The Ministry of State for Federal National Council (FNC) Affairs was established by Federal Decree No. 10 of 2006. Issued on February 11, 2006, the decree provided for the formation of the Council of Ministers, including, for the first time, a Minister dedicated to tending to the affairs of the Federal National Council. The new position was created after the UAE’s leadership voiced its desire to find more effective communication and coordination channels between the FNC and the Government.
- Coordinating between the Government and the Federal National Council with regards to the Council’s jurisdiction.
- Participating in the drafting of legislation pertaining to the role of the Federal National Council.
- Supervising media affairs and coverage of parliamentary life.
- All other functions vested in the Ministry of FNC Affairs by virtue of laws, regulations and decisions of the Council of Ministers.
Strengthening the relationship between the Government and the Federal National Council and promoting political participation.
We have a unique and innovative approach to developing cooperation between the executive and legislative authorities in the UAE, and to promoting political participation, all in an effort to spread happiness among the people of the UAE.
- Foster a more efficient and effective cooperation and coordination between the Government and the Federal National Council.
- Promote political participation among citizens.
- Provide administrative services that meet the highest standards of quality, efficiency and transparency.
- Establish a culture of innovation in the workplace.
As per Article 93 of the Constitution, the Government shall be represented at the meetings of the Federal National Council by the Prime Minister, one of his deputies, or a member of the Council of Ministers.
The Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs has been the official representative of the Government at the FNC’s meetings since the creation of the post in 2006. The Minister of State shall therefore represent the Government at all FNC sessions, along with other Government representatives whose agendas includes matters pertaining to the Federal Authority.
The Minister of State for FNC Affairs is also the relevant authority in the event of an FNC discussion regarding federal bodies that do not have a minister at the helm.
- Representing the Government in the sessions of the Federal National Council. The Minister is the relevant authority in the event of an FNC discussion regarding federal bodies that do not have a minister at the helm.
- Coordinating between the Government and the Federal National Council with regards to the Federal National Council’s responsibilities.
- Participating in the drafting of legislation pertaining to the role of the Federal National Council.
- Organising and monitoring media affairs with regards to parliamentary life.
- Heading the UAE National Election Commission.
His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, launched the Political Empowerment Programme to mark the UAE’s 34th National Day in 2005. The programme aims to establish a supportive environment that encourages political participation among UAE citizens. The Programme also empowers the FNC to fulfil its role as a support unit for the executive authority, while remaining close to the people and their issue.
The UAE is steadily, gradually and carefully moving forward with political development, in a way that is tailored to the characteristics of Emirati society. The programme’s end goal is to establish a political culture in the UAE and strengthen patriotism and belonging among the people.
Speaking on the occasion of the 41st UAE National Day, H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, stressed: “True political development is inspired by the values of the people and reflects their heritage and traditions. The UAE’s political model upholds our national identity, protects our values and engages all individuals and institution across the country.”
- H.H. the President’s speech on National Day 34 regarding the programme meant to empower and strengthen the role of the Federal National Council.
- Decision of the Federal Supreme Council No. (3) for 2005 to consider H.H.’s speech as a national action plan.
- Creation of a Ministry dedicated to the affairs of the Federal National Council.
- Decision of the Federal Supreme Council No. (4) for 2006 regarding the method of selecting the representatives of the emirates in the Federal National Council.
- H.H. the President’s Decision No. (3) for 2006 regarding the method of selecting the representatives of the Emirates in the Federal National Council.
- First Federal National Council elections.
- The first female member of the FNC was elected, and 8 other women were appointed by the rulers of the emirates. Women held nine seats in the FNC, making up 22.5% of the Council – one of the highest rates in the world.
- Constitutional Amendment No. (1) of 2009, which extended FNC terms to four (4) calendar years, while the Council’s meeting cycles were extended to seven (7) months. The Amendment also gave the Council control over setting its internal list and then issuing it (under a decision from H.H. the President). The FNC was also given an advisory role over international conventions and treaties that are referred to it by H.H. the President.
- Decision of the Federal Supreme Council No. (1) of 2011 amending certain provisions of Federal Supreme Council Resolution No. (4) of 2006 regarding the method of selecting the representatives of the emirates to the Federal National Council.
- H.H. the President’s Decision No. (2) of 2011 to amend H.H. the President’s Decision No. (3) of 2006 regarding the method of selecting representatives to the Federal National Council: the new Decision calls for increasing the number of members in the electoral colleges.
- The second Federal National Council elections.
- Third Federal National Council elections.
- A significant increase in the number of members in the electoral colleges.
- First female Speaker of Parliament in the Arab world.
The legislative process in the UAE legal system goes through several stages, starting with a proposal from the Council of Ministers to draft federal laws, which are then transferred to the Federal National Council for discussion. After deliberations in the FNC, the draft laws are shall be submitted to H.H. the President who brings it to the Supreme Council for ratification.
The Ministry of State for the Federal National Council Affairs plays various roles during the federal legislation process, depending on the stage of the bill:
- Receiving draft law from the government and transferring it to the Federal National Council.
- Coordinating with the competent Minister to ensure his/her attendance at the session to discuss the draft law.
