Council of Elders of the Bundestag (Germany)

Council Of Elders Of The Bundestag (Germany)

Council of Elders of the Bundestag (Germany)

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Description:
The Council of Elders (Ă„ltestenrat) of the German parliament Bundestag is a joint deliberative body which includes the following members:

  • President;
  • Vice president;
  • Bundestag members appointed by parliamentary groups in proportion to their size. There are twenty-three appointees in all, including parliamentary secretaries (known as whips) of each parliamentary group.


As one of six Organs of the Bundestag, the Council of Elders (under the Rules of Procedure) is tasked with managing the internal affairs of the Bundestag. It is the entity which determines daily legislative agenda items and assigning committee chairpersons based on party representation. The council also serves as an important forum for interparty negotiations on specific legislation and procedural issues.

Mechanics

The Council of Elders performs two functions:

  1. Assist the President in the conduct of business and ensure the parliamentary groups reach an agreement;
  2. Making decisions on the internal affairs of the Bundestag, provides such activities are without the exclusive competence of the President.


At the beginning of each electoral term, the Council is to reach agreement on the distribution of committee (and deputy) chairs among parliamentary groups. The number, size of committees, as well as the system used to determine their composition, which is proportional to the relative strengths of the parliamentary groups, are decided ultimately by the Bundestag. As a rule, the Council's decisions are...
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