Important issues are almost always dealt with in plenary sittings, for instance general (political or financial) considerations, debates about important topical issues and the deliberations on bills and budgets. Final decision-making also takes place in plenary sittings, e.g. voting on bills, amendments and motions.
Arrangement of business
The House of Representatives follows an agenda that is drawn up several times a week during the so-called “arrangement of business”. Apart from the plenary sittings, a large number of committee meetings are also held. The meetings of the House of Representatives are almost always public. All public meetings are recorded.
Specialist issues are dealt with in standing committees. MPs who specialize in the subject concerned discuss the Government’s policy in this field with a Minister or State Secretary in a committee meeting.
The assembly of all the 150 members of the House of Representatives together is called the Plenary meeting or sitting. Plenary meetings are held in the Plenary Meeting Hall.
During meetings, MPs enter into debate with a Minister or State Secretary or with each other. Debates are held according to an established pattern.
After the debate has been closed, the House of Representatives will take a decision by voting. There are three methods of voting, namely by show of hands (by political group), by roll-call or by secret ballot.