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The Riigikogu passed with 79 votes in favour (1 abstention) the Act on Amendments to the Water Act (611 SE), initiated by the Government, which specified the provisions relating to superficies licences issued for structures built in bodies of water. For encumbering public bodies of water with structures not permanently attached to the shore, a relevant superficies licence must have been issued according to the current Water Act. However, according to the Act, an application for a superficies licence cannot be accepted for processing if another application for a superficies licence or a county plan has been initiated with regard to the water area of the same public water body and the proceedings for the preparation thereof have not ended. The Act increases the flexibility of the initiation of the proceedings for a superficies licence. It establishes provisions according to which proceedings for a superficies licence can, in certain cases, be initiated also when proceedings for another superficies licence or a county plan have already been initiated with regard to the same area. 

Andrus Ansip took the floor during the debate. 

The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of four Bills: 

The Bill on Amendments to the Medicinal Products Act, the State Fees Act and the Health Services Organisation Act (615 SE), initiated by the Social Affairs Committee, establishes a new framework in the organisation of pharmacy services. Dispensing chemists and pharmacists will be defined as health care professionals, and managers of general pharmacies will be given a guarantee of independence based on healthcare principles in the organisation of the activities of a pharmacy. This will ensure a higher level of protection of public health, and long-term sustainable development of pharmacy network and services. The Bill will reduce the influence of business interests in the provision of pharmacy services which entails the risk of a conflict of interest. In connection with that, a principle is established that a dispensing chemist who is the manager of a pharmacy must be the operator of the pharmacy as a self-employed person, or he or she must have the controlling holding, i.e. more than 50% of the voting rights, in the legal person governed by private law which operates the pharmacy. 

The Bill on Amendments to the Riigikogu Election Act (600 SE), initiated by the Social Democratic Party Faction, proposes that a political party which participates in the Riigikogu elections for the first time should not pay a security. According to the Bill, a candidate of a political party in favour of whom the number of votes cast exceeds or equals the simple quota, and an independent candidate for whom the number of votes cast amounts at least 75 per cent of the simple quota, will be elected. 

The Bill on Amendments to the Status of Member of Riigikogu Act and the Local Government Organisation Act (601 SE), initiated by the Social Democratic Party Faction, will guarantee members of the Riigikogu the constitutional right to be elected to local government councils and to act in this office. 

The Bill on Amendments to the Local Government Organisation Act (602 SE), initiated by the Social Democratic Party Faction, specifies the procedure for the formation of the committees and the election of the management bodies of local government councils with a view to ensuring that opposition political forces are better engaged and represented in the management of the work of the committees. 

The Riigikogu Press Service

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