The Info List - Løgting

Government (16)   Social Democratic Party : 7 seats   Republic : 7 seats   Progress : 2 seats Supported by (1)   Independent: 1 seat Opposition (16)   Centre Party : 2 seats   New Self-Government : 2 seats   Union Party : 6 seats   People's Party : 6 seats


Last election

1 September 2015

Next election

By 1 September 2019

Meeting place




house in Thorshavn, built in 1856.

house in the 1950s. The building in the background was from the Faroese telecom and belongs now to the Løgting
as administration offices.

hall about 1900.

(pronounced [ˈlœktɪŋɡ] (Faroese: Føroya Løgting
or just Løgtingið, Danish: Færøernes Lagting/Lagtinget, both meaning The løgting of the Faroes) is the unicameral parliament of the Faroe Islands, a self-ruling dependency of Denmark. The name literally means "Law Thing"—that is, a law assembly—and derives from Old Norse
Old Norse
lǫgþing, which was a name given to ancient assemblies. A ting or þing has existed on the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
for over a millennium and the Løgting
was the highest authority on the islands in the Viking era. From 1274 to 1816 it functioned primarily as a judicial body, whereas the modern Løgting
established in 1852 is a parliamentary assembly, which gained legislative power when home rule was introduced in 1948. The Manx Tynwald
and the Icelandic Alþing
are the two other modern parliaments with ties back to the old Norse assemblies of Europe. Today, the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
compromise one constituency, and the number of MPs is fixed at 33. The first election with this new system was held on 19 January 2008, after the Election law was changed in late 2007, prior to which the membership of the Løgting
varied from 27 to 32. The 7 constituencies had 27 seats and up to 5 supplementary seats. That Election Act came into force in 1978, and the eight general elections between 1978 and 2004 all resulted in 32 members. The Løgting
is elected for a period of four years. Election of the Løgting
can take place before the end of an election period if the Løgting
agrees on dissolving itself. The Løgmaður
(Prime Minister) issues a proclamation of the forthcoming election and appoints the day of election, which must take place, at the earliest, six weeks after the proclamation.


1 History

1.1 The Viking Age 1.2 Norwegian Rule 1.3 Danish Rule 1.4 World War II 1.5 Self-Government

2 Authority 3 Committees 4 Election results since 1906

4.1 Latest results

5 The Session of the Løgting 6 Historical documentation over the centuries 7 Members 8 See also 9 Literature 10 Notes 11 External links

History[edit] The Viking Age[edit] The Faroese ting or assembly was originally a so-called alþing, with both legislative and judicial authority. During this time, there was no executive authority in the country. The Faroese society was a family society (eitt ættarsamfelag), where the families saw to it that the judgments and resolutions of the Løgting
were put into practice. There is some evidence that the Faroes were already colonized as early as 650. The first inhabitants, who were of Celtic descent, were driven out by Norse landnamsmen in about 825. Faroese society in the Viking Age and the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
resembled the other Nordic populations in many ways. This was particularly true when it came to legislation. The most important body of law was the Gulatingslógin, an ancient Norwegian agricultural law which originated in the Gulating
legislative area in Vestlandet in Norway. Originally, this law was preserved through oral tradition, but it was written down about the year 1100. The Faroese ting is mentioned, for the first time in the Færeyinga saga, as "the assembly", where the chieftains Sigmundur Brestisson
Sigmundur Brestisson
and Tróndur í Gøtu met. In 999, Sigmundur introduced Christianity
at the ting, which was located on Tinganes, a peninsula, which is now the old part of Tórshavn, the capital of the Faroes. In the Viking Age
Viking Age
it was a tradition to hold the ting at a neutral and thus uninhabited place, so nobody had an advantage of the location. In fact, there was no settlement at Tinganes
to that time, but it was the most central place of the islands. However, the Faroese ting mentioned in this saga must have been a well introduced institution in the 10th century, for it was held each year and is not described as something new or unusual. Considering this, it is possible that the Faroes were explored earlier than Iceland
and had the same Norse rules. It is possible that the Faroese ting is older than that of Iceland, which was founded in 930. This early Faroese ting was also described as the assembly of the "Faroes' best men" who were a free assembly of the wealthier farmers, and the Faroes constituted a kind of republic with a population of about 4,000 people and 60,000 sheep. The president of the ting was the Løgsøgumaður, who had no voting rights. The Viking Age
Viking Age
in the Faroes ended in 1035 when Tróndur í Gøtu died and Leivur Øssursson (the son-in-law of Sigmundur Brestisson) became liege lord under king Magnus I of Norway. Yet, the Faroes remained a kind of self-governing society for the next 150 years. Norwegian Rule[edit]

Seyðabrævið, the " Sheep
Letter" is the oldest document of the Faroes, written in Old Norse
Old Norse
and valid over many centuries.

