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The Hellenic Parliament’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

The present article seeks to approach the response of parliaments to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a special focus on the Hellenic Parliament case. The study captures the events from the first institutional response to the pandemicin March 2020 until August 2020, when a second pandemic wave in Greece seemed  to  be ante portas.  The  Hellenic  Parliament,  after  an  initial  shock  period,  focused  on  the continuation of its operation, while protecting the health of its members, officials and personnel. At this point, the authors underline the necessity to study the current pandemic in a holistic way, both from an institutional and academic point of view, in order to understand what has occurred and to learn valuable lessons for future conduct with similar disruptive events.

The article moves forth with a presentation of the steps taken by the Hellenic Parliament to remain operational, despite restrictions imposed by the necessity  to  efficiently  combat  the  pandemic.  A  protocol  of  the  different  measures  is  presented  and discussed. Special attention is vested on the digital dimension of the measures, followed by a primary evaluation  of  parameters  such  as  level  of  urgency  and  potential  for permanent  use. The  article concludes with recommendations on the handling of a lasting pandemic situation.

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