President & President's Conference

The National Council is headed by its President and two Vice Presidents.

The Presidents of the National Council

At the beginning of a legislative period the National Council elects from its midst the President and the Second and Third Presidents. In political practice the three strongest parties in the National Council make proposals for the election of the Presidents, which are normally accepted by the plenary. In theory, however, every Member could be elected President.

As a body, the three Presidents represent the Federal President if s/he is prevented from exercising his/her duties for a prolonged period of time, in the case of his/her death or if s/he is deposed. Thus, at least formally, it is the Presidents of the National Council, not the Federal Chancellor, that hold the second highest rank in the State.

The President's Conference of the National Council

The President’s Conference is formed by the Presidents of the National Council and the chairpersons of the parliamentary groups. As a deliberative organ, it prepares proposals for the programme of work, the agendas, and times of National Council sittings and coordinates committee sittings. It plays a central role in parliamentary work as a mediator, particularly in conflicts concerning the interpretation and application of the Rules of Procedure.