The status of the Faroes changed under king Magnus VI of Norway, who introduced the Norwegian Landslog (Land's Law) in 1274. By this time, The Faroese ting had become an assembly of representatives of the 6 local vártings, with only judicial authority. This was called lǫgþing in Old Norse, according to the High Courts of Norway. Its president, the Løgmaður, was the presiding judge, and was, from then on, appointed by the king. Its members were called Løgrættumenn (approximately translating to "jurymen"), appointed by the King's Provost on the Faroes. On June 24, 1298, the Faroes gained its first form of constitution, the Seyðabrævið (" Sheep
Letter", concerning sheep breeding): the earliest such document the islands know today. Around 1380, the Faroes, together with Norway, came under the Danish throne, but the islands preserved their special status as former Norwegian territory. Regardless of these developments, the Løgting preserved a certain influence on the legislature and the administration of the islands until the introduction of the absolute monarchy in 1660 under Frederick III. From that date the influence and authority of the Løgting
had become again reduced, and the institution was finally abolished in 1816. At the same time, the judicial authority of the Løgting
was transferred to other courts, such as the newly inaugurated Court of the Faroes. Danish Rule[edit]

Faroe Islands

This article is part of a series on the politics and government of the Faroe Islands



Act of Succession Freedom of Speech and the Press


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Ministry of the State The Government of the Kingdom of Denmark

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Aksel V. Johannesen

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Høgni Hoydal

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Queen Margrethe II


Løgtingið Parliament
of the Faroe Islands (35th Faroese Parliament)


Páll á Reynatúgvu


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of the Kingdom of Denmark (69th Danish Parliament)


Pia Kjærsgaard



Supreme Court


Poul Søgaard



Political parties Recent elections

Løgting: 2015 2011 2008

Folketing: 2015 2011 2007


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Scandal at Ólavsøka
1930 - the Dannebrog was overhauled and the Merkið
hoisted - at this time the unofficial flag of the Faroes.

When Denmark
received a free, and for that period democratic constitution in 1849, this signalled the end of the special status the Faroes had held within the kingdom of Denmark. This was enacted without consulting the Faroese population. At that time many of them wished to see the Løgting
reinstated, one reason being that they were not satisfied with the situation that the highest Danish government official, called the Amtmaður, was the sole advisory authority on the Faroes on matters of Faroese legislation. Among those who campaigned for political rights of the Faroes was Niels Winther (1822–1892). When the Act of 23 March 1852 was passed it meant that the Faroese Løgting
was to be reconstituted, although not as a legislative assembly, but as an advisory body, an amtsráð. The reconstituted Løgting
held its first assembly on Ólavsøka
in 1852, and thus revived the traditions of the former institution which had been abolished in 1816. Even though at that time the Løgting
had only limited political authority and influence, the institution gradually gained in significance as the representative of the Faroes to the Danish government and parliament (the rigsdag) and as a political forum where politically conscious Faroese islanders could gain experience of politics. The Løgting
became the political platform for the Faroese nationalist movement. One of the chief objectives behind the demand for political home rule which its supporters put forward was that the Løgting
should have legislative powers. In the assembly established in 1852, the Amtmaður, the highest Danish government official, was ex officio the president of the Løgting. However, this rule was amended in 1923, so that the president was from then on elected by the members of the Løgting. Since 1927 the Løgting
protocols are written in Faroese, and in 1935 the Løgting was authorised to levy taxes. World War II[edit] Main article: British occupation of the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
in World War II During World War II, when the Faroes were occupied by the United Kingdom on 12 April 1940 and relations with Denmark
were interrupted, the Løgting
actually functioned as a legislative assembly, and the Faroes had their own government consisting of the Amtmaður Carl Aage Hilbert and ministers appointed by the Løgting. In this period, the Faroese proved able to govern themselves. At the end of the war, the independence movement (mainly under influence of the new Fólkaflokkurin) was so powerful that none of the political parties were willing to return to the pre-war situation where the status of the Faroes had practically been that of a Danish county (Færøernes amt). Self-Government[edit] Long and laborious negotiations followed between the Danish government and the representatives of the Løgting. Finally a public vote was held on 14 September 1946 where the electorate was to choose between a Danish proposition of Home rule and full secession from Denmark. This election is not considered a referendum, as the parliament was not bound to follow the decision of the vote. The result was a marginal majority of 161 votes for secession from Denmark
(48.7% in favour, 47.2% against, 4.1% blank or spoilt). The republican coalition majority in parliament interpreted the results as a resolve by the Faroese people for full Faroese independence from Denmark
and started the process of secession as well as establishing proper governing bodies for an independent Faroese nation. The Government of Denmark
contested the legality of this process, and on 25 September the King of Denmark
signed a document dissolving the Faroese parliament and a new election was held a few months later. This election resulted in a significant majority of 2,000 votes for the parties favoring a union with Denmark, and a new unionist coalition was formed. Based on their growth in votes they chose not to pass the secession, but as a compromise, the Home Rule Act was constituted and came into force on 1 April 1948.[1] As it was then, this election is still today shrouded in controversy, and there exist two popular stances in this discussion. On one hand, some people argue that there was a resolve in favor of independence, as there actually was a factual majority for secession, even if it was a small one. On the other hand, other people argue that the majority was far too small, as there were in fact only 161 more votes for independence, and this side specifically argues that only a qualified majority can be large enough grounds to pass a vote of such social and political consequence. Under the Home Rule Act the Faroese Løgting
is the legislative authority in special Faroese matters, defined as særanliggender, while other areas are administrated by the Danish national authorities as common matters, fællesanliggender. With the passing of a new statute in 1995 parliamentarism was legally adopted, and at the same time the structure and functions of the Løgting
were modernised. A proper Faroese Constitution
is planned and underway. Authority[edit] After Home Rule had come into force the parliamentary work of the Løgting
changed fundamentally. Before Home Rule the Faroese Parliament
had only been a consultative body, whereas now the Faroese Parliament
has legislative power within all the branches taken over from the Danish Parliament
(Det danske Folketing). According to the Home Rule Act the various branches of legislative power are divided into an A-sector and a B-sector.

