UAE's Federal National Council celebrates its Golden Jubilee

FNC is a valuable way for the views of citizens to be heard

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The Federal National Council on Saturday celebrated its Golden Jubilee.

Over the past 50 years, the parliamentary body of the UAE has sought to increase citizen's participation in decision-making processes of the UAE and boost loyalty, belonging and national cohesion, said state news agency Wam.

The Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed, convened the first session of the FNC in 1972. The rulers of each emirate and Cabinet members also attended. Council members were at first appointed, but by 2006, members joined the FNC by a combination of election and appointment.

The council proved a main forum to convey the concerns of citizens on issues from roads to jobs. In February, for example, the country's education minister was urged to boost the salaries of Emirati academics or risk losing them to the private sector.

The 40-member FNC also acts as a conduit to question ministers and seek explanations. The public can engage with the FNC through elections.

The number of seats assigned to each emirate is proportionate to its population, while women must make up 50 per cent of the FNC's seats.

The record of the council is there for all to see: 17 legislative chapters and 640 sessions, during which 630 drafts law and seven constitutional amendments were approved.

Members also discussed 335 general topics, asked 975 questions, and signed 47 memorandums of co-operation with regional and international parliaments.

The 40-member FNC also modernised the legislative environment and served as a model of balance, moderation and wisdom, and a key factor in achieving stability, peace and security at the regional and global levels, Wam reported.

The FNC's 17th legislative chapter began on November 14, 2019. Over the course of 31 sessions so far, it has approved 32 bills, discussed seven general topics, directed 94 questions and reviewed 115 international treaties and agreements.

Updated: February 15, 2022, 5:48 AM