Indeed, the measures in place since July are evidence that the “distant Senate” is still as functional as it was at its peak – this time more spiritually and less literally. The pandemic continues to dictate the pace of administration decisions in legislative processes. Returning to some aspects of normal life is at the same time part of pandemic management and a first step towards the future of parliamentary work in a post-Covid world.
We anticipate that we will be able to take advantage of the mixed system mechanisms that have been better customized by parliamentarians along with personal practice so that the pandemic can be resolved, and then make an assessment of what is worth keeping for the future, which is difficult to determine today. Special Drawing Rights [sistema de deliberação remota] It opens up an important set of possibilities that I think are not likely to be let down.
Words from Gustavo Afonso Saboya Vieira, Secretary General of the Senate since April. He has managed a year of transformations. The experiments accumulated by the Senate in 2020, carried out when the House was in stay mode, were necessary to turn into a routine. Faced with a pandemic scenario that remains unpredictable, this means reviewing emergency rules without abandoning them, and striving for normality without succumbing to it. The mixed format – with sessions presided over by the plenary, senators free to participate in Brasilia or online, and votes on names by the SDR – is what fulfills these conditions, and has prevailed since the return of parliamentary recess in July.
Sabóia replaced Luiz Fernando Bandeira de Mello, who was appointed to the National Council of Justice (CNJ) in December 2020, and took office in February. The new secretary general joined the Senate in 2012 and held several positions: he served on committees, cabinets, and even had a season in office. The year 2020 lived near the center of events, as an advisor to the then-President of the Senate, Davey Alcolumber.
He attributes his diverse experiences to the importance in preparing him for this role, and says he learned a lot from the SGM team, who designed and operated the remote system from the start. For him, 2021 has been a year of “listening more than speaking,” always in the spirit of leading the Senate to return to its workspaces as they present themselves.
“What was true in April is still true. Our desire to analyze the daily pandemic and where the situation is heading. The SDR went into action in the panic, because it had to go in, it was possible and it was well implemented. When I took over, I already had an idea Good about the system, what worked and what didn’t, and what needs to be adapted.The Senate was heading toward a gradual comeback and today, with the picture of the pandemic momentarily more stable, that thrust has worked.
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