EU: Parliamentary oversight in the health crisis

A briefing paper from the Robert Schuman Foundation looks at how emergency measures implemented during the novel coronavirus pandemic have granted power to government executives at the expense of parliamentary oversight.

"Article 15 of the European Convention on Human Rights opens the possibility for signatory states to derogate from their obligations by invoking exceptional circumstances, but Rik Daems, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, has insisted on the need for parliamentary oversight of the measures taken by most States in response to the health crisis.

However, there has been a general trend towards the loss of power by Parliaments to the benefit of the executive branch, even though the variety of configurations is plural. Some governments have taken advantage of the health crisis to strengthen their powers, sometimes beyond all proportionality."

EU: Parliamentary oversight in the health crisis (Robert Schuman Foundation, link to pdf)


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