Photo: EP. The European Parliament will hold an extraordinary plenary on March, 26, 2020 using a distant voting system
For the first time in the history of the European Parliament, MEPs will be voting via email. On a one-day extraordinary session to be held on March 26, the EU Commission’s proposals combating the COVID-19 outbreak and its economic fallout will be put on vote.
On March 19, European Parliament President David Sassoli and Parliament’s group leaders, the so-called Conference of Presidents, held an informal exchange of views. They considered gathering 705 politicians and thousands of employees from 27 different countries is an irresponsible action in times where member states are putting their efforts to curb the transmission of the virus for the sake of humanity. However, they also noted the current COVID-19 situation needs immediate action, and the European Parliament must do their job to represent and defend the citizens.
The plenary session will include the Commission’s proposed initiative (Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative) to free up €37billion for Member States from the EU budget to promptly fight the virus and support industries, health services, employment, and SMEs. Other agenda the session will vote on are the extension of the scope of EU Solidarity Fund (EUSF) to include major public health emergencies and four-month suspension of the slots regulation for air carriers that have forced airlines to operate despite decline in passenger demand and considerable financial loss due to the spread of the virus. “It is key that the European Parliament adopts these three proposals swiftly, to provide concrete support to EU citizens and to the Member States in this unprecedented situation,” Sassoli said.
The attached are submitted drafts by the Commission, to be voted on the plenary session on March 26.
Banks, M. (2020, March 20). Sassoli: EU's COVID-19 measures 'comparable to Marshall Plan in WW2'. Retrieved from https://www.theparliamentmagazine.eu/articles/news/sassoli-eu’s-covid-19-measures-‘comparable-marshall-plan-ww2’
Vind, M. (2020, March 20). Opinion: As we work from home, let's vote from home. Retrieved from https://www.brusselstimes.com/opinion/101729/as-we-work-from-home-lets-vote-from-home/
Zalan, E. (2020, March 20). [Coronavirus] MEPs vote by email on new coronavirus measures. Retrieved from https://euobserver.com/coronavirus/147820
Europarl. (2020, March 20). Final draft agenda - Thursday, 26 March 2020. Retrieved from https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/OJQ-9-2020-03-26_EN.html
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