Following its election on 24 September, the German Bundestag will hold its constituent sitting on Tuesday, 24 October, at 11 a.m. in the Plenary Chamber of the Reichstag Building in Berlin. The agenda includes the election of the Bundestag President and the other members of the Presidium, along with the adoption of the Rules of Procedure of the German Bundestag. The constituent sitting marks the official start of the newly elected Members’ time as representatives of the public in the 19th German Bundestag.
Sitting opened by President by Seniority
The first sitting of the new parliament is opened and chaired by the President by Seniority, until a new Bundestag President is elected. The President by Seniority is the Member who has served the longest in the German Bundestag. Dr Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU/CSU) has been in Parliament for the longest period of time, followed by Dr Hermann Otto Solms (FDP). As in every sitting of the Bundestag, the agenda is agreed upon at the start of the sitting.
The course the sitting takes is then decided upon, namely whether the new Bundestag President and the Vice-Presidents are elected first, or the Rules of Procedure, the rule book for the Bundestag, is adopted beforehand.
Election of the Bundestag Presidium
The election of the President of the Bundestag lays the foundation for further steps in the new parliament. The new President and the Vice-Presidents form the Presidium of the German Bundestag. They meet regularly during sitting weeks and discuss matters concerning the Bundestag. They are also an important part of what is referred to as the Council of Elders. This is the central body responsible for coordinating and steering the work of the German Bundestag , which supports the President.
Alongside the Bundestag President and the Vice-Presidents, the Council consists of Members from all parliamentary groups. It schedules the dates of the sitting weeks, for example, and sets the agendas for the plenary sittings. A month after the election, there is thus a new parliament with the elected Members and a new Bundestag President. All further bodies of the German Bundestag, such as the committees, can only be formed once the coalition negotiations between the parties concerned have been concluded.