Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the effectiveness of parliamentary oversight of the Bundestag and the Assemblée nationale was criticised. While the criticism in France focussed primarily on legal obstacles, in Germany the work of the opposition was judged to be inadequate. The article examines the question of which criteria can be used for a more systematic assessment of parliamentary control in times of crisis.

Article 49.3 of the French Constitution enables the government to pass bills without the consent of the National Assembly, something regularly commented upon. Traditionally
of rare occurrence, the number of its uses has skyrocketed in the past year. This issue of the Blickpunkt takes a deeper look into what this procedure actually is, where it comes from, how it was used historically, and explains the reasons of its newfound relevance in nowadays French political configuration, as well as its risks for parliamentary democracy.

The article by Maya Kornberg and Sven T. Siefken focuses on the use of public hearings by committees as tools for information processing and discusses findings from the 2022 Global Parliamentary Report. The innovative use of on-site committee field hearings, digital hearings, and mechanisms highlighting the involvement of civil society organizations (CSOs) underscores the necessity to broaden the perspective on hearings beyond legislation and oversight.