Federal Law on the Rules of Procedure of the National Council
XVI. Parliamentary Petitions and Parliamentary Citizens' Initiatives
§ 100. (1) Any matter submitted to the National Council shall only be dealt with if the submission is made in writing, if it pertains to a matter within the jurisdiction of the legislative or executive branches at the federal level and if it has been
1. filed as a petition on the part of a Member of the National Council or
2. submitted as a citizens' initiative supported by at least 500 Austrian citizens who have completed their 16th year at the time they support it.
(2) Support of a citizens' initiative shall be by the supporter giving, in his/her own hand, his/her name, address, date of birth and date of signature and affixing his/her signature thereto. The first signatory of a citizens' initiative must be registered as a voter.
(3) A citizens' initiative shall be filed with the Parliamentary Administration by the first signatory, who shall produce evidence of his/her regular residence. The Parliamentary Administration shall thereupon verify whether the first signatory is registered as a voter; the President may order compliance with the requirements for supporters to be examined in a form s/he deems appropriate.
(4) The President shall refer petitions and citizens' initiatives complying with the conditions set forth in (1) to (3) above to the Committee for Petitions and Citizens' Initiatives. However, when submitting a petition, the Member of the National Council doing so may propose that the Committee for Petitions and Citizens' Initiatives refer the same to another committee.
(5) Petitions and citizens' initiatives shall be made available for inspection in the Parliamentary Administration and distributed to the members and substitute members of the Committee to which they are referred. The President may, after consultation of the members of the President's Conference, dispense with the requirement of copies being distributed either wholly or in part if such action appears to be justified for reasons of economy and utility. The President may, however, also order the text to be distributed to all Members if s/he feels that such action is required for compelling reasons.
§ 100a. Procedure in the Committee for Petitions and Citizens' Initiatives shall be governed, subject to the provisions below, by the provisions concerning the establishment of committees, the transaction of business in their sittings and the form of reporting.
§ 100b. (1) The Committee for Petitions and Citizens' Initiatives shall discuss incoming business at each of its sittings; its Chairperson may convene a special sitting for this purpose. During this phase of its work, the Committee may
a) to refuse to deal with the matter in hand, if it feels that it is obviously unsuitable for further consideration, or
b) to transfer the matter to the Ombudsman's Office for further consideration, or
c) to ask the President to refer the matter to a different committee, and
2. take decisions under (2) below or § 40 (1). In cases mentioned under (1a ) and (1b) above, the Committee shall report to the National Council in accordance with § 100c (3.3).
(2) In the course of its preliminary deliberations, the Committee for Petitions and Citizens' Initiatives may
1. decide to obtain, through the President, opinions of the Federal Government, of some of its members or of the Ombudsman's Office and, if it chooses, to set a deadline for receipt of such opinion(s), and
2. decide whether the first signatory, the members of the Ombudsman's Office or informed representatives of members of the Federal Government or the Ombudsman's Office may participate in the deliberations, or in which parts thereof they may do so and take the floor in the debate.
§ 100c. (1) At the end of the deliberations, the Committee for Petitions and Citizens' Initiatives may decide to ask the President to refer the subject matter - and possibly a recommendation of the Committee as to the form and content of the ultimate decision - to another committee.
(2) As regards its report to the National Council, the Committee for Petitions and Citizens' Initiatives may decide either to report separately on a single petition or citizens' initiative or to present a joint report on several of them. Private Members' motions under § 27 shall not be in order.
(3) The report under (2) above shall in every case contain a motion addressed to the National Council, which may be
1. to transfer the subject matter to the Federal Government or some of its members for appropriate action, or
2. to transfer the subject matter to the Ombudsman's Office for further action, or
3. to dispose of the subject matter by noting the Committee report.
(4) Deliberations before the Plenary shall be governed by the General Provisions concerning the Consideration of Business in Sittings of the National Council subject to the provisions that amendments do not go beyond the motions set forth in (3, 1-3) above and that the motions contained in a joint report under (2) above are voted on jointly unless there are any amendments. Amendments shall not be in order in respect of reports under § 100b (1, 1a and 1b).
§ 100d. The Parliamentary Administration shall provide information on the formal requirements regarding the introduction of citizens' initiatives; it shall inform the first signatory (§ 100 (2 and 3)) at his/her request on the status of the parliamentary process while the matter is still pending or on the manner in which it has been disposed of.