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The proper functioning of institutions must be guaranteed during health crisis, says PACE

Marietta Karamanli (France, SOC)

The PACE Standing Committee, meeting today in Reykjavik, underlined the importance of ensuring that the key institutions and mechanisms of democracy function properly during health emergencies, with particular attention to parliaments, elections, local democracy and civil society organisations.

By adopting a resolution, on the basis of the report by Marietta Karamanli (France, SOC), the parliamentarians called on member States to make the necessary changes to parliamentary structures, rules and procedures so as to guarantee the continuity of parliamentary work during times of crisis, and to ensure permanent scrutiny by parliamentarians of government decisions.

According to the adopted text, States should also adapt legislation on elections to allow the electoral process to continue during health crisis, and apply the principles devised by the Venice Commission when deciding whether to postpone, or change the procedures for, elections.

Finally, PACE recommended seeking the right balance between centralised and decentralised authorities within multi-level governance systems, and providing an environment in which civil society organisations can continue to perform their function.