Who could change the law?
The federal government: drafts, assessment procedures, government submissions
Most of the designs
The majority of the draft bills and passed bills come from the federal government. It would like to implement its program and has experts in the ministries with the specialist knowledge for drafting laws. Many regulatory projects require that one is very familiar with a - often very narrow - subject area and can foresee problems and effects in detail.
Politicians have ideas, experts implement them
It is the job of politicians to develop ideas and make decisions. The drafting and the details of a law are mostly a matter for experts.
A draft is sent out, opinions are obtained
First, the responsible ministry prepares a so-called ministerial draft. This is sent to public institutions, expert groups and organizations for assessment and published on this website. There, all other interested parties (individuals, associations, companies, etc.) can submit their comments on the draft and express criticism in the extended assessment process. Citizens' opinions will also be published on the Internet with their consent. A separate invitation is not required for this. In addition, comments that have already been received can be supported.
The draft goes to the National Council as a government bill
The ministry can then change the draft, but does not have to do so. If the draft is approved by the federal government, it will be submitted to the National Council as a government bill (Art. 41 B-VG, § 21 Abs. 1 GOG-NR). The current government bills are also published on Parliament's website.
Motions from MPs
Rare: five MPs, one motion
Five MPs can jointly submit a written legislative proposal at a session of the National Council (Art. 41 B-VG, § 26 GOG-NR). This is known as an "independent application" or an "initiative application". Independent applications are much less common than government proposals.
Sometimes the governing parties also submit such applications when it is necessary to implement a legislative proposal very quickly - i.e. without the time-consuming review process.
Often: Motion (for a resolution) to the government
Resolutions very often demand that the federal government draw up a draft law. This happens when special expert knowledge is important for the specific design. In such motions for a resolution, the MPs only lay down the cornerstones of the required law.
Motions from committees of the National Council
Committees: Independent application
National Council committees also have the right to submit an independent application. However, you cannot introduce independent legislative proposals as you please, only if the content of the legislative proposal is related to another subject that is already being discussed in the committee (Section 27 GOG-NR).
Bills proposed by the Federal Council
Normally, the Federal Council advises on changes to the law if the National Council has already decided on them. The Federal Council can also take the initiative itself. One third of the members of the Federal Council or the Federal Council with a majority decision can submit legislative proposals (Art. 41 B-VG, § 21 Abs. 1 GOG-NR).
These are sent directly from the President of the Federal Council to the President of the National Council for further processing.
Bills from citizens: the referendum
The voice of the people
Citizens also have the opportunity to initiate a legislative procedure through a referendum. A referendum must relate to a matter that is to be regulated by federal law.
Describe exactly what you want
A referendum can contain a specific legal text. However, it is also sufficient if the request is precisely described (Art. 41, Paragraph 2 B-VG and Section 69 Paragraph 2 GOG-NR).
If a referendum has been signed by at least 100,000 eligible voters or by one sixth of the eligible voters from three federal states, it must be submitted to the National Council for consideration. Those interested can find out about current referendums on Parliament's website.
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