Vocabulary

AMENDMENT
It is a proposal to modify a law being discussed in a Committee or a Plenary Sitting. There are two types of amendments: full, which discusses the opportunity of the text as whole; and partial or article amendments, which modify specific parts of the text. Amendments must be voted and if approved, their content is added to the text.
COMMITTEE
Workgroup involving Senators specialized on a subject, which discusses, controls the Government and participates in the drafting of laws. This body represents all Parliamentary Groups.
CONGRESS OF DEPUTIES
It is comprised of both the Parliament and the Senate. The Congress of Deputies, also known as Low Chamber, consists of a minimum of 300 and a maximum of 400 Deputies elected through universal suffrage, free, equal, direct and secret. In addition, it participates in the drafting of State laws, approves its budget, controls the Government’s activities, elects the President of the Government and can withdraw its trust.
CORTES GENERALES
Name given to the Spanish Parliament, which consists of the Congress of Deputies and the Senate. The Parliament represents the Spanish citizens, exercises the legislative power of the State, approves its budget and controls the activities of the Government.
GENERAL ELECTIONS
Process used in democratic systems that allows citizens to elect their representatives through a voting process. Persons of 18 years or more can vote and be elected.
GOVERNMENT
Body that drives internal and foreign affairs, the civilian and military administration as well as defence of the State. It exercises the executive function and regulatory power in compliance with the Constitution and the laws. The President of the Government must obtain the trust from the Congress of Deputies. Once it has obtained its trust, it appoints its Vice Presidents and Ministers.
GOVERNMENT CONTROL
The Senate can obtain information from the Government, submit its activities to examination and ask it to follow a given line of action. The most standard way of controlling the Government is through questions raised by the Senators.
LAW
It is the rule par excellence, as its drafting and approval involves the representatives elected by the citizens. The only limit is compliance with the Constitution. The laws are mandatory for all citizens and all authorities.
MANDATE
Period of time or term for which a Senator is elected. Normally four years, although the duration of the mandate may be shortened in the event of an early dissolution.
PARLIAMENT
In Spain it is called “Cortes Generales” (Parliament), which comprises the Congress of Deputies and the Senate. The Parliament represents the Spanish citizens, exercises the legislative power of the State, approves the budget and controls the activities of the Government.
PLENARY SITTING
Formal meeting for which all Senators have been convened.
PLENARY SITTING HALL
The room in which the Plenary Sittings of the Senate take place and where each Senator occupies a seat. It has the shape of a semi-circle. The blue bench is located on the first row, which is where the members of the Government seat.
SENATE
It is part of Parliament, together with the Congress of Deputies. The Senate is also known as the High Chamber or the House of the territorial representation. Similarly to the Congress of Deputies, it exercises functions assigned in the Constitution to Parliament: It participates in the drafting of State laws, approves the budget and controls the activities of the Government.
SENATOR
Person member of the Senate. The Senate has two types of members with the same rights and prerogatives: Senators elected directly by citizens through a majority system and Senators appointed by the Parliaments of the Self-governing Communities. All of them, regardless of how they were elected, represent the entire Spanish Nation.
SPEAKER OF THE SENATE
The Speaker is the highest authority of the Senate, which it represents, ensures the progress of work, manages and maintains order during discussions and applies parliamentary discipline measures. He is elected during the opening session of the Chamber through the favourable vote of the absolute majority of its members.
VOTING PROCESS
Expression of the will or preference with regards to an option. During the voting process, citizens elect their representatives from the various candidates available. On voting, Senators express their opinion and contribute to the adoption of decisions. There are many different types of voting processes (by ballot, raising hand, electronic…), many different things can be expressed (in favour or against of an initiative, abstention, elect a candidate for a function...) and may require diverse majorities to adopt decisions (simple majority, absolute majority, reinforced majority...)