Epidemic cannot be excuse to undermine democracy, says Speaker Zorčič

Ljubljana/Vienna – The Covid-19 epidemic cannot be an excuse for the undermining of democracy, said parliamentary Speaker Igor Zorčič on Tuesday as he attended the fifth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament in Vienna. Zorčič participated in a panel on efforts to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on democracy.

Zorčič presented the parliament’s efforts to adjust to the new situation brought about by the pandemic, saying the circumstances had strengthened the chances of democratic decision-making.

He highlighted that “the epidemic cannot be an excuse to weaken democracy, on the contrary, the epidemic is a reason to strengthen democracy,” according to the National Assembly.

The two-day conference, dedicated to discussing parliamentary leadership for a more effective multilateralism, has been organised by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and Austrian parliament in cooperation with the United Nations (UN).

When it comes to meeting Sustainable Development Goals, Slovenia ranks ninth among UN member states, Zorčič told the panel, highlighting that Slovenia, as the current EU presiding country, was particularly committed to stepping up the implementation of activities to achieve the goals related to drinking water. He added Slovenia had also constitutionally protected the right to drinking water.

On the sidelines of the conference, Zorčič held a number of bilateral meetings. He met Meritxell Batet Lamana, president of the Spanish Congress of Deputies, Eliane Tillieux, president of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives, Stephanie D’Hose, president of the Belgian Senate, and a delegation from Morocco.

On Wednesday, Zorčič will take part in a general discussion on how crisis measures adopted by governments should be subject to parliamentary approval and regular scrutiny.