New Parline: the IPU’s Open Data Platform (beta)
Your one-stop-shop for information about national parliaments

Belgium

-

Senate

This is a bicameral parliament. Switch to theHouse of Representatives

Oversight

Data on parliament’s oversight role and activities

Oversight tools

Parliament has the power to summon members of the government
Source Legal documents that stipulate parliament's role.
Constitution, art. 100, al. 2
Parliament has the power to summon senior government officials
Source Legal documents that stipulate parliament's role.
Constitution, art. 100, al. 2
Parliament has the power to approve key government appointments Key government appointments include, for example, ambassadors or the head of the central bank.
Approximate number of government appointments subject to parliamentary approval
0
Number of written questions asked, per year
Not available
See historical data for this field. Compare data of this field.
Number of written questions answered by the government, per year
Not available
See historical data for this field. Compare data of this field.
Notes
The answers provided are the figures by parliamentary session (not calendar year). They reflect the redefinition of the role of the Senate in the Belgian parliamentary system, for example, in the reduction of the number of written questions between 2013-2015, with 2014 being a year of transition.
Parliament has power to carry out inquiries
No
Source Legal documents that stipulate parliament's role.
Article 56 of the Constitution
Number of parliamentary inquiries, per year
Not available
See historical data for this field.

Head of State and/or Government

Head of State and/or Government
Parliament’s role in the designation of the Head of Government Some parliaments elect the Head of Government or approve the nomination for the Head of Government. Others do not play a role.
Parliament does not play a role
Notes
The King appoints (and dismisses) his ministers (Art. 96(1) of the Constitution). The Federal Government offers its resignation to the King if the House of Representatives, by an absolute majority of its members, adopts a motion of no-confidence proposing a successor to the prime minister for appointment by the King or proposes a successor to the prime minister for appointment by the King within three days of the rejection of a motion of confidence.
Source Legal documents that stipulate parliament's role.
Article 96 of the Constitution
The Head of Government is also the Head of State
No
Parliament’s role
Parliament’s role in the designation of the Head of State Some parliaments designate the Head of State or approve the nomination for the Head of Government. Others do not play a role.
Other (please specify)
Notes
The descendants of King Leopold I automatically succeed each other (Art. 85 of the Constitution). The King ascending the throne takes the constitutional oath before the Houses (Arts 90 and 91 of the Constitution). The Houses intervene in the event that the King does not have an heir who is descended from King Leopold I. In that case, the King can appoint a successor and the Houses must assent to that appointment. In the absence of such an appointment, the throne remains vacant (see below) (Art. 86 of the Constitution). The Houses also intervene on the death of the King, if his successor is a minor: they act as the minor King’s Guardian and appoint a Regent, who is considered the Head of State (Art. 92 of the Constitution). Lastly, if the throne is vacant, the Houses, deliberating as one assembly, provisionally appoint a Regent, until the convening of the fully renewed Houses. The new Houses, deliberating as one assembly, fill the vacancy (Art. 95 of the Constitution).
Source Legal documents that stipulate parliament's role.
Articles 85, 86, 89, 90, 92 and 95 of the Constitution.

Impeachment and confidence motions

Procedure for parliament
There is a procedure for parliament to dismiss or impeach the following persons/institution There is a procedure to dismiss or impeach the following persons/institution: Not applicable (there is no procedure); The whole Government; The Head of Government; The Head of State; Individual members of the Executive; Other (please specify)
Not applicable (there is no procedure)
Chambers that play a role in the dismissal or impeachment In bicameral parliaments: Chambers that play a role in the dismissal or impeachment: Lower chamber; Upper chamber; Not applicable
Not applicable
Impeachment Role
There is a procedure for parliament to express no confidence in the following persons/institution There is a procedure for parliament to express no confidence in the following persons/institution: Not applicable (there is no procedure); The whole Government; The Head of Government; Individual members of the Executive; Other (please specify)
The whole Government
The Head of Government
Individual members of the Executive
Source Legal documents that stipulate parliament's role.
Constitution, art. 96 and 101; House Standing Orders 133, 137 and 138.
Chambers that play a role in motions of no confidence In bicameral parliaments: Chambers that play a role in motions of no confidence: Lower chamber; Upper chamber; Not applicable
Lower chamber
Parliament is automatically dissolved when a motion of no confidence is adopted In some countries, the adoption of a motion of no confidence in the Government automatically leads to the dissolution of Parliament in certain countries. In other cases, a new government can be formed.
No