The several branches within the A-sector can be taken over by the Løgting, if either the Løgting
or the Danish Government
Danish Government
so wish. The branches within the B-sector can only be transferred to the Løgting
if the Faroese Government (Føroya Landsstýri) and the Danish Government
Danish Government
agree on the terms.

Matters regarding defence and foreign policy are outside the scope of Home Rule. The Danish Folketing
has legislative power in all areas except those which have been taken over by the Løgting. The Faroese have two seats in the Danish Folketing. Within the framework of Home Rule the Løgting
provides for constitutional affairs and for the order of business. According to the Faroese Home Rule Act the organization of internal affairs is solely within the province of the Faroese Parliament. An act concerning this matter was passed on 26 July 1994. According to section No. 1. of this act the division of legal power concerning matters taken over by the Home Rule is now shared jointly between the Faroese Parliament
and the Prime Minister, executive power rests with the Government whereas judicial power in such matters rests with the Danish courts. The Parliament
is elected for a period of four years, and the maximum membership is 32 members who are elected in public, secret, and direct elections. The government consists of the Prime Minister (løgmaður) and not fewer than two ministers (landsstýrismenn). The Prime Minister is appointed indirectly by the Parliament. The Chairman of the Parliament
after having had talks with the party leaders submits a proposal for a new Prime Minister, a vote is taken, and if a majority of the members reject the candidate then the proposal is rejected, otherwise the candidate is accepted. The Prime Minister appoints the ministers. Neither the Prime Minister nor a minister may hold their seats if a vote no confidence is put forward and 17 MPs are opposed. The Prime Minister has at any time the power to call an election. The Prime Minister and the ministers are not permitted to hold seats in the Parliament. Committees[edit] The Løgting
has 7 standing committees which in accordance with the order of business of the Faroese Parliament
are elected for the duration of the election period unless the members of the Parliament agree on electing the committees anew. Standing Committees:

The Finance
Committee. As provided by section 44, subsection 2 of the Home Rule Act, the committee grants supplementary approbriation and in addition it makes recommendations to the Faroese Parliament
on matters of finances, economy, taxes, and duties. Committee on Foreign Affairs. As provided by section 54 of the Home Rule Act the committee makes recommendations to the Faroese Government on foreign affairs, trade matters, and defence matters, and in addition recommendations on relations with Denmark. Committee on Fisheries and Industry. Its tasks are to make recommendations to the Parliament
on fisheries matters, shipping matters, matters concerning the fishing industry, industrial matters, matters concerning fish farming, agricultural matters, matters concerning the environment, matters concerning communication and transport, matters concerning energy and oil industry, trade matters and furthermore matters concerning commercial companies and registration matters etc. The Welfare Committee. Its tasks are to make recommendations to the Parliament
on social matters, matters concerning the labour market, and matters concerning housing. Committee on Judicial Affairs. Its tasks are to make recommendations to the Parliament
on judicial and municipal matters. Committee on Governmental Affairs. As provided by section 38 of the Home Rule Act the committee‘s task is to have judicial supervision with the Prime Minister and the ministers and to see to it that they observe the rules of law. The committee has authority to summon the Prime Minister or ministers to explain in detail items concerning any political question.

