Parliamentary group (politics)

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A parliamentary group (known as a club in Austria ) is a voluntary association of elected representatives in a parliament or other political representative bodies (e.g. a local council ) to achieve political interests and goals.


A parliamentary group is usually made up of elected representatives who have a seat in parliament and belong to the same party . In some cases it must also bear their name. Factions exist in almost all parliamentary ( Bundestag , state parliaments ) and other agencies (eg. As regional associations , district councils , city councils or representation restrictions). They have a special status that is associated with additional parliamentary rights and usually also financial contributions. In order for a group to receive this parliamentary group status, a minimum number of MPs or members or a different quorum is usually required. In the Saarland state parliament, two members are sufficient.

Members of different parties can also form a group of parliamentary groups. It is also possible to accept individual independent MPs or those who have resigned from their original parliamentary group as so-called interns.

In the Basic Law , parliamentary groups are only expressly named in Article 53a, Paragraph 1, Sentence 2 of the Basic Law.

Political groups play an important role in internal decision-making in parliament. In the parliamentary system of the Federal Republic of Germany, the government factions and their discipline are of particular importance in legislation. Opposition factions traditionally exercise control and criticism functions and represent an alternative to the government factions in party competition.

A parliamentary group is usually headed by a chairman . Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen and Die Linke usually have a quota (with at least one woman) dual leadership. As the basis for an efficient working of the fractions is fraction discipline viewed, but at a certain voltage in relation to the Art. 38 , para. 1, sentence 2 GG anchored principle of free mandate is.

In the case of behavior that is harmful to the faction, a member can be expelled from the faction. The excluded MP does not lose his mandate, but remains in Parliament as a non-attached MP . A party exclusion or party outlet of a deputy does not automatically have an exclusion from the fraction result. Exclusion or leaving the parliamentary group does not automatically lead to exclusion from the party. Exclusion from a parliamentary group or party can be verified by a court, although higher standards are applied in the case of exclusion from a party.

The exact regulations for the rights and obligations of the parliamentary groups, joining and resignation and the internal organization of the parliamentary groups are legal (e.g. in Hesse by the Hessian parliamentary group law) and in the rules of procedure of the respective parliament (e.g. in Hesse § 40 ff of the state parliament's rules of procedure). The parliamentary groups themselves can adopt statutes in which the internal organization and working methods are regulated.

In the German Bundestag , in addition to the parliamentary group status, there is also the status as a group for groups of representatives below the parliamentary group size.

The parliamentary groups' documents are mainly collected in the archives of the foundations affiliated with the party , but also in part in the respective state archives.

See also:


In the Parliament of the German-speaking Community , two types of parliamentary groups are distinguished:

  • Recognized parliamentary groups: They are made up of at least three members and have at least one representative with voting rights in the parliamentary presidium and in the committees. They receive financial support for their political work.
  • Unrecognized political groups: They consist of two members of parliament who also receive financial support, albeit to a lesser extent. You are not represented on the Presidium.

In the 2014–2019 legislative period, parliament has four recognized parliamentary groups ( CSP , ProDG , SP , PFF ) and two unrecognized parliamentary groups ( Ecolo , Vivant ).


Both in the Austrian National Council and in the state parliaments of the individual federal states , the parliamentary groups are called “ clubs ” and are led by club officials.

In contrast, the parliamentary groups of the Federal Council are referred to as such. They are led by group leaders.


At least five members form a parliamentary group in the Swiss Federal Assembly . The most important task is to send members to the commissions. The parliamentary groups and not the political parties, which are not mentioned anywhere in the parliamentary law , are decisive for the operation of parliament .

Compulsory parliamentary groups are prohibited in Switzerland and can in fact only be exercised with little efficiency. The members of the parliamentary groups - especially those in the middle of the political spectrum - make active use of this freedom. This is favored by two factors:

  • There is no sharp division between government and opposition , as all parties decide for or against the government's point of view on a case-by-case basis, depending on the matter at hand.
  • The electoral system with electoral lists on which the voters can delete candidates at their own discretion or list them twice ( cumulate ) or also mark candidates from other parties by variegating them, means that the elected MPs have strong support from the voters and therefore depend less on the grace of their party.

According to Art. 61 Para. 1 to 4 of the Swiss Parliament Act, at least five parliamentarians (“Council members”) of the same council must be members of this parliamentary group to form a political group. The federal councilors of a party usually belong to the parliamentary group's executive committee and take part in parliamentary group meetings in an advisory capacity, but - in contrast to parliamentary group members - they are not allowed to submit motions or vote. A Federal Council is therefore never a member of a parliamentary group.

European Parliament

The composition of the political groups as well as the seating arrangements in the plenary hall of the European Parliament are transnational according to the political affiliation of the MEPs. The prerequisite for forming a parliamentary group is the participation of at least 25 members, who must come from at least a quarter (i.e. seven) of the member states of the European Union . MEPs may only belong to one parliamentary group.

There are currently (as of April 2018) eight political groups in the European Parliament:

Individual evidence

  1. § 7 paragraph 2 of the rules of procedure of the Bremen citizenship
  2. Section 1, Paragraph 2 of the Saarland Fraction Rights Act ( Memento of the original from April 18, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 32 kB) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. Hessian parliamentary group law (GVBl. I 1993, 106)
  4. Rules of Procedure of the Hessian State Parliament (PDF; 230 kB)
  5. ^ Parliament of the German-speaking Community
  6. Rules of Procedure of the National Council (Austria)
  7. Rules of Procedure of the Federal Council (Austria)
  8. SR 101 Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation of April 18, 1999. Art. 154. Accessed on May 23, 2019 .
  9. Federal Constitution Art. 161
  10. European Parliament : political groups (at the European Parliament)
  11. political groups in the European Parliament