A “parliamentary session” is defined as the period over which parliament meets to debate. The National Council and the Council of States meet regularly for ordinary sessions. Four ordinary sessions, each lasting three weeks, take place every year. An additional “special” session may be held if the volume of business cannot be dealt with in the ordinary sessions. Each Council may decide independently whether it needs to hold a special session. In addition, one-quarter of the members of either Council or the Federal Council may request that a special parliamentary session be convened.
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