Representation of the member states

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In all confederations and in many states , at least there is an organ , a representative of the member States to ensure (in the true sense Bundesrat ) or in a broader sense also the population of the states representing organ (Senate model).

The representation often represents a second chamber set up next to the Chamber of Deputies (historically called " First Chamber " in certain countries ) of a bicameral system in federal political systems . It can consist of representatives of the state governments who are bound by instructions (such as in the German Bundesrat or the Council of the European Union ; see also executive federalism ), consist of members of the state parliaments (such as in the Austrian Federal Council ) or directly elected members (such as in the Swiss Council of States or the Senate of the United States ).


In addition to a Chamber of Deputies, Australia has a Senate . It consists of 76 senators. Each of the six states of Australia elect twelve senators. It is therefore irrelevant how many inhabitants a state has. In addition, two Australian territories each elect two senators (the capital area and the Northern Territory ).

Within a state or a territory, the people elect their senators directly. The system of single transferable votes is used for this . A senator is in office for six years.


The Federal Parliament of Belgium consists of a Chamber of Deputies on the one hand and a Senate on the other. Both were directly elected for a long time. However, the electoral census for the Senate was initially much higher. There were also additional senators, such as members of the royal family. In federalized Belgium from 1993 there were three types of senators:

  • 40 directly elected (25 Dutch-speaking, 15 French-speaking)
  • 21 elected by the Communities of Belgium (10 Dutch-speaking, 10 French-speaking, 1 German-speaking)
  • and 10 co-opted senators (elected by the other senators; 6 Dutch-speaking, 4 French-speaking).

In 2014, the Senate was reformed to make it more of a chamber of the states (so-called Vlinder accord ). Since then, the senators are no longer directly elected by the people. Since then there has been:

  • 29 senators appointed by the Flemish Parliament ; they come from the Flemish Parliament or the Dutch language group in the Brussels Capital Parliament
  • 10 senators appointed by the Parliament of the French Community; they come from that parliament, which in turn consists of all members of the Walloon Parliament and some members of the French language group of the Brussels-Capital Parliament
  • 8 senators appointed by the Walloon Parliament from among its members
  • 2 senators appointed from among its members by the French language group of the Brussels-Capital Parliament
  • 1 senator, who is appointed by the parliament of the German-speaking community from among its members

In addition, the 29 Dutch-speaking senators co-opt 6 and the 20 French-speaking senators 4 co-opt. That makes a total of 60 senators.


In Germany, the task of representing the member states (imperial estates, federal members, federal states, states) was / is performed

European Union

In the European Union , the member states are represented in the European Council ( heads of state and government ) and in the Council of the European Union (specialist ministers).


The parliaments of the federal states and union territories appoint a certain number of members of the upper house of the union parliament ( Rajya Sabha ) depending on the number of inhabitants . In addition, there are twelve members who do not come from politics and who are appointed by the Union President.


The Austrian federal states are represented by the Federal Council, which consists of members elected by the state parliaments.


The subjects of the Russian Federation are represented in the Federation Council by two deputies each.

In the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union in a chamber u. a. represent the respective Soviet republics .


The cantons (estates) are represented by the Council of States . This consists of 46 members who are directly elected by the Swiss people in the cantons . The individual councils of states are not members of the respective cantonal governments and are not bound by instructions.

In addition, the division of Switzerland into cantons is also used in national referendums considered because there next to the popular majority also cantons is required, so it must also agree with the majority of the cantons of a proposal submitted so that they will be deemed accepted.

South Africa

The legislative assembly of each province sends a delegation of elected representatives to the second chamber, the National Council of Provinces in the national parliament of the Republic of South Africa, on a proportional basis . The ex officio member of the delegation is the respective Prime Minister of the province.

United Arab Emirates

The highest body of the United Arab Emirates is the Council of the Rulers , consisting of the princes (emirs) of the seven member states (emirates). The 40-member National Assembly ( Majlis Watani Ittihad ) is also delegated from the partial emirates.

United States

The people of every US state elect two MPs to the Senate . Until 1913, the election was made by the parliaments of the individual states .