fotografie peter Hilz (C)

Federal Parliament approves law giving government “power of attorney” to deal with the COVID-19 crisis

At a session held on Friday morning the Belgian Senate has voted not to amend the law passed by the Chamber of Representatives on Thursday under the conditions of which the minority federal government has power of attorney to take the measures it deems necessary to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. The law that was approved by 104 members of the Chamber of Representatives will remain in force for the coming three months. Only the far-left PVDA-PTB voted against with the far-right Vlaams Belang abstaining. The law could be extended for a further three months should this prove necessary.

The power of attorney measures mean that Sophie Wilmès’ (Francophone liberal) government can take measures concerning the health and social-economic aspects of the COVID-19 crisis without having to seek the approval of parliament.

A permanent commission lead by the Head of the Flemish Christian democrat Group in the Federal Parliament Servais Verherstraeten will watch over how the government uses its power of attorney. An evaluation will be made after three months and the law extended if necessary.

The measures taken by the government which exercising its power of attorney must be approval by parliament within a year of hem having been taken.