Brussels’ special Coronavirus committee charged with assessing the management of the Covid-19 health crisis and drawing lessons from it was set up on Friday morning.
Chaired by Rachid Madrane, the president of the Brussels assembly, the committee will meet on Thursday and will hold a series of hearings of actors from different fields affected by the crisis, starting with health.
In principle, the special committee should work for three months, but it should be remembered from the initial discussions that an extension cannot be ruled out, given the scale of the task.
“We must have the humility to say that we have all been surprised by the pandemic. No one, no region, no country, no state, was prepared to face such a crisis,” said Rachid Madrane (PS) before the members of the committee meeting in the plenary hall of the parliament.
The president of the committee recalled that the objective was to “learn lessons from the way the pandemic was managed by the Brussels government and the Joint Community Commission, in all the facets that fall within their remit – at the health, economic and social levels, but also in terms of organisation and coordination, particularly with local entities.”
The list of hearings desired by the various political groups is, at this stage, very long and took minutes to be read out loud. It was therefore decided to entrust the committee bureau, consisting of the president, vice-presidents and two rapporteurs, with refining the list and making a proposal at the first session of hearings scheduled for next Thursday.
Magali Plovie (Ecolo), Alexia Bertrand (MR) and Gilles Verstraeten will act as vice-chairmen of the committee on behalf of the N-VA, to which the francophone socialist party has ceded the third vice-chairmanship in order to ensure a linguistic balance. The rapporteurs will be Delphine Chabbert (PS) and Juan Benjumea (Groen).
The bureau of the committee will meet on Monday to formulate a proposal of persons to be heard.
Next Thursday, the committee members will hear from representatives of the Brussels Observatory for Social and Health Affairs and Perspective.brussels. In early summer, the latter published an economic barometer of the Capital Region focusing on the initial repercussions of Covid.