In addition, the Permanent Advisory Council plays an important role by providing information and ensuring coordination, as well as maintaining close contacts between the Bundesrat, the Bundestag and the Federal Government. At the request of the parliament or the Federal Government, the Permanent Advisory Council can, for example, decide on fast-track deliberations on draft legislation within the framework of the amicable working relationship between the constitutional bodies.
The Permanent Advisory Council holds regular weekly meetings. It generally meets a few hours after the Federal Cabinet’s meeting. A representative of the Federal Government – usually the Secretary of State to the Federal Chancellor – attends the meetings and informs the Permanent Advisory Council about the Federal Government’s deliberations and decisions. On the other hand, through this representative the Federal Government also has an opportunity to ascertain the Bundesrat’s views on legislative issues at an early stage in the process and can seek to garner support for its own objectives and projects.
The Envoys of the Federal States
The envoys are at the helm of their federal state’s representative office to the Federation, and are generally equal in rank to a minister or state secretary. Each could in a sense be described as the ambassador of his or her federal state to the Federation.