Our Human Rights and Gender Equality Network of Committees in the Western Balkans project is analysing how parliaments in the region are responding to the COVID-19 crisis and how extraordinary the measures introduced have been. Our regional analysis records the oversight and legislative activities of the Western Balkan parliaments which occurred in the period from March through May 2020. It also documents different health measures which parliaments have implemented for their committee and/or plenary sessions, as well as whether the implementation of modern technologies is contributing to oversight and legislative capacities.
Our main observation for this period demonstrates that the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches of government has been distorted. Governments have concentrated exceptional competences which are not usually entrusted to them. This shift of power toward the executive was made possible due to the introduction of extraordinary measures (state of emergency, state of natural disaster, public health emergency situation, etc.).