8 September 2020
In a letter to President Sassoli, the European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the European Parliament spoke out against proceeding with the session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
The letter reads:
Dear Mr President,
The COVID-19 pandemic challenges many ways of life and has forced many fellow European citizens to shelter or limit their contact with others, due to an overwhelming public health need.
In times of uncertainty, the European Parliament has a duty to act in respect of public health measures and in support of efforts by national authorities to promote compliance with those preventative rules. By setting an example and by minimising the risk to others, the Parliament can play a responsible role during this pandemic.
As you are aware, the situation concerning the pandemic in Strasbourg, and the Department to which it belongs, has deteriorated. The area is now designated as a “red zone” by French authorities, allowing for new, exceptional measures to prevent the continued and worsening spread of COVID-19 locally.
As a European Institution, we do not consider it an appropriate action to require significant numbers of our staff and our Members to travel, convene and return to their homes while the public health situation necessitates such a high alert.
To do so would place our Members, staff and those of other Institutions at an avoidable risk of infection while furthermore presenting an unnecessary stress on the wider public of Strasbourg. It would also present difficulties for their authorities at a time when the spread of the pandemic requires their attention.
On behalf of the ECR Group, we would therefore ask that you reconsider the decision to proceed with the part-session in Strasbourg scheduled for 14 to 17 September. In our view, the European Parliament should not convene in Strasbourg in these circumstances.
Chairmen of the ECR Group
25 September 2020
21 September 2020
16 September 2020