Remote Deliberation Experience in the National Assembly of Ecuador during the COVID-19 Pandemic
About the Asamblea Nacional of Ecuador. Written on September, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced institutions and organizations worldwide to adapt to new ways of conducting business. The National Assembly of Ecuador, made up of 137 members, was no exception. This essay explores the challenges and opportunities that arose as the Assembly transitioned to remote deliberation, and highlights the importance of legal, political, and technological aspects in implementing this change.
Adapting to the Pandemic
On March 16th, 2020, when the State of Emergency was declared in Ecuador, the National Assembly immediately sought alternatives to continue its functions. Previously, remote sessions were not considered necessary, but now, the Assembly had to regulate and implement virtual meetings. The first virtual meeting took place on May 24th, 2020. This marked the beginning of a significant transition in parliament, as legislators were forced to migrate to the electronic parliament. This transition demanded clear objectives and a commitment to maintaining transparency, participation, and accountability.