Main bodies of the Chamber
Bureau (Executive Office) - Conference of Presidents - Political groups - Presidency - Committees - Parliamentary administration
Bureau (Executive Office)
Within the Chamber of Deputies, the representation of the institution as well as the management of its affairs are carried out by the ‘Bureau.’
Tasks: representation and management
The Bureau represents the Chamber of Deputies at national and international level. In particular, it decides upon the composition of its delegations, apart from those that take part in the international assemblies. In addition, it manages the Chamber’s affairs and takes all the decisions regarding staff organisation and discipline. It deals with financial issues and organisational issues regarding the deputies, the parliament, and its bodies.
Composition: Up to 14 members
The Bureau is made up of a president, three vice-presidents, up to nine members and six alternate members. The Secretary General is part of the Bureau but is not entitled to vote.
If, when the president, vice-presidents and members are appointed, the number of candidates corresponds to the number of vacancies to be filled, the candidates can be proclaimed elected. If this is not the case, their appointment is subject to a voting procedure within the Chamber of Deputies. A first round is organised according to the principle of absolute majority, with blank and invalid votes not being considered for its calculation. There is no second round when it comes to appointing members. In the event of a tie, the appointment is made by drawing lots. In order to appoint the president and vice-presidents, there is a second round in which there is only a relative majority. In the event of a tie, lots are drawn.
Conference of Presidents
The Conference of Presidents plays a key role in the organisation of the Chamber’s activities.
Task: organisation of the Chamber’s work
The main task of the Conference of Presidents is to decide on matters relating to the organisation of the Chamber’s work. It also proposes the agenda of the plenary sessions of the Chamber and gives its opinion regarding draft Grand-Ducal regulations, for which its opinion or consent is provided for by law.
Composition: the President of the Chamber and the presidents of the various groups
The Conference of Presidents is made up of the President of the Chamber as well as the chairs of each political group. The latter have a number of votes equal to the number of members of the group that they represent.
Meetings: by invitation
The President of the Chamber of Deputies convenes the Conference of Presidents and leads its debates. The head of government can attend the Conference of Presidents or be represented there. The Conference of Presidents may only deliberate when the majority of deputies are in attendance. It must be convened when two of its members request it.
Consultation: presidents of the committees and individual deputies
The presidents of the standing committees and special committees may be heard and may request a hearing by the Conference of Presidents. The Conference of Presidents may also invite the deputies who are not affiliated with any political or technical group to participate in its work, when it is called upon to issue its opinion on draft decrees or regulations.
Political groups and “sensibilités politiques”
In general, the deputies belong to political groups or are affiliated with them. If this is not the case, they may form a technical group, or simply express a political persuasion. The Bureau (Executive Office) of the Chamber ensures that these groups and individual deputies have an appropriate working environment.
The political groups: At least 5 members
The political groups, comprising at least five members, have certain prerogatives: they are represented not only in the parliamentary committees, but also in the Conference of Presidents. They have certain advantages regarding speaking time in public sessions. The Bureau (Executive Office) of the Chamber provides them with the premises and the installations required for their operations, as well as the credits calculated on the basis of their proportional representation at the Chamber. It also reimburses them the cost of hiring staff, up to a fixed amount. The political groups may allow deputies who do not belong to any political group to become affiliated with them.
The technical groups: form a grouping around a coordinator
The deputies who are neither members of a political group nor affiliated with a political group may form a technical group. They appoint a coordinator who acts as their spokesperson for all administrative matters and represents them at the Conference of Presidents. Just like the political groups, the technical groups benefit from the provision of premises and installations required for their operation, as well as credits. They also have their staff expenses reimbursed, under the same conditions.
“Sensibilités politiques” (groups of less than 5 deputies sharing a political persuasion) and independent deputies
The Bureau (Executive Office) of the Chamber provides each deputy who is not part of a group with a fully equipped office close to the Chamber. Upon presentation of the supporting documents, it also reimburses each of them for the cost of hiring staff.
A President and three Vice-Presidents perform the Presidency’s functions.
The President: representation and ensuring Rules of Procedure are complied with
The President represents the Chamber of Deputies and leads its debates. The President maintains order, ensures that the Rules of Procedure are followed, determines whether or not the texts, motions and other proposals are admissible in their current form and gives the floor. The President delivers the Chamber’s decisions. If the President wishes to take part in a discussion, they must be replaced in the Presidency.
The President may, in an advisory capacity, take part in the meetings of all the committees of which they are not a member.
The Vice-Presidents: the duties of the Interim President
If the President is prevented from attending, their duties are performed by one of the Vice-Presidents
The work of the committees is an essential step in the legislative process. It is punctuated by the organisation of debates and auditions.
Tasks: examining government bills and private member’s bills
First and foremost, the committees are tasked with examining government bills and private member’s bills, amendments, and motions that the President of the Chamber refers to them. They are also entitled to present proposals and amendments themselves. Other tasks are the preparation of debates and the organisation of hearings.
Organisation of work: consultation and vote
Generally, the committees set their own agenda for their work. This work consists in examining government bills or private member’s bills, draft European directives or regulations and in writing reports on them. In order to support them, the committees may request the opinion of European deputies and extra-parliamentary persons or bodies. In the case of votes, their validity requires the presence of the majority of the members of the committee. Minutes are drafted for each committee meeting and must be approved at the start of the following meeting.
Composition: the various committees
The Chamber operates with statutory committees and standing committees. Parliamentary committees must be composed of at least five members and no more than fifteen members.