European Union Member States have adopted a wide range of emergency measures in response to the pandemic. Some have decided to declare an emergency state, whereas others have adopted the measures needed on the basis of ordinary public health laws or with accelerated legislative procedures already existing in the national legal system. Despite this variety of national situations, a common feature of the legal response to tackle the pandemic has been the shift in the competences of both the legislative and the executive powers. Such institutional shifts are usually considered justified if they are necessary to overcome the exceptional situation; they are proportional and limited in time; and if there is an effective judicial and parliamentary control. In this vein, the presentation will focus on the role of European parliaments and the judiciary during the crisis, aiming to determine whether those “institutional watchdogs” have properly controlled the executives during the pandemic.