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. The spring session takes place in March, the summer session in June, the autumn session in September and the winter session in November/December.

An additional special session may be held if the volume of business cannot be dealt with during 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.

Schedule of sessions 2018

SessionDate
Spring session26 February–16 March 2018
Summer session28 May–15 June 2018
Autumn session10–28 September 2018
Winter session26 November–14 December 2018

Sittings of the chambers

The National Council normally sits

DayTime
Monday14h30 – 19h00
Tuesday*08h00 – 13h00
Wednesday08h00 – 13h00
Wednesday afternoon15h00 – 19h00
Thursday08h00 – 13h00
Thursday afternoon (final week)15h00 – 19h00
Friday (final week)08h00 – 11h00

 * Tuesday afternoons are reserved for meetings of the parliamentary groups.

The Council of States normally sits

DayTime
Monday (1st week)16h15 – 20h00
Monday (2nd and 3rd week)15h15 – 20h00
Tuesday*08h15 – 13h00
Wednesday08h15 – 13h00
Wednesday afternoon15h00 – 19h00
Thursday08h15 – 13h00
Thursday afternoon (final week)15h00 – 19h00
Friday (final week)08h15 – 08h30

* Tuesday afternoons are reserved for meetings of the parliamentary groups.

Night sittings (open end) are held when the volume and urgency of business demands it.