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The President of the Republic Toomas-Hendrik Ilves made a political statement before the Riigikogu on the issues of “the Ice Cellar Process” and the People’s Assembly. In the President’s words, the work of the People’s Assembly deserves a thorough and open discussion in the Constitutional Committee, factions as well as the plenary hall of the parliament. “The People’s Assembly is not an alternative decision-making body, opposing to or competing with the Riigikogu. It is a complementary opportunity to give the widespread concepts of “participation” and “involvement” an actual content in our democratic state which is developing and looking for new solutions,” the President said. At the debate, comments were presented by Andrei Korobeinik and Sven Mikser.

The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of the Bill on the Ratification of a Protocol on the Concerns of the Irish People on the Treaty of Lisbon, to be Annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (390 SE), initiated by the Government. The aim of the Protocol is to address the concerns expressed by the Irish people in the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland in such fields as the right to life, family and education, taxation, security and defence, and to affirm the respect for and the validity of certain principles arising from the Constitution of Ireland. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

The second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Insurance Activities Act and Amendments to Other Associated Acts (349 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The aim of the Bill is to raise the minimum rate of own funds of insurance undertakings in the light of the judgment of the European Court of Justice according to which the premiums and benefits may not differ in life insurance, sickness insurance and accident insurance contracts of men and women concluded on the same terms. In addition, the Paying Authorities and Electronic Money Institutions Act and the Securities Market Act are brought into conformity with European Union law. The Bill was sent to the third reading.

The second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Private Schools Act, (343 SE), initiated by the Cultural Affairs Committee, was concluded. The aim of the Bill is to bring subsection 15 (1) of the Private Schools Act into conformity with the Constitution pursuant to the proposal of the Chancellor of Justice according to which, at a private school under public authority, the right to receive instruction in Estonian must be guaranteed to everyone. The Bill provides that, in the determination of the language of instruction of an upper secondary school, guidance is taken from the requirements provided for by the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act if the state or a local government is a partner, shareholder, founder or member of the manager of the school. At such upper secondary school or at specific classes thereof, instruction may be provided in a language other than Estonian or bilingually if the Government of the Republic grants permission therefor on the basis of a proposal of the board based on the development plan of the private school and an application of the manager of the school. The Bill was sent to the third reading.

On the motion of the Finance Committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Investment Funds Act (408 SE), initiated by the same Committee, was concluded. The aim of the Bill is to amend the regulation concerning the liquidation of investment funds in order to prevent legal ambiguity in the liquidation of funds and to ensure sufficient protection of investors. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

On the motion of the Social Affairs Committee, the Bill on Amendments to the State Pension Insurance Act and the Social Benefits for Disabled Persons Act (360 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, was rejected at the first reading. 45 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the motion to reject and 27 members voted against. Thus, this Bill was dropped from the legislative proceeding.

For more details, read the verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian):

The Riigikogu Press Service

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