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Riigikogu

On the motion of the Social Affairs Committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Unemployment Insurance Act (171 SE), initiated by the same Committee, was concluded. The aim of the Bill is to ensure adequate continuation of the activities of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund in the situation where the highest body, the supervisory board, of the insurance fund has become unable to make decisions. The Bill provides that, in the event of a lack of quorum of the supervisory board of the unemployment insurance fund, the Government of the Republic has the right to appoint and remove members of the management board of the unemployment insurance fund. The Government is also granted the right to approve the budget of the unemployment insurance fund in a situation where the supervisory board of the unemployment insurance fund has failed to do so in due time. At the same time, the Bill specifies the Act with regard to the rules for incurring expenditure by the unemployment insurance fund in a situation where the budget of the insurance fund has not been approved. The current law provides that the right of the insurance fund to incur expenditure is restricted only in the case when the budget of the unemployment insurance fund has not been approved due to a delay of the passing of the state budget. The Bill extends this right to the case when the budget of the unemployment insurance fund has not been passed because of the supervisory board being unable to make decisions. The Estonian Centre Party Faction and the Social Democratic Party Faction moved to reject the Bill at the first reading. 42 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the motion and 50 voted against. Thus, the motion to reject was not supported by the Riigikogu and this Bill was sent to the second reading.

The Riigikogu passed with 52 votes in favour the Restrictions on Acquisition of Immovables Act (108 SE), initiated by the Estonian Reform Party Faction and the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction. In comparison to the current regulation, upon entry into force of this Act, the restrictions on the acquisition of agricultural land and forest for residents of the Contracting States of the European Economic Area (EEA) as well as OECD member states are reduced, preserving however national defence and security restrictions on transfer on small islands and border areas in respect of states not members of the EEA. On the basis of the above, the Act provides equivalent conditions for the acquisition of agricultural or forest land in Estonia for residents of the Contracting States of the EEA and OECD member states. Thus, residents of OECD member states are included in the range of persons who, as of 1 May 2011, are not subject to the requirements of residing in Estonia, entry in the Estonian commercial register, as well as acquiring the experience of the production of agricultural products or forest management in Estonia in event of the acquisition of immovables used as agricultural or forest land. 23 members of the Riigikogu voted against the Act.

On the motion of the Environmental Committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Waste Act and the Packaging Act (155 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The aim of the Bill is to amend domestic regulation and to transfer the plastic used in agriculture from the scope of application of the Packaging Act to the scope of application of the Waste Act. The first part of the Bill includes amendments to the Waste Act which extend the range of producers by adding producers of agricultural plastic, and give a content to the concept of “agricultural plastic”. Also, a provision is added to the Waste Act the application of which would enable to improve the control of transboundary movements of the packaging subject to the deposit established in Estonia. The second part of the Bill includes amendments to the Waste Act which are related to the taking back of the packaging subject to deposit. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

On the motion of the Legal Affairs Committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Police and Border Guard Act and the Maritime Safety Act (158 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The aim of the Bill is to regulate the legal bases of the activities of voluntary sea rescuers in order to involve them in the activities of the police in carrying out search and rescue work in inland and territorial sea waters, on Lake Peipus, Lake Lämmijärv, Lake Pskov or another transboundary water body upon search and rescue of a person, vessel, aircraft or vehicle in danger or gone missing. The Bill regulates the general principles, competence, organisation of work, and training of voluntary sea rescuers, and the measures applied by them; the recognition, benefits and guarantees of a voluntary sea rescuer; the requirements for voluntary sea rescuers; and the release from the status of voluntary sea rescuer. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

On the motion of the Social Affairs Committee, the first reading of the Bill on Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (161 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The purpose of the Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity. The Convention contributes towards the harmonisation of the practices concerning persons with disabilities by specifying and unifying all issues relating to the rights of persons with disabilities which are provided in several international conventions and documents. The Convention does not directly create new rights but reiterates the rights existing in international legislative acts in a way which is directed to the needs and situation of persons with disabilities. The issues not addressed in the Convention will continue to be regulated by international customary law. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

On the motion of the Social Affairs Committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Social Benefits for Disabled Persons Act and the State Pension Insurance Act (159 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The aim of the Bill is to grant the officials engaging in expert analysis at the Social Insurance Board and medical experts of the Social Insurance Board (with the consent of the person) the right to access the personal data in the health information system for ascertaining the degree of severity of a disability and the additional expenses involved. Another aim of the Bill is to reduce the workload of the family physicians and specialist doctors who are interfaced to the health information system and send the health data of persons thereto, and to save their time. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

The verbatim record of the Riigikogu sitting (in Estonian) can be found at:

The Riigikogu Press Service

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