National Council

Political system
Structure of parliament
IPU membership


Data on parliament’s law-making role and activities

Legislative activity

Number of laws adopted by parliament, per year

Notes: Figures correspond to Federal Constitutional Laws and Federal Laws

Total number of laws adopted by Parliament in the previous legislature
(2019-10 - 2019-11)
Number of laws adopted in the previous legislature that were initiated by parliament
(2019-10 - 2019-11)
Number of laws adopted in the previous legislature that were initiated by the government
(2019-10 - 2019-11)
Percentage of laws initiated by parliament in the previous legislature
(2019-10 - 2019-11)
Dates of the previous legislature
09 Nov 2017 to 22 Oct 2019
(2019-10 - 2019-11)
Outcome when the two chambers cannot agree on a piece of draft legislation


Every National Council enactment is without delay transmitted to the Federal Council. It can only be authenticated and promulgated if the Federal Council raises no objection. The only exceptions are laws concerning the rules of procedure of the National Council, the federal budget, certain financial laws and the final federal budget account, where the Federal Council has no right of participation. While the Federal Council cannot change legislative proposals adopted by the National Council, it can reject them within a period of eight weeks by means of a reasoned objection to the National Council enactment. In so doing it exercises its veto power, which has, however, only a suspensive effect in most cases. In case of a veto the National Council has to deliberate once more on its enactment. It can reiterate its original decision on condition that at least one half of its Members are present. This “insistence” is final, and the Federal Council cannot object to it any more – it can thus only delay final enactment.

In some cases, however, the Federal Council has an ”absolute” veto. Matters that require the express approval of the Federal Council include:

- Constitutional laws or clauses restricting the competencies of the Provinces,

- Legal provisions affecting the Federal Council itself,

- State treaties that regulate matters falling within the autonomous sphere of competence of the Provinces.

Sources: Federal Constitutional Law, Articles 35, 42, 44 and 50

Executive-legislative relations

Legislation adopted by parliament requires the assent of the Head of State


Federal Constitutional Law, Article 47

Number of times the Head of State declined to give assent to legislation, per year
Consequences when the Head of State declines to give assent to legislation


The Head of State can only scrutinize the (formal) way in which a bill is passed and can scrutinize any content of a law.

The Head of State must deny assent if a law is unconstitutional.

Final decision when parliament and the Head of State do not agree
Not applicable

Existence of a procedure to introduce emergency legislation

There is a procedure for introducing emergency legislation into parliament
Number of times the procedure for emergency legislation was used, per year

Notes: Neither the Austrian Federal Constitution nor the Rules of Procedure of the National Council foresee urgent or extraordinary procedures. There is only one exception in Art. 18 para 3 Federal Constitutional Law that authorizes the Federal President to decree certain laws when the National Council is unable to convene. This clause has never been used. When there is a need for urgent measures it is common to speed up parliamentary proceedings (as i.e. in the COVID-19-crisis).

Historical data for IPU membership

Historical data for IPU membership
Year IPU membership
List of values for 2020-09
List of values for 2019-04
List of values for 2018-06