Ministers and Parliament

Each minister has the right to attend the plenary sessions of Parliament and participate in its discussions. Ministers attend the meetings of the parliamentary committees only on request.

Successful discharge of ministerial duties requires active participation in the work of Parliament. Ministers should, in particular, follow the handling in Parliament of matters which fall within their own field of competence, and should attend plenary sessions on such occasions.

Government Annual Report

Parliament is responsible for supervising the activities of the Government. For this purpose, the Government submits an annual report of its activities to Parliament.

Interpellations

An interpellation is a question submitted by at least twenty Members of Parliament to the Government or a minister concerning a matter falling within their mandate. All interpellations are raised at a Parliament plenary session and sent for consideration to the Government.

If a motion of no confidence is put forward during the debate on an interpellation, Parliament will, at the end of the proceedings, hold a vote of confidence on whether the Government or a particular minister enjoys the confidence of Parliament.

Written questions

Members of Parliament may submit a written request to a minister on a matter falling within the minister's mandate. After the Prime Minister’s Office has received the question, a ministry has 21 days to provide a written answer.

Question time

Parliamentary question time is normally held on Thursdays at 16.00, in connection with a Parliament plenary session. During question time, ministers answer unrehearsed questions. No more than a minute can be devoted to answering each question. Questions are devoted to a specific theme or matters belonging to a specific administrative branch.

Topical discussions

The Speaker's Council may decide to organise a discussion on an issue of pressing topical interest, ruling at the same time on the practical aspects of the debate. The timing of the debate and the contributions of ministers is agreed in advance with the Government.

Reports and statements

The Government may submit to Parliament a statement or a report relating to governance or international relations. Government reports are normally first discussed in committee; the resulting committee report then serves as a basis for debate by MPs. Government statements can also be sent for discussion in committee.

Debate on a government statement may conclude with a vote of confidence on the Government or an individual minister. Votes of confidence cannot be held on the basis of government reports.

Prime minister’s announcement

At a time agreed with the speaker of Parliament, the prime minister may deliver an announcement to Parliament on some aspect of government business. The announcement may also be delivered by another minister designated by the prime minister. The announcement is followed by a general debate in plenary session without a vote.