Helping the European Parliament to debate and legislate multilingually despite social distancing and travel restrictions.
Normally, the legislative process involves frequent physical meetings between MEPs from all over the continent, with associated travel. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, we have developed a multilingual remote participation platform to allow them to participate from their constituencies, debating and voting in their own languages with interpretation provided locally in Brussels.
Specific issues addressed and anticipated impact
The underlying issue is the inability to hold conventional multilingual meetings. Social distancing and travel restrictions make physical meetings almost impossible, and conventional videoconferencing tools offer only one language channel, rendering interpretation problematic.
The impact is business continuity for a complex multilingual organisation, and the expected impact in the future is a paradigm shift in the way conference services are provided, and an increased resilience for the organisation to a variety of outside shocks.
The need for continuous technical improvements to the sound/image quality, and the need for a regulatory environment for interpreting work in this context.