Items of Business

Amongst other things, the Federal Council's items of business include National Council bills, private Members’ motions by Federal Council members, and questions addressed to members of the Federal Government.

Kinds of Items of Business

The Rules of Procedure of the Federal Council govern the activities of the Federal Council and lay down the “rules of the game“. They list in detail the items of business to be dealt with by the Federal Council. These include:

  • Bills adopted by the National Council
  • Decisions of the National Council on the approval of state treaties
  • Private Members' motions or motions introduced by its committees
  • Reports of the Federal Government or its members
  • Questions and Answers thereto
  • Petitions
  • Statements of Members of the Federal Government and Provincial Governors
  • Elections

With but a few exceptions, these items of business have the form of written documents which are as a rule distributed to the Members electronically and published as annexes to the stenographic records.

With the exception of petitions, these items of business are considered part of the proceedings of sittings of the Federal Council open to the public, which means that they are covered by the substantive immunity clause, i. e. that nobody shall be held liable, especially under penal law, for publishing true accounts of them.