The European Parliament on the impact of COVID-19 measures on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights

Resolution of the 13th of November 2020 (2020/2790 (RSP))

On the 13th of November, the European Parliament approved the Resolution on the impact of COVID-19 measures on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights (2020/2790 (RSP)).

Considered that the European States are experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 cases and governments are adopting new restrictive measures to address the spike in cases, the European Parliament recalls that the fundamental principles of the rule of law, democracy and respect for fundamental rights cannot be called into question even in a state of public emergency and that therefore all emergency measures implemented must respect the conditions of necessity, proportionality in the narrow sense and temporariness.

To this end, it calls on the Member States – among other things – to limit the duration of the state of emergency as much as possible and in any case to explicitly define in a legislative act the objectives, content and scope of the emergency powers transferred to the executive; to ensure parliamentary control over the exercise of these powers; to respect the principles of proportionality and equal treatment in the implementation of emergency measures, in particular with regard to the limitations of freedom of movement, the right to private and family life and freedom of assembly; to ensure the right to education and the right to health care; to protect the right to information and freedom of expression; to guarantee the rights of defendants and to evaluate the possibility of online hearings as an alternative to those in presence, in compliance with the principles of due process; to safeguard the rights and health of all persons in prisons; to fully guarantee access to asylum procedures and provide adequate reception conditions in compliance with the rights of migrants, in particular by allowing disembarkation following SAR operation in a place of safety, in compliance with international and EU law.

To read the Resolution, click here.