Parliaments’ responses to the pandemic: are virtual parliaments here to stay?

17 Septiembre 2020
14:30 – 16:15 CEST

The coronavirus pandemic continues to have a profound impact on both governance priorities and democratic processes. Parliaments around the world are looking at if and how innovations they have adopted to continue functioning during the pandemic will be integrated into the ‘new normal’ of parliamentary work. Can innovations such as virtual parliaments strengthen engagement with citizens? Can governments be effectively held to account through online questioning? What are the overall impacts of COVID-19 on democratic governance, and how can parliaments address emerging threats?

As part of the International Democracy Week webinar series, the session casts a lens on whether and how the innovation process parliaments experience can be shaped to transform into structural change that reinforces democratic governance in a tangible way.

The webinar aims to:


High-Level Closing Session

  • Dr Kevin Casas-Zamora, Secretary-General, International IDEA
  • Henriette Geiger, Director, Directorate for People and Peace, Directorate General for Development and Cooperation (DEVCO), European Commission
  • Fabio Castaldo, Vice-President, European Parliament
  • Mohamed Nasheed, Speaker of the People’s Majlis, The Republic of The Maldives
  • Tomas Tobé, Chair of the Development Committee, European Parliament

Practitioner Session

  • Dr Jonathan Murphy, Head of Programme, INTER PARES | Parliaments in Partnership, International IDEA
  • Dr Piedad García-Escudero Márquez, Clerk and former Secretary-General of the Spanish Cortes Generales; Professor of Constitutional Law, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM)
  • Keiba Jacob, Procedural Clerk and Head of the Financial Scrutiny Unit, Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago
  • Brian Caesar, Clerk of the Senate, Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago


  • Marilyn Neven, Programme Manager, International IDEA