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Riigikogu

The Riigikogu passed an Act and a Resolution: 

The Act on Amendments to the Public Health Act and the State Fees Act (436 SE), initiated by the Government, which implements the European Union Cosmetic Products Regulation, was passed with 61 votes in favour. It ensures the functioning of the internal market and protection of human health. 

The Act specifies the tasks of the competent authority carrying out surveillance and the rules for organising surveillance. In Estonia, the Health Board is the competent authority. 

The Act also provides the liability for violation of the requirements upon manufacturing of cosmetic products and the handling thereof. The amendments are directed in particular at institutions carrying out surveillance and manufacturers and importers of cosmetic products, as well as consumers of cosmetic products. 

The Resolution of the Riigikogu “Appointment of a Member of the Supervisory Board of the Estonian Development Fund” (510 OE), submitted by the Economic Affairs Committee, by which Member of the Riigikogu Reet Roos was appointed a member of the board, was approved with 46 votes in favour (36 against). She replaces in the board Mart Laar who has left the Riigikogu. Chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee Kaja Kallas is also a member of the Supervisory Board of the Development Fund. 

The Auditor General Alar Karis gave an overview of the use and preservation of state assets in 2012. Accuracy of the Consolidated Report of 2012 of the State and legality of the transactions. 

Karis noted that the demographic and other problems that Estonia is facing compel us to integrally plan the development of the state and to critically assess our possibilities. “For this, we have to take our time, face ourselves honestly and answer the question as to which obligations the Estonian state will be able to bear in the longer perspective,“ Karis said. „It is important that we do not delay the making of the possible choices and decisions until we will not be able to influence the processes that unfold in their own way,“ Karis noted. He analysed thoroughly the socio-economic situation of the state. 

Margus Hanson and Mihhail Stalnuhhin who took the floor in the debate presented the positions of their factions on the problems that had been pointed out in the report. 

The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of a Bill: 

The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Civil Status Acts Act, the Population Register Act, the Local Government Organisation Act and the State Fees Act (464 SE), initiated by the Government. The Bill extends the term of validity of the right of the official to act as an official of the Vital Statistics Department. It specifies the competence of the county government and the Ministry of Internal Affairs in regard to carrying out the examination of the official of the Vital Statistics Department and the prior training. It also establishes the legal bases for releasing the vital statistics data. It simplifies the rules of administrative proceedings upon forwarding the identity document of a deceased person who is a foreigner to the embassy of the foreign country. The Bill reduces the amount of paper documents upon contraction of marriage by replacing the protocol on contracting the marriage with a pre-completed printout of the registry entry of marriage. It simplifies the rules for the proceeding for ascertaining the ability to marry and establishes the legal basis for entering the sex change data into the Population Register. 

The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of ten draft Acts and Resolutions: 

The Bill on Amendments to the Nature Conservation Act (453 SE), initiated by Member of the Riigikogu Tõnis Palts, which provides a prohibition on the installation of wind turbines starting from a certain size on the islands of Saaremaa, Hiiumaa, Vormsi and Muhu. According to the justifications of the initiator, on the islands of West Estonia, tourism – activities related to the provision of services to and construction of summer homes – is the most important sustainable economic branch the development of which is directly influenced by the installation of large wind turbines. 

The Bill on Amendments to the Act on Granting International Protection to Aliens and Amendments to Other Associated Acts (509 SE), initiated by the Government, is motivated by an EU directive. It provides minimum standards for the qualification and status of third country nationals or stateless persons as refugees or as persons who otherwise need international protection and the content of the protection granted. The Directive ensures that Member States apply common criteria for the identification of persons genuinely in need of international protection. It also ensures that a minimum level of benefits is available for those persons in all Member States. The amendments will help to limit the secondary movement of applicants for international protection between Member States, where such movement is purely caused by differences in legal frameworks. 

The Bill on Amendments to the General Part of the Economic Activities Code Act and Other Acts (504 SE), initiated by the Government, postpones the deadline for the entry into force of the general part of the Code. Accordingly, amendments are made to the Health Care Services Organisation Act which falls within the area of government of the Ministry of Social Affairs, and the Security Act which falls within the area of government of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. 

