shtml|title=Composition of the Federal Council|publisher=Website of the Austrian Parliament|accessdate=2008-04-24]

The Austrian constitution provides the Bundesrat with the right to veto legislation passed by the National Council. However, in most cases the Federal Council only has a suspensive veto, meaning the National Council can override it by passing the law again. Therefore, the decisions of the Bundesrat can only delay legislation.cite web|url=http://www.parlament.gv.at/EN/AP/BR/AUFGG/BRAUFGG-E_Portal.shtml|title=The Federal Council – Responsibilities and Legal Principles|publisher=Website of the Austrian Parliament|accessdate=2008-04-24] In the following cases, though, the Federal Council's approval is mandatory:
* Constitutional laws or regulations limiting the competencies of the federal states
* Laws relating to the rights of the Federal Council itself
* Treaties concerning the jurisdiction of the federal states

The Federal Council and the National Council, if in joint session, form a third parliamentary body: Federal Assembly.


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