Council of Elders

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The Council of Elders is a body in German parliaments and municipal representative bodies that deals with questions of rules of procedure . It is typically made up of representatives from the political groups (e.g. group chairman , parliamentary manager ) and is chaired by the speaker of parliament . Contrary to the name, the council of elders is not formed by the oldest members of parliament, and there is no minimum age. The name comes from the fact that the tasks of the council of elders require a lot of parliamentary experience.

German Bundestag

The Council of Elders of the German Bundestag is an executive body. He puts u. a. sets the agenda of the Bundestag and regulates the business of the house. In accordance with Section 6 (3) of the Rules of Procedure, it is a decision-making body, provided certain decisions are not reserved for the President of the Bundestag. It is filled by the parliamentary groups according to the strengths in the Bundestag. In the 18th electoral term , which began in 2013, it consisted of 30 members. In the 19th electoral term that began in 2017, it also consists of 30 members. At the moment, however, only 29 positions are filled, as the Vice-President post to which the AfD is entitled has not yet been filled, as none of the candidates proposed by the AfD has been elected.


"The council of elders consists of the president , his [currently five] deputies and twenty-three other members to be appointed by the parliamentary groups in accordance with § 12 ..."

The “other members” usually always include the respective first parliamentary managing director .

The commission for internal affairs, the building and spatial commission, the I-und-K-commission (commission for the use of new information and communication technologies and media) and the legal position commission support him in his work. In the event of procedural disputes and criticism of the conduct of office of an incumbent President, the matter is referred to the First Committee, the Committee on Rules of Procedure, for clarification.

German state parliaments

Most parliaments in the German federal states also have a council of elders (see e.g. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania State Parliament ). The Council of Elders is one of the most important bodies in Parliament. He supports the President in the performance of his duties and discusses the parliamentary work.

The councils of elders of the individual state parliaments also consist of the presidents, the vice-presidents and representatives of the parliamentary groups. In addition, government representatives can be invited to certain meetings of the Council of Elders.

The councils of elders of the state parliaments of z. B. Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Schleswig-Holstein only have an advisory function, the formal decision is the sole responsibility of the state parliament president.

In the state parliaments of Baden-Württemberg, Brandenburg, Bremen, Saarland and Saxony, the relevant tasks are performed by the state parliament presidium, as there is no council of elders there.

In Brandenburg and Saarland, the Presidium is the decision-making body.

The Presidium of the Saxon State Parliament has a size of 21 members.

Thuringia also has a council of elders.

City councils

The city councils ( community councils ) of larger cities (for example the Lübeck citizenship ) occasionally form a council of elders to discuss the agenda in advance (for example, the sequence or joint discussion of items on the agenda). It thus takes on the same preparatory functions as in a parliament, even if a municipal council is a legislative body ( statutes ) but not a legislative body. The Council of Elders is occasionally convened as an arbitration body even in the event of requests to speak that are perceived as a personal attack. In addition to the city president as chairman, the parliamentary group chairmen and, if necessary, other members of the parliamentary group boards are usually elected to the council of elders. The election usually takes place according to the same criteria as the election of the specialist committees (number of members of the respective parliamentary groups in the council of elders proportional to the number of their seats in the municipal council). Its legal position is that of an auxiliary body of the community council.

Presidential conference of the Austrian National Council

The Austrian National Council does not have a "council of elders"; individual functions are performed here by the presidential conference of the National Council. However, there are significant differences with regard to the composition and the right of participation (see Presidential Conference of the National Council )

Individual evidence

  1. § 12 of the Rules of Procedure of the German Bundestag
  2. ^ German Bundestag - The Council of Elders. Retrieved January 9, 2019 .
  3. there expressly § 6 paragraph 3 sentence 4 of the rules of procedure of the Hamburg citizenship
  4. § 6 of the rules of procedure of the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania state parliament
  5. § 7 of the rules of procedure of the Schleswig-Holstein state parliament
  6. cf. § 13 (tasks of the presidium) of the rules of procedure of the Baden-Württemberg state parliament
  7. cf. § 15 (tasks of the presidium) of the rules of procedure of the Landtag Brandenburg
  8. Sections 8–11 (The Board of Directors of the Citizenship) of the Rules of Procedure of the Bremen Citizenship
  9. Rules of Procedure of the Saarland Landtag, law on the Saarland Landtag
  10. Rules of Procedure of the Saxon State Parliament
  11. cf. Section 15 (2) of the Brandenburg State Parliament's rules of procedure
  12. cf. Section 31 of the law on the state parliament of Saarland
  13. § 5 Paragraph 1 (Composition of the Presidium) of the GO 6th electoral period ( PDF ; 1.7 MB)

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