The Bill on Amendments to the Republic of Estonia Principles of Ownership Reform Act and Other Associated Acts (480 SE), initiated by the Government, repeals the provisions on the basis of which a register of entitled subjects and property to be returned or compensated for had been established, as the register has exhausted its purpose. The functions of the register which will be closed will be transferred to the Ministry of Finance. A special provision is established for the term for the exercise of supervision proceedings by county governors. A longer term for proceedings is indispensable, considering the particularity of the acts related to the ownership reform. An implementing provision amends the Use of Privatisation Proceeds Act which will increase proceeds to the ownership reform reserve fund of the Government. 

The Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu “Approval of the Consolidated Report of 2012 of the State” (476 OE), submitted by the Government. The consolidated report consists of the management report, the consolidated and the unconsolidated annual accounts of the state, additional information concerning local governments and additional information concerning public sector and government sector. The consolidated report also includes the respective report of the National Audit Office. 

The Bill on Amendments to the Insurance Activities Act and the Investment Funds Act (475 SE), initiated by the Government, will ensure effective functioning of the system of governance of insurance undertakings. The requirements for the system of governance are amended, including the risk-management and internal control system of insurance undertakings and the regulation relating to the outsourcing of insurance-related activities. The rules relating to ancillary activities of insurance undertakings are regulated in more detail and the amounts insured by liability insurance contracts of insurance brokers are increased. 

The Bill on Amendments to the Taxation Act and Other Associated Acts (507 SE), initiated by the Government, harmonises the rules relating to the administration of the financial claims of the state arising from court proceedings and judgments of the Prosecutor’s Office. With the Bill, the keeping of records on claims that arise from court proceedings administered by the State Shared Service Centre and from judgments of the Supreme Court and the Prosecutor’s Office is transferred to the register of taxable persons. The abovementioned agencies will be granted the rights of an authorised processor of the database. With that, they will be granted the right of access to the tax secrecy. These agencies will remain the administrators and claimants of claims, i.e. they will forward overdue claims to the bailiff. The recovery of such claims will not be given to the competence of the Tax and Customs Board. 

The Bill on Amendments to the Value Added Tax Act (506 SE), initiated by the Government, harmonises the rules for defining the place of taxation of electronic communications services and electronically supplied services in the European Union which will enter into force as of 1 January 2015. It also provides the special scheme for applying VAT to electronic communications services and electronically supplied services. In addition, the limits of the exemption from taxes of imports of coffee and tea dispatched by parcel post from outside the European Union are brought into conformity with the requirements of the European Union. 

The State Budget Bill (513 SE), initiated by the Government, provides for the creation of the legal bases and establishment of the basic requirements to ensure the long-term economic and financial sustainability of Estonia. The Bill sets out the requirements and obligations for the budget sphere and determines the definitions and principles of budgeting. The definitions used in this sphere are updated and they are harmonised with the definitions used in accounting. The Bill transposes into national law the relevant European Union directive on requirements for budgetary frameworks of the Member States. The deadline for transposition by the Member States is 31 December 2013. The Bill establishes in Estonian law a “balanced budget rule” and an automatic mechanism to take corrective action provided for in the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union. 

The Social Democratic Party Faction moved to reject the Bill at the first reading. The motion was not supported. The result of voting: 19 votes in favour, 45 against. 

The Bill on Amendments to the State Budget of 2013 Act (514 SE), initiated by the Government. According to the State Budget Act, in order to amend the state budget without amending the total volume of expenditure, the Government may initiate a draft State Budget Amendment Act not later than two months before the end of the budgetary year. Considering that the state budget is prepared in the autumn of the preceding year, the budget is readjusted in view of the changed situation in order to achieve the budgetary targets set by state authorities. 

The Riigikogu rejected four Bills at the first reading

On the motion of the Finance Committee, the Bill on Amendments to the State Fees Act (454 SE), initiated by the Social Democratic Party Faction, was rejected at the first reading. It had been intended to reduce the state fee for a trailer of an automobile from 121 euