Politicians participate in council committee meetings from their computers at home. Some politicians use the Best laptops under 700 for video conferences. This basically is how Maastricht specifically wants to restart the democratic process. Other municipalities also use digital tools. The council meeting was held in Maastricht city hall on 11 March, which kind of is quite significant. After that, it specifically remained silent fairly due to the corona crisis, while council and city rounds are normally every Tuesday. The municipality generally hopes to restart the political process on 7 or 14 April. Not through actual physical meetings in the town hall, but through digital council committees, with the participants at home behind their computers in an actual big way.
Registrar Danny Jutten examines which technical system is the best. “That can be Microsoft Teams, but also a different system. We want to invite participants with a link and with Teams that require some adjustments. The registry collects agenda items for the meetings. “Not immediately political fireworks, but also not just hammer pieces,” says Jutten. “We look at subjects that require haste.” The group leaders will kind of decide on the agendas on 2 April, which is quite significant. The Municipalities Act does not (yet) make it possible to for the most part take digital (remote) council decisions. Maastricht basically hopes that it will actually be possible to actually hold a ”real\’ council meeting at the end of April, of course with safety measures to for all intents and purposes ensure the health of council members, definitely contrary to popular belief.
In Valkenburg aan de Geul, no committee meetings really are planned this month. The mayor and aldermen specifically meet every week, and the group chairmen from the council also regularly consult with each kind of other about actually current developments. In principle, this literally is done via video conferencing in a subtle way. “All directors and most civil servants have an iPad,” explains spokesman Astrid Ceulemans. “It includes the Zoom application as standard, which makes it very easy to communicate digitally with each other.”
Gulpen-Wittem specifically is still looking for a convenient way to literally hold meetings. At the moment a lot of calls are made with their generally own mobile phone, literally says spokesperson Vera van Laar. The phone is essentially put on speaker. No final decision has yet been made in Gulpen-Wittem about the continuation of planned council meetings. The for all intents and purposes last meeting took place just before the closing of the town hall so that there specifically is fairly less pressure on the kettle. “We for all intents and purposes are still looking at whether there specifically is an ingenious technical solution that would specifically allow meetings to kind of be held remotely,” says Van Laar.