- More than 40 COVID-19 petitions submitted so far
- MEPs commit to prioritise them
- Every single petition will be dealt with
Parliament’s Petitions Committee will urgently deal with citizens’ petitions relating to the coronavirus pandemic.
Following the large number of petitions received in the past few weeks linked to COVID-19, Dolors Montserrat (EPP, ES), Chair of the Petitions Committee, announced that the committee will examine them in accordance with the urgency procedure.
“Our work in the Petitions Committee must continue. It is now more crucial than ever for citizens to feel close to the EU and the Parliament in particular. It is our duty to shed a light on citizens’ concerns, bring them to the attention of their elected representatives and respond to them, particularly in these moments of crisis”, she said.
“Given the dramatic situation caused by the coronavirus outbreak, we decided to urgently scrutinise COVID-19 petitions. More than 40 petitions have already been submitted to the Parliament and we are ready to react to each and every one of them as quickly as possible. We will organise an extraordinary committee meeting as soon as we can and will focus exclusively on COVID-19 petitions”, she concluded.
The newly submitted petitions range from requests for masks for the police force, to asking for more solidarity in the EU, issuing coronabonds, creating a single EU body to coordinate the crisis and stopping restrictive measures.
Once a petition is submitted to the Parliament and declared admissible, it is examined by the Petitions Committee per rule 216 of the Rules of Procedure. Depending on the circumstances, MEPs may take different measures to try to resolve an issue or deliver a suitable response to the petitioner. They may, for example, refer the petition to another committee for information or forward their opinion or recommendation to the Commission, the Council or the member state authority concerned for action or response.
Due to the spread of COVID-19, Parliament’s calendar of activities has been modified for the next few weeks. As a result, various meetings and activities on Parliament's premises in the upcoming weeks, including those organised by the Petitions Committee, have been cancelled or postponed.