Knut Arild Hareide, Minister of Transport, handing over the Government’s draft COVID-19 bill to President of the Storting Tone W. Trøen. Photo: Storting.

Knut Arild Hareide, Minister of Transport, handing over the Government’s draft COVID-19 bill to President of the Storting Tone W. Trøen. Photo: Storting.

The Storting considers an enabling act

The Storting is considering a bill that would enable the Government to introduce urgent measures to mitigate the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

If passed, the so-called Coronavirus Act would introduce temporary legislation to allow the Government to make decisions that according to the Norwegian Constitution must be made in the Storting.

Underlying the Government’s proposal is the need to act quickly during the current crisis, when there may not be enough time to follow constitutional provisions for enacting legislation.

The Government’s proposition was considered in an extraordinary meeting of the Council of State on Wednesday 18th March, and was submitted to the Storting the following day. It will be the first matter under consideration in the new Coronavirus Special Committee, which was constituted in a sitting of the Storting on Monday 16th March.

"Will follow the rules of the Constitution"

"When considering the enabling act, the Storting will follow the Constitution’s rules for enacting legislation. This means two readings of the bill in the Storting, with an interval of at least 3 days between the two," said Tone Wilhelmsen Trøen, President of the Storting.

Could be repealed by one-third of the Storting

The Government’s proposition includes a clause that would allow the Storting at any given time to wholly or partly repeal the enabling act by a one-third minority vote in the Chamber.

The purpose of the act

The purpose of the act is to enable the Government to take “sound and effective measures that are necessary to limit the disruption of the normal functioning of society as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, and to mitigate the negative consequences for the population, business, the public sector and society otherwise.”


Last updated: 20.03.2020 13:19