European leaders seized more power during the pandemic. Few have 'exit plans' to hand it back
May 17, 2021 at 07:57
Ironic, given the president's apparent eagerness to boss his citizens around to stop the spread of a deadly virus.
Throughout the pandemic, the president has reduced the role that his parliament plays in scrutinizing his policy announcements.
"Parliament's role in France is more limited under the new state of health emergency than before," said Joelle Grogan, senior lecturer in UK public and EU law at the University of Middlesex.
Democracy Reporting International (DRI) recently published a comprehensive study on how governments across the European Union had responded in the context of democracy and the rule of law.
France was listed as a country of "significant concern" for the extent to which its government has subverted legal norms.
In fact, DRI listed only Spain out of the 27 EU member states as a country of "no concern" when it came to parliamentary or legal oversight of Covid measures.
More worryingly, the DRI report also states that only five EU member states -- the Czech Republic, France, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Portugal -- have adequate exit strategies for a return to normal.
That was two member states.
French President Emmanuel Macron has been accused of using the pandemic to grab emergency powers in France.
But that would require political will from the leadership in member states for the central EU to take control of policy areas they prefer to keep close to their chests."
It's sometimes said that EU law is a complicated mess of narrow political interests dressed in a legal cloak.
The disregard for law, however, is a more fundamental headache than disagreements on migration or how money should be spent.