Senator by right

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Senators by right (Dutch: senator van rechtswege, French: sénateur de droit, German: Senator von Rechts wegen) are non-elected members of the Belgian Senate.

If the ruling monarch of Belgium has any children, all of them who are older than eighteen years may opt to sit in senate, as senators by right; if the current monarch has no offspring, the descendants of the branch of the royal house called on to reign are senators by right instead.[1]

Theoretically, senators by right are entitled to vote in the Senate once they reach the age of 21. However, by constitutional convention they do not use this right. Their presence is also disregarded when calculating the quorum; to reach the quorum, 36 of the 71 elected senators have to be present.[1] As of 2010, Prince Philippe, Princess Astrid and Prince Laurent are senators by right.[2]

As part of the sixth Belgian state reform, the function of senators by right will be abolished in 2012 or 2013.