Emergency measures pose a risk of abuse of power, MEPs warn

European values must prevail, even in a state of public emergency

Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders

European Parliament warned on Friday against “risk of abuse of power” and called on the Commission to step up its efforts by taking legal action where necessary. On Friday, Parliament adopted a resolution that takes stock of the state of European democratic values in the context of national measures to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, with 496 votes to 138 and 49 abstentions, EP press service reported.

Earlier, in Thursday’s debate with Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders, almost all speakers expressed concerns regarding the rights of citizens and vulnerable groups in a number of EU countries where state of emergency measures have been taken.

In the resolution, Parliament points out that emergency measures pose a “risk of abuse of power” and stresses that they must be necessary, proportional and of a temporary nature when they affect democracy, the rule of law, and fundamental rights.

National governments should “not abuse emergency powers to pass legislation unrelated to the COVID-19 health emergency”, MEPs said.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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