Parliament in the Political System
Parliament is one of the core elements of democracy and is linked with the others in a sophisticated system of checks and balances. Each governmental power interacts with Parliament.
A system of checks and balances ensures that each power exercises control over the others. The separation of powers recognises three separate and distinct branches: the legislative branch (parliament), the executive branch (e.g. government, administrative authorities, police) and the judicial branch (courts). More
Parliament and the Federal President limit one another in regard of their powers and rights. In the public eye the Federal President is associated mostly with state visits, representation and official speeches. However, the Constitution bestows considerable – if limited - powers on him or her. More
Parliament checks the activities of government. The tricky thing is that a government is for the most part only capable of acting if it is supported by a parliamentary majority. For this reason the government parties are mostly those which have a majority in Parliament, and control is chiefly exercised by the opposition. More
How much money can a state spend? How should the tax burden be distributed? Who should be supported and subsidised? The budgetary authority is one of the most important rights of Parliament. More
In order for a parliamentary democracy to work it needs political parties. They bundle the large number of different interests at play in society and make them manageable. How powerful are the parties? More
The Government and Parliament have to cooperate whenever particularly important matters are at stake. The Main Committee takes care of all matters in which Parliament not only exercises control but has to assume responsibility for administrative issues, for instance, matters concerning the EU, or when Austrian troops are sent abroad on peace-keeping missions. More