x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Council taking more active role

The FNC, created in 1972, plays an advisory and legislative role, debating and proposing changes to draft laws, as well as questioning public officials.

ABU DHABI // From drawing attention to key issues, such as protecting local fish stocks, to voting to ban the storage of frozen human embryos, the Federal National Council has become increasingly vocal. The FNC, created in 1972, plays an advisory and legislative role, debating and proposing changes to draft laws, as well as questioning public officials. But, particularly since the 2006 election of half its members, the council has become increasingly active and outspoken. In a landmark step towards greater public participation, this month the council posted on its website a draft law to regulate the Marriage Fund.

The aim was for members of the public to suggest changes before the debate reached the council floor. "There are some laws that directly affect the citizens, and we want to involve them and know their opinions on the draft laws," Abdul Aziz al Ghurair, the FNC's Speaker, said at the time. The council is comprised of 40 members, from all seven emirates. Before the first elections were held in 2006, all members were appointed by the rulers of each emirate.