- Receiving draft law after discussion at the Federal National Council.
- Sending the original draft law accompanied by amendments made by the Council to the competent Minister to include his remarks and observations on the amendments to the draft law.
- Preparing a memorandum addressed to the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, accompanied by the original draft law and the amendments made by the Federal National Council and the comments of the concerned Minister.
As it works to coordinate between the Government and the Federal National Council on general subjects, the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs plays a dual role depending on the stage the general theme is in. This role is divided into two sub-sections:
A. The Ministry’s role before the FNC discusses the subject:
At the request of at least five of its members, the Ministry shall, at this stage, receive the request of the Federal National Council to discuss a general subject related to the affairs of the Union within its competences. The Ministry then communicates with the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future to have the subject presented to the Council of Ministers for deliberations.
Once the Council of Ministers reaches a decision, the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs informs the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs of said decision – be it approval or rejection. The Ministry then relays that decision to the FNC.
B. The Ministry’s role after the FNC discusses the subject:
The Federal National Council issues its recommendations after discussing the subject. These recommendations shall be referred to the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs, which refers them to the competent Minister for comments and views. The subject is then submitted to the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs, and following that, to the Council of Ministers.
Upon the decision of the Council of Ministers regarding the recommendations, the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs informs the FNC of the Cabinet’s decision.
- The Federal National Council sends the question to the competent Minister, accompanied by the date that the Council would be expecting the answer, and notifies the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs.
- The Ministry contacts the office of the competent Minister to verify the arrival of the question and to determine the manner of responding to the question.
- If the Minister chooses to respond in writing, his/her office sends a written response to the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs, which keeps a record of it and forwards it to the Federal National Council.
- If the competent Minister chooses to answer in person, the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs coordinates with the Minister’s office on a date for the Minister to attend an FNC meeting.
- The Federal National Council confirms the date of the session where the question will be on the agenda and report back to the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs.
- The FNC Speaker may request that the Prime Minister or competent Ministers submit statements and clarifications regarding complaints received by the Federal National Council. The recipient of the complaint has twenty-one days to offer clarifications.
- The Federal National Council sends a copy of the complaints along with a summary, in addition to all required information, to the concerned Ministry – provided that a copy thereof shall be sent to the Ministry of State for National Council Affairs to follow up the matter.
- If the Ministry fails to meet the deadline, the Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs follows up and expedites the response.
- The FNC Speaker refers the complaints to the Complaints Committee with the responses received from the concerned ministries.
- The Committee examines the complaints and then the FNC Speaker notifies the applicant of the outcome.
Any committee of the Federal National Council may request – through the FNC Speaker or the Secretary General – from the ministries, departments, public institutions and authorities, the data and documents it deems necessary to study the subject at hand.
The Federal National Council communicates with the concerned Ministry to provide data and information related to the subject. If the concerned ministry does not return an answer within the specified time period, the FNC sends a copy of the request for information to the Ministry of State for FNC Affairs. The Ministry of State for FNC Affairs addresses the concerned Ministry to expedite the process.
Promoting political participation is one of the Ministry’s strategic objectives, for which it communicates and interacts with as many members of society as possible. This approach reflects the Ministry’s commitment to spreading political awareness among all sectors of society and to build a national collective awareness. The Ministry also works to introduce and advocate for the Political Empowerment Programme, launched by H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2005.
In order to achieve all these objectives, the Ministry of State for FNC Affairs is constantly launching innovative initiatives and organising periodic activities and events to promote political awareness among community members, using all channels of effective communication available to it. The ministry also works to highlight the constant coordination and cooperation between the government and the Federal National Council in the interest of the country and the citizen, and focus on political awareness and the importance of the FNC’s role of the Federal National Council and the achievements achieved in the legislative and regulatory aspects and the service of public issues.
Political participation is unique in every society and there is no ready-made template that can be applied across the board. The best approach is determined by its compatibility with each society, its history, culture, culture, economy, geography, social and legal characteristics, etc.
- The successful organisation of the FNC elections in 2006, 2011 and 2015.
- Issuing the first set of executive instructions in the history of the UAE to regulate the FNC elections in 2006, and developing them in 2011 and 2015.
- The organisation of the first forum for government bodies tasked with coordinating between cabinets and parliaments in the Arab world in 2010.
- The Ministry won the Emirates Award for Excellence in Government Performance in the Joint Working Group category in 2012.
- The Ministry has obtained ISO 9001: 2008 certification, Global Environment Management System (2004ISO 14001) and Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSAS 18001: 2007).
- The Ministry has signed a number of agreements with institutions and entities related to the work of the Ministry (Kingdom of Bahrain, Republic of Algeria, Ministry of Education, Watani Foundation, United Arab Emirates University, General Women's Union, Dubai Judicial Institute, Higher Colleges of Technology, Federal National Council).
- Organizing the Annual Forum to Build Political Awareness for University Students 2013, 2015, 2014, 2016
- In 2014, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs competed for first place with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Sheikh Khalifa Government Excellence Program – category: the most improved.
- The Ministry has prepared the first comprehensive periodic report on Human Rights in 2008, presented to the Human Rights Council in Geneva.