Constituent session

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The constituent meeting (from the Latin constituere for to fix , to decide ) is the first meeting of a newly formed body , in the framework of which important decisions are usually made. In this first meeting, the chairman of the committee and his deputy are usually elected, rules of procedure are issued and other organizational issues are clarified.

houses of Parliament

Usually one speaks of a constituent session in connection with the first session of a parliament in the new legislative period . In Germany applies after 39 Art. Para. 2 GG that the German Bundestag has to convene no later than the thirtieth day after the election. The Austrian National Council must also be convened within thirty days in accordance with Art. 27 , Paragraph 2 of the Federal Constitutional Law .

Differentiation from other sessions

While the chairman of the respective committee usually invites for the next meeting, a special regulation is required for the constituent meeting, since the chairman of the committee is only elected at this meeting. There are different models for this:

  1. another organ invites
  2. the previous chairman invites
  3. the election committee invites
  4. no formal invitation
  5. Others

Examples of such invitations are shown below:

Another organ

Historically, parliaments did not have the right to self- assembly : they were convened, adjourned, passed and possibly dissolved by the monarch (see constitutionalism ). Accordingly, the invitation to the constituent session was issued by the monarch or on his behalf by the government or the state commissioner .

In the German Bundestag , the Council of Elders sets the date and agenda for each session of the Bundestag (Section 20). It is not possible to convene the President (§ 21) at the constituent meeting.

Regarding the municipal councils in Hessen, the mayor invites to the constituent meeting.

The previous chairman

The parliamentary group of the CDU Lower Saxony is invited to its constituent meeting by the previous group chairman.

Electoral board

After the election of a works council in Germany, the electoral board invites you to the constituent meeting of the new works council.


The course of the constituent meeting has a typical structure. Typical agenda items are the establishment of the constitution, the election of a chairman and a board of directors as well as other organizational items. In parliaments, these are the determination and composition of the committees and, if necessary, the adoption of the rules of procedure or the main statutes.

Constitution of parliaments


In parliamentary usage, the constitution of parliament is the first step in a newly elected parliament . In the context of the constitution, the parliamentary presidium is determined and thus the working capacity of the parliament is established. As long as the President of Parliament is not elected, the meeting is chaired by the President of the Age . With the handover of the chairmanship to the newly elected Speaker of Parliament, the constitution is completed.

For the German Bundestag , the constitutional process is regulated in Section 1 of the Rules of Procedure of the German Bundestag . Specifically, u. a. certainly:

  • The newly elected Bundestag is convened for its first session by the previous President no later than the thirtieth day after the election ( Article 39 of the Basic Law ).
  • Until the newly elected President or one of his deputies takes over the office, the member who has been in the Bundestag for the longest time and is willing to do so will hold the chair (senior president); with the same length of membership in the Bundestag, the higher age decides.
  • After the quorum has been established , the president, deputies and secretary are elected.

Correspondingly, the first meeting of other bodies (e.g. works council , association board, etc.) is referred to as the constitution of this body.

United States

  • The federal congress , consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives , is always elected at the beginning of November. Elections take place every two years, with the entire House of Representatives and a third of the Senate being newly elected. After the election, the congress is constituted on January 3rd. In the constituent meetings, the respective parliamentary group chairmen and the speaker of the House of Representatives are usually elected.
  • At the state level, the two-chamber parliaments are also elected in early November and are constituted either the following December or January (depending on the state). The parliamentary group chairmen and chamber heads are usually elected at the constituent meetings.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Rules of Procedure of the German Bundestag , §§ 20,21, online
  2. $ 56 (2) HGO , online
  3. Gerold Papsch: The parliamentary group rules of procedure of the state parliament groups as a sub-level under parliamentary law: a comparative study with special consideration of Lower Saxony, 2008, ISBN 9783832518219 , p. 39, digital copy
  4. Section 28 of the Works Constitution Act , online