The European Parliament and Covid-19: Organisational Adaptations and their Implications on Parliamentary Activity

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Nathalie Brack & Awenig Marié in collaboration with Olivier Costa
ZParl Zeitschrift für Parlamentsfragen


As early as March 2020, the President of the European Parliament decided to shut down the assembly’s facilities in Brussels and to cancel the plenary sessions in Strasbourg . Impor­tant decisions were made to abandon in-person meetings, introduce teleworking for all staff, and implement remote deliberation and voting both in committees and in the plena­ry . The Rules of Procedure were adapted to formalize these organisational changes and make them ready for future crises . All in all, the European Parliament proved to be resilient and adaptive: it continued to discuss and adopt many legislative, budgetary, and non-legis­lative texts in the plenary . However, remote-work did have an impact on the political dynamics within Parliament . It was characterised by a very high level of consensus, as the result of a higher level of agreement between the two main party groups, the European People’s Party and the Socialists & Democrats . Those main groups also became much more cohesive .