"2020 was a relatively sleepless year"

By Pascal SteinwachsEric Engel Switch to German for original article

If the parliament is the heart of democracy, then the parliamentary administration is something like the engine room of the legislature. Here, all the cogs have to mesh, otherwise the legislative power will grind to a halt. We visited the chief machinist Laurent Scheeck.

Chamber TV can be really exciting, for example the State of the Union and the skirmishes between the majority and the opposition, where the MPs can really let off steam. However, the regular Chamber TV viewer may also have noticed that during the public parliamentary sessions, there are two other people sitting to the left and right of the Speaker of the Chamber all the time, but they do not speak at any moment, at least not for all to hear.

These are not elected politicians, but the highest-ranking officials of the Chamber of Deputies: to the left of the President in the plenary hall (from the perspective of the spectators) sits the Secretary General (Laurent Scheeck), to the right of the first citizen of the country sits the Assistant Secretary General (Isabelle Barra), although the Chamber of Deputies also has another Assistant Secretary General, Benoît Reiter, only that he is not visible during the public sessions.

Generally, the officials, and this also applies to the Secretary General, behave very discreetly and tend to act in the background. An exception is the New Year's reception of the Chamber of Deputies, where the Secretary General traditionally gives a speech.

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