Landsting (upper chamber) |
Storting (lower chamber)
HM Frederik II,
King of Kalmar Union
Since March 11, 2015
Herre Højttaler (Lord High Speaker)
Halvard, Herren Heyerdahl
Since November 15, 2017
Stortingets Høyttaler (Speaker of the Storting)
|Seats||Landsting 75, and Storting 349|
Landsting, upper chamber political groups
Storting, lower chamber political groups
HM Government (134)
HM Most Loyal Opposition (118)
Other Opposition (73)
|By royal appointment|
Landsting, upper chamber last election
Storting, lower chamber last election
The Unionsparlamentet is the Parliament of the Skandinavia. It is the supreme legislative body of the Skandinavia and the Crown dependencies. It alone possesses legislative supremacy and thereby ultimate power over all other political bodies in Skandinavia and its territories. Its head is the Monarch of Skandinavia (currently King Frederik II) and its seat is the Stortingsbygningen (Union Storting Building) in the city of Stockholm. It is a bicameral parliament consisting of an overhuset (upper house) called Landsting and an underhuset (lower house) called Storting. The Monarch forms the third component of the legislature (the King-in-Parliament).
The Landsting includes two different types of members: the Herrer Åndelig (Lords Spiritual), consisting of the fourteen most senior bishops of Den Skandinaviske Kirke (Church of Skandinavia), and the Herrer Temporal (Lords Temporal), consisting of fourteen Livets jævnaldrende (life peers), appointed by the Monark on the advice of the Statsminister, the six Høj Kongelige Embedsmænd (High Royal Officials) and of forty one Arvelige jævnaldrende (hereditary peers), sitting either by hereditary right, virtue of holding a royal office, or by being elected by their fellow hereditary peers. It meets in Landstingbygningen, Christiania.
The Storting is an elected chamber with 349 single member elected in every constituency. It meets in Stortingsbygningen, Sotckholm.
By political convention, all government ministers, including the Statsminister, are members of the Storting and are thereby accountable to the respective branches of the legislature. Almost all public agencies of Skandinavia are subordinate to the government, but two ombudsmen, the Parliamentary Intelligence Committee and the Office of the Auditor General are directly subordinate to parliament.
Unionsparlamentet was formed in 1951 following the ratification of the Unionenslov passed by the Parliament of Denmark, the Parliament of Norway and the Parliament of Sweden. The Unionenslov stating, "That Skandinavia is represented by one and the same Parliament to be stiled the Unionsparlamentet".
Procedure[edit | edit source]
Both houses of the 'Unionsparlamentet are presided over by a "speaker", the Stortingets Høyttaler (Speaker of the Storting) and the Herre Højttaler (Lord High Speaker). For the Storting, the approval of the Monarch is theoretically required before the election of the speaker becomes valid, but it is normally granted by convention. The speaker's place may be taken by three deputies. Both Houses may decide questions by voice vote; members shout out "Ja!" and "Nej!" and the presiding officer declares the result.
The legislative procedure goes through seven stages:
- 1.- A bill is introduced to Storting either by a member of government, by a member of the Storting, by the Herre Højttaler or, in the case of a private member's bill, by any individual representative.
- 2.- Storting will refer the bill to the relevant standing joint committee of the two chambers, where it will be subject for detailed consideration in the committee stage. In this stage, the committee can propose amendments which can be accepted or not by the promoters of the bill.
- 3.- The first reading takes place when Storting debates the recommendation from the committee, and will make a vote. If the bill is dismissed, the procedure ends.
- 4.- The second reading takes place at least three days after the first reading, in which Storting debates the bill again. A new vote is taken, and if successful, the bill is submitted to the Landsting. If Storting comes to a different conclusion in the second reading, a third reading will be held at least three days later, repeating the debate and vote, and may adopt the amendments from the second reading or finally dismiss the bill.
- 5.- Once the bill comes to the Landsting, the first reading takes place, and will make vote. If succesfull, the bill is submited to the King. If the vote is not successful, it will be another reading at least three days after the first reading.
- 6.- The secon reading in the Landsting allows the introduction of amendments. A new vote is taken, and if succesfull the bill is submited to the Storting to start the process again. If the bill is not passed in the Landsting, it is returned to the Storting. If the Landsting rejects a bill from the Storting, the same bill may not be presented again in the same sessions period. If a bill is rejected a second time, it can not be presented until after two years. If it is resubmitted in the same terms, the Landsting can not reject it again. In fact, the Landsting can not prevent a bill from being approved over time, but in practice it can delay it a lot, which means that bills usually negotiate between both chambers of the Unionsparlamentet.
- 7.- Once the bill has reached the Monarch, if the bill is signed by the Monarch, it must be countersigned by the Statsminister. It then becomes Law from the date stated in the act or decided by the government. If the Monarch does not assent to it, the bill is returned to the Unionsparlamentet with a statement that he does not for the time being find it expedient to sanction it. In that case the Bill must not again be submitted to the King by the same Unionsparlamentet.
Both chambers normally conduct their business in public, and there are galleries where visitors may sit.
Organisation[edit | edit source]
Presidium[edit | edit source]
The Presidium is chaired by the President av Unionsparlamentet (President of the Parliament), that is the Herre Højttaler (Lord High Speaker), the Visepresident av Unionsparlamentet that is the Stortingets Høyttaler (Speaker of the Storting) and five more Medlemmer av Presidiet av Unionsparlamentet (Membsrs of the Presidium of Parliament) elected two from the Landsting and three from the Storting.
Standing committees[edit | edit source]
The members of both chambers are allocated into twelve standing committees, of which eleven are related to specific political topics. The last is the Standing Committee on Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs. The standing committees have a portfolio that covers that of one or more government ministers.
- Business and Industry
- Education and Research
- Energy and Enviroment
- Famili and CUltural Affairs
- Finance and Economic Affairs
- Foreign Affairs and Defence
- Health and Care Services
- Labour and Social Affairs
- Local Government and Public Administration
- Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs
- Transport and Communications
Other committees[edit | edit source]
There are two other committees, that run parallel to the standing committees. The Enlarged Committee on Foreign Affairs consists of members of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, the presidium and the parliamentary leaders. The committee discusses important issues related to foreign affairs, trade policy and national safety with the government. Discussions are confidential. The European Committee consists of the members of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence and the parliamentary delegation to the european organizations.
The Election Commitee consists of 37 members, and is responsible for internal elections within the parliament, as well as delegating and negotiating party and representative allocation within the presidium, standing committees and other committees. The Preparatory Credentials Committee has 16 members and is responsible for approving the election.
Appointed agencies[edit | edit source]
Four public agencies are appointed by parliament rather than by the government. The Office of The Auditor General is the auditor of all branches of the public administration and is responsible for auditing, monitoring and advising all state economic activities. The Parliamentary Ombudsman is an ombudsman responsible for public administration. It can investigate any public matter that has not been processed by an elected body, the courts or within the military. The Ombudsman for The Armed Forces is an ombudsman responsible for the military. The Parliamentary Intelligence Commitee is a seven-member body responsible for supervising public intelligence, surveillance and security services. Parliament also appoints the five members of the Nobel Committee that award the Nobel Peace Price.
Party groups[edit | edit source]
Each party represented in Storting has a party group. It is led by a group board and chaired by a parliamentary leader. It is customary for the party leader to also act as parliamentary leader, but since party leaders of government parties normally sit as ministers, governing parties elect other representatives as their parliamentary leaders.
Current party representation after the election in 2015:
HM Government (134)
- Green Party (24)
HM Most Loyal Opposition (118)
Other Opposition (73)