This working paper is produced within the framework of the the Horizon Europe project REGROUP (Rebuilding governance and resilience out of the pandemic), funded by the European Union. At the same time, it draws from a 2022 volume entitled Pandemocracy, edited by Konrad Lachmayer and Matthias C. Kettemann. Pandemocracy in Europe -Power, Parliaments and People in Times of COVID-19 engaged the challenges of pandemics for democracies at the example of the COVID-19 crisis and had contributors ask and answer a key question: How has the fight against COVID-19 and the individual and collective responses of states influenced the relationship of publics, people and parliaments. Does democracy take step back and let pandemocracy reign? Literally, like in Hungary? Or more subtly, like in Austria and Germany where Nationalrat and Bundestag, respectively, quickly passed legislation the government had proposed. After the crisis had passed, did relations swing back to normal? Or has the crisis fundamentally impacted the relations of democratic actors in countries from Sweden to Italy?
A year after publication and after the worst of the COVID-19 crisis seems over, a workshop in Innsbruck united authors from the Pandemocracy team and members of REGROUP to reflect on the normative road travelled and the impacts of the pandemic response – and its impact on constitutional checks and balances.
After the introduction, a number of country reports analyze whether and how societies have ‘swung back’ from the pandemic response and whether lasting damage to the separation of powers was done during the height of the pandemic.