Member states have shunned the standard decision-making of the European Union to establish their very own battles from the coronavirus pandemic. Brussels has struggled to cement its influence together with the capitals opting to ignore their political leaders in Brussels during the crisis.
The EU Parliament’s voice has been virtually silenced throughout the outbreak with the majority of its politicians ordered to operate all but shutdown. Being forced to hold committee meetings and debates via video connection has sparked fears by MEPs due to their waning influence.
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German MEP Moritz Korner, a member of the liberal Renew Europe group, said the democratically-elected establishment “will get rid of a bit of its influence”. “We aren’t able to work, to come together to send powerful signals,” he added. “At the time, once we will need to send the biggest political signal, it is going to be more or less an empty room.” Euro MPs and a series of emergency measures now will debate.
The following votes and the plenary session will mainly be held digitally as part of the plan of the Parliament. However, MEPs say this prevents them from scrutinising and amending laws passed by unelected bureaucrats. “The Commission could possibility propose something very barbarous, and it would be difficult for Parliament to amend in a normal way.”
MEPS will vote on a $3 billion support package to prop up health systems in the worst-hit nations of the EU. Following a shortened debate, MEPs will publish off their ballot papers, fill them in and email their selections back to pass the emergency steps.
German MEP Birgit Sippel, of the Socialist and Democrats group, warned the system is undermining the role of the EU Parliament. She explained: “It is not that three people are sitting at a table and arguing. “There are many things to look upon: It’s your position, it’s the position of the group. “For all the groups, there are always some small differences between the private and the group’s position. You have to check into the details of the content. You need to consider your strategy. “Ordinarily you have more than 20 people in a room… that’s impossible in a videoconference.”
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