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The pandemic’s comparative impact on constitutional checks and balances within the EU

Author: Böck, C., & Kettemann, M. C.
Published in:
Year: 2024
Type: Working paper

COVID-19 has changed public and private live significantly. Some changes remain permanently. Although COVID-19 is no longer an immediate global health crisis, which has brought healthcare systems in particular close to collapse, the impact on social and economic systems is still being felt. Despite government subsidies, many companies have not survived the effects of the crisis. In addition, many people’s working lives and education have changed. Digital tools, such as online meetings and the option to work from home, are now part of everyday life, unlike before the pandemic.During the pandemic, short-term and fast-acting measures were necessary, which had to be issued by the various powers in special procedures. In most countries, the executive branch took on a central role in order to ensure the ability to act. At the same time, the legislative powers were restricted in their mode of operation. Plenary sessions of the parliaments could only be held to a very limited extent. The measures taken must be reviewed in terms of their effectiveness, but also in terms of their impact on constitutional checks and balances, in order to be able to take more effective, proportionate and constitutional measures for future pandemics.This research paper thus analyses and discusses the consequences of pandemic crisis measures on constitutional democracy in a number of European countries—in particular Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Sweden—, by examining the effects of Covid-19 measures on constitutional checks and balances, and the relations between the executives and legislatures. With a glimpse over the Atlantic some actions will be compared to those on US federal as well as state level.

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Matthias C. Kettemann, Prof. Dr. LL.M. (Harvard)

Forschungsgruppenleiter und Assoziierter Forscher: Globaler Konstitutionalismus und das Internet

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