“Parliaments and Pandemics: Going virtual and staying open in the COVID-19 age” was the first of the Parliaments 2020 Conversations, a series of seminars that will be covering a range of topics in the coming months to look into the legislative agenda for the coming decade.
We are glad to have had an in depth discussion on how parliaments around the world are adapting to continue their work respecting the current social distancing guidelines during the crisis. Many institutions were unprepared for these transitions, but parliaments are rising to the occasion and evolving faster than ever before.
The experiences highlight how openness and transparency can help institutions be more resilient and better prepared to face the challenges. The technical tools are still evolving to increase security and reliability and minimize communication and participation barriers that come with this monumental change in how parliaments work to adress countries’ needs. Tools and protocols are still a work in progress as MPs strive to ensure proper oversight in times of crisis and the effective protection of vulnerable sectors of society. It is especially important to preserve checks and balances between the Executive and the Legislative to uphold accountability while delivering an agile timely response to the human drama unfolding.
You can access the full webinar in this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlrvWBt1wxQ
Resources for further reading on parliamentary response to the crisis include:
- COVID-19: The challenge of adapting and strengthening the role of parliaments (Directorio Legislativo & ParlAmericas)
- Parliaments in a time of pandemic (IPU)
- Regulation of telematic voting in the Spanish Congress (referred to by MP Marta Gonzalez)
- Infographic: Organizing Virtual Parliamentary Sittings (ParlAmericas)
- Fact sheet on Canadian House of Commons Special Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic (referred to by MP Marc Serré)
- COVID-19 and Parliament’s Role During a Pandemic (ParlAmericas)
- Parliaments and Crisis: Challenges and Innovations. Parliamentary Primer No. 1 (IDEA)