Chapter VII. The National Council
The National Council comprises twenty-four members, elected for five years by direct universal suffrage and by the list system under the conditions prescribed by law.
In accordance with the conditions determined by law, electors are Monegasque citizens of either gender, at least eighteen years old, with the exception of those deprived of the right to vote for any of the causes set forth by law.
All Monegasque electors of either gender, aged at least twenty-five, who have held the Monegasque nationality for at least five years, and who are not deprived of the right to stand for election for any of the causes set forth by law, are eligible.
Law determines which offices are incompatible with the National Councillor’s mandate.
Courts of justice are entrusted with the control of the elections’ legitimacy, under the conditions prescribed by law.
The National Council’s members are not liable to any civil or criminal responsibility on the grounds of opinion or votes they express during the exercise of their mandates.
Without the National Council’s authorisation, they may neither be prosecuted nor arrested during a session due to a criminal or police infringement, save in the case of flagrant offence.
The newly elected National Council meets on the eleventh day after elections in order to elect its board. The oldest National Council to chairs this session.
Without prejudice to article 74, the prior National Council’s powers expire on the day of the new National Council’s meeting.
The National Council meets ipso jure in two annual ordinary sessions.
The first session opens on the first working day of April.
The second session opens on the first working day of October.
Each session may not last longer than three months. The session’s closure is declared by the President.
The National Council meets in extraordinary session, convened either by the Prince or on the request of at least two thirds of the members, by the President.
The National Council’s board comprises a president and a vice-president, who are elected each year by the assembly from among its members.
A mayor’s office is incompatible with that of the National Council’s President and vice-president.
Without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution and if need be the law, the organisation and operations of the National Council are determined by the rule of procedure which the National Council issued.
Before being enforced these rules of procedure must be submitted to the Supreme Court, which decides on its compliance with the Constitution and if need be, with law.
The national Council sets its agenda. It is notified to the Minister of State at least three days beforehand. On the request of the Government, at least one of the two sessions must be devoted to debating the bills introduced by the Prince.
However the agenda of extraordinary sessions convened by the Prince is set in the convocation.
The National Council’s meetings are public.
However the National Council may decide with a majority of two thirds of the attending members, to sit in private session.
The minutes of the public meetings are published in “Le Journal de Monaco”.
The Prince communicates with the National Council through messages read by the Minister of State.
The Minister of State and Government Councillors have reserved entrances and seats at the National Council’s meetings.
They must have the floor when they request so.
The instigation of law implies the agreement of wills of both the Prince and the National Council.
The Prince alone may initiate law.
Deliberating and voting on bills are the National Council’s responsibility.
It falls to the Prince to sanction laws, which confers them a binding power through promulgation.
The Prince signs bills. These bills are introduced to Him via the Government Council and with the Minister of State’s signature. After the Prince’s endorsement, the Minister of State introduces them to the National Council.
The National Council can formulate bill proposals. Within a period of six months starting from the date the Minister of State received the draft legislation, he notifies the following to the National Council:
- Either his decision to turn the proposal into a bill, amended as the case may be, which shall follow the procedure provided for in paragraph 1. In this case, the bill is introduced within a period of one year starting from the expiration of the six months period mentioned above
- Or his decision to interrupt the legislative procedure. This decision is explained with a declaration placed on the agenda of an ordinary session public meeting anticipated within the period. This declaration can be followed by a debate
After expiration of the six months period mentioned above, if the Government has not notified the outcome intended for this bill proposal, the latter according to the procedure prescribed for in paragraph 1. becomes ipso jure a bill.
The same procedure is applicable if the Government did not introduce the bill within the one year period provided for in paragraph 2 a).
The National Council has the right of amendment. As such, it can propose inclusions, substitutions or withdrawals in the bill. Amendments alone that have a direct link with the bill provisions relevant to the bill are admitted. The vote takes place on the amended bill, as the case may be unless the Government withdraws the bill before the final vote.
However, the provisions of the precedent paragraph are not applicable for ratification bills or budget bills.
At the beginning of each ordinary session, in public meeting, the National Council announces the update of all bills introduced by the Government whenever they were introduced.
The Prince issues, when necessary, ordinances to ensure the enforcement of laws and the implementation of international treaties or conventions.
Laws and sovereign ordinances are enforceable against third parties only from the day after their publication in the “Journal of Monaco”.
The National Council votes on the budget.
No direct or indirect taxation may be introduced but through a law.
Any treaty or international agreement entailing such taxation may only be ratified by a law.
Budget bills are introduced to the National Council before September 30th.
Budget bills are voted upon during the National Council October session.
Budget is voted upon chapter by chapter. Transfers from one chapter to another are forbidden unless authorised by law.
The Budget comprises among others, within expenditure items, sums made available to the Communal Council for the budgetary year to come, as provided for in article 87.
In case the appropriation of funds requested by the Government as provided for in article 71 has not taken place before December 31st, funds relevant to services voted upon may be opened by sovereign ordinance with the National Council’s agreement.
The same prevails for income and expenses resulting from international treaties.
The Prince may, after having taken the advice of the Crown Council pronounce the dissolution of the National Council. If this occurs, new elections take place within a period of three months.