Election results since 1906[edit] In 1906, the first political parties in the Faroes were founded: Union Party and Self-Government Party. While the Self-Government Party hasn't played a major role since the Second World War, the Union Party is still among the four big parties, of which each has about 20%: the Social Democratic Party, the People's Party, and Republic. A coalition between all those parties are possible, apart from the Union Party and Republic. The Faroese political scene is not only defined by left and right, but also in the question of the union within the Kingdom of Denmark. Republic
stands for the most radical concept of full independence and establishing (or better: re-establishing, see above) a republic of the Faroes. They are leftists and compared with socialist parties in other countries. The People's Party is conservative, but also pro-independence. On the other side are the Social Democratic Party - leftists but more moderate and observant in the question of independence. If the majority of the Faroese decides to become an independent state, the Social Democrats will support it, if not, they respect the status quo. The Union Party is the radical counterpart of Republic. They are pro-Denmark, pro-monarchy, and pro-business, thus classified as liberal. However, the present government is a coalition under the Social Democrats together with the Union Party and the People's Party, with Republic
as the main opposition. At the elections each party has a certain letter, which is also used on posters for the campaigns. For example, the People's Party can be represented by XA, which means "make your cross at letter A".

A People's Party F Progress K Crossbench / Funny Party

B Union Party G is L Progress Party (1988), Students' Party (2008)

C Social Democratic Party H Centre Party / Workers' Union (1994 and 1998) M Freedom Union

D Self-Government Party I Business Party N Social Separatist Party

E Republic J Separatist Party O Faroese Party

Date A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O

18 July 1906



2 February 1908



12 February 1910




2 February 1912




2 February 1914



28 February 1916




24 April 1918



10 November 1920



22 January 1924




23 January 1928

46.1 10.6 42.3


19 January 1932

50.1 10.5 37.3

0.2 1.8

28 January 1936

33.7 24.0 34.2


30 January 1940 24.7 32.3 23.9 16.2

1.6 1.3

24 August 1943 41.5 28.3 19.9 10.4

6 November 1945 43.4 24.4 22.8 9.4

8 November 1946 40.9 28.7 28.1


8 November 1950 32.3 27.3 22.4 8.2 9.8

8 November 1954 20.9 26.0 19.8 7.1 23.8


8 November 1958 17.8 23.7 25.8 5.9 23.9 2.9

8 November 1962 20.2 20.3 27.5 5.9 21.6 4.4

8 November 1966 21.6 23.7 27.0 4.9 20.0 2.8

7 November 1970 20.0 21.7 27.2 5.6 21.9 3.5

7 November 1974 20.5 19.1 25.8 7.2 22.5 2.5


7 November 1978 17.9 26.3 22.3 7.2 20.3 6.1

8 November 1980 18.9 23.9 21.7 8.4 19.0 8.2

8 November 1984 21.6 21.2 23.4 8.5 19.5 5.8

8 November 1988 23.2 21.2 21.6 7.1 19.2 5.2

0.0 2.1

17 November 1990 21.9 18.9 27.5 8.8 14.7 5.9


7 July 1994 16.0 23.4 15.3 5.6 13.7 6.3

5.8 9.5



30 April 1998 21.3 18.1 21.9 7.6 23.8 2.5

4.1 0.8

30 April 2002 20.8 26.0 20.9 4.4 23.7


20 January 2004 20.6 23.7 21.8 4.6 21.7



19 January 2008 20.1 21.0 19.3 7.2 23.3



29 October 2011 22.5 24.7 17.8 4.2 18.3 6.3


1 September 2015 18.9 18.7 25.1 4.1 20.7 7.0


Date A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O

Latest results[edit]

Four roughly-equally sized parties dominate the Løgting: one separatist party and one unionist party on each of the left and right wings.

e • d Summary of the 1 September 2015 Løgting election results

Parties Votes +/− % +/− Seats +/−

Social Democratic Party (Javnaðarflokkurin) 8,093 +2,665 25.1 +7.3 8 +2

(Tjóðveldi) 6,691 +1,102 20.7 +2.5 7 +1

People's Party (Fólkaflokkurin) 6,102 -781 18.9 -3.6 6 -2

Union Party (Sambandsflokkurin) 6,046 -1,500 18.7 -5.9 6 -2

Progress (Framsókn) 2,241 +308 7.0 +0.7 2 ±0

Centre Party (Miðflokkurin) 1,779 −104 5.5 −0.7 2 ±0

New Self-Government
New Self-Government
(Nýtt Sjálvstýri) 1,305 +15 4.1 −0.2 2 +1

Totals (electorate: 36,458; turnout 88.8% ) 32,374 +1,822

Source: KVF (turnout includes 'void' votes; the 117 void votes, 76 were blank and 41 invalid.)

