European Parliament considers coronavirus MEP remote working

European Parliament chamber in Strasbourg.
European Parliament chamber in Strasbourg. Source: ERR

The European Parliament is weighing up live-linking its MEPs to plenary sessions remotely, as a result of coronavirus fears and possible quarantining, as well as canceling lawmakers' trips to affected areas both inside the EU, in northern Italy, and outside, including Singarpore, Hong Kong, Macau and Japan, according to political opinion portal Politico.

The parliament has already called off two committee trips to the northern Italian cities of Parma and Milan, Politico says; although there have not been any reports of MEPs self-quarantining, the parliament is also recommending those returning from affected areas do just that, for two weeks.

"We are trying to explore how those MEPs could follow sessions and meetings, and by giving them access to interpretation," an EU official told Politico, with live video links being one option, adding that while the parliament is not the only institution to take precautions and issue guidelines, it is being particularly comprehensive in its approach as: "An open, transparent institution which welcomes thousands of visitors every week."

Estonia has seven MEPs post-Brexit, up from six prior to the U.K.'s departure, who are: Marina Kaljurand (SDE), Sven Mikser (SDE), Jaak Madison (EKRE), Andrus Ansip (Reform), Urmas Paet (Reform), Yana Toom (Center) and Riho Terras (Isamaa).

Estonia's European Commissioner is Kadri Simson (Center).

The Politico piece is here.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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