Federal Assembly of Austria

Federal Assembly of Austria

The Federal Assembly (in German, "Bundesversammlung") is the name given to a formal joint-session of the two houses of the Austrian federal parliament, the National Council and the Federal Council.

The presidents of the two parliamentary chambers take turns presiding over sessions of the Federal Assembly.

Role of the Federal Assembly

The Federal Assembly does not function as a legislative body; the two chambers enact legislation, and even amend the Constitution, as strictly separate entities.

The principal responsibility of the Federal Assembly is to convene for the ceremonial swearing-in of the President of Austria.

In theory, the Federal Assembly also functions as an instrument of checks and balances; upon request by a two-thirds majority of the National Council, the Federal Assembly may impeach the president before the Constitutional Court, or call for a referendum to have the president removed from office by the electorate. Neither of these powers, however, has so far been exercised. The assent of the Federal Assembly would also be required for the president's immunity against criminal prosecution to be withdrawn.

The Federal Assembly is also responsible for declaring war.

External links

* [http://www.parlament.gv.at/portal/page?_pageid=1033,657790&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL Federal Assembly - Website of the Austrian Parliament]

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