The Session of the Løgting[edit]

The skrúðgonga is the annual procession of the officials from the Løgting's house to the Cathedral and back.

The first meeting of the Løgting
is on Saint Olaf’s Day (ólavsøka). On 29 July the members of the Løgting, the ministers (landsstýrismenn), the High Commissioner of Denmark (ríkisumboðsmaður), and high officials walk in procession (skrúðgonga) from the Parliament
building to the Cathedral (Havnar kirkja). After the service the procession returns to Parliament
House, and the Løgting
is opened. At the first meeting the Prime Minister (Løgmaður) delivers his Saint Olaf’s Day address, in which he gives a general description of the state of the nation. The Løgting
has one major parliamentary debate concerning the state of the nation. The debate is about Løgmaður’s Saint Olaf’s Address, and the budget. As a rule the Løgting
debates between 100 and 150 various items in one session. This Ólavsøka
tradition is very old and dates back to the time of the Norwegian rule. In these former times was the Løgting
only held one time the year starting with Ólavsøka
and sitting 8 days from 6 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon, with church service each day, and all priests of the Faroes attendant. In the 17th century this was a bit modified - now only meeting with all priests at Ólavsøka
day. Historical documentation over the centuries[edit]

Old documents depicted on a miniature sheet of 2002 - celebrating 150 years of re-establishing the Løgting.

Members of Parliament, 1897-1904.

The protocols of the Løgting
assemblies and its other archives from 1852 up to the present are kept at the Faroese National Archive in Tórshavn. The Løgting's protocols from 1615 to 1816 are also preserved at the National Archive. The total archives of the Løgting contain the most important sources of Faroese history. Thus the Faroese Løgting
is a parliament with an exceptionally well-documented history, where the archives in fact cover the period right from 1298 to the present. There are only a very few parliaments in Europe with archives preserved to the same extent where the records are continuous both through time and in their contents. Together with the other texts in the Kongsbókin, the Statute concerning sheep breeding on the Faroes (Seyðabrævið) contains information on conditions in society, the economy, the language, culture and cultural history. The Løgting's archives from 1615 to 1816 contain similar rich sources of material on all aspects of the history of the Faroes in that period. The Løgting's archives for the period from 1852 to the present also provide the most important source of information on the more recent and latest political history of the Faroes. The Faroese cultural heritage is founded on this abundance of source material, which is thus at the very heart of the Faroese identity and sense of history right from the landnam period to the present time. Members[edit]

List of members of the parliament of the Faroe Islands, 1998–2002 List of members of the parliament of the Faroe Islands, 2002–2004 List of members of the parliament of the Faroe Islands, 2004–2008 List of members of the parliament of the Faroe Islands, 2008–2011 List of members of the parliament of the Faroe Islands, 2011–2015 List of members of the parliament of the Faroe Islands, 2015–2019 (current)

See also[edit]

Politics portal Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
portal Kingdom of Denmark

Politics of the Faroe Islands Government of the Faroe Islands Elections in the Faroe Islands List of Speakers of the Løgting
of the Faroe Islands Politics of Denmark Folketing


The Faroese Parliament. Løgtingið 2004 (PDF, 4 pages) - official folder in English and in many parts base of this article. Løgtingið 150. Hátíðarrit. 150 ár liðin, síðani Løgtingið varð endurstovnað. Tórshavn: Løgtingið, 2002. ISBN 99918-966-3-5 (3 volumes, written in Faroese)

Hátíðarrit 1. Ritgerð: Hans Andrias Sølvará: ISBN 99918-966-4-3 (PDF, 18 MB) - history from the Vikings to the present Hátíðarrit 2. Sergreinar og ævisøgur: ISBN 99918-966-5-1 (PDF, 36 MB) - articles about special topics and with biographies of all Løgting
members since 1852 Hátíðarrit 3. Val og valtøl, leitorð og yvirlit: ISBN 99918-966-6-X - elections and results


^ Although the Home Rule Act wasn't officially announced until 3 April 1948 it is usually said to come into force on 1 April 1948.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Løgting.

Look up løgting in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

løgtingið.gov.fo - Homepage[permanent dead link] (in Faroese) Stamps.fo - "The Faroese Parliament
- 150 years"[permanent dead link] (public domain and base for this article)

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