The German Bundestag is the national Parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany. Its seat is the Reichstag Building in Berlin. In the current electoral term, Parliament is composed of 620 Members. This is the 17th electoral term since the establishment of the Federal Republic in 1949.
The President of the German Bundestag holds the second highest office of state in Germany, after the Federal President. Professor Norbert Lammert has held the position of President of the Bundestag since 2005. He is a member of the largest parliamentary group, the CDU/CSU.
In addition to the election of the Federal Chancellor, the Bundestag’s most important functions are preparing and adopting legislation and scrutinising the work of the government. Each year, the Members of the Bundestag also discuss and adopt the federal budget.
In plenary sittings, Parliament deliberates and votes on laws and motions which fall within the competence of the Federation. The Bundestag currently has 22 permanent committees. In addition, it can take the decision to establish committees of inquiry or special committees.
In exercising oversight over the Federal Government, Members have the right to request detailed information from it via written and oral questions. But special bodies such as committees of inquiry also serve to ensure scrutiny of the government.
The Bundestag is elected for four years. The CDU/CSU is the largest parliamentary group with 239 seats, followed by the SPD with 146 Members, the FDP with 93 Members, the Left Party (76 Members) and the Alliance 90/The Greens parliamentary group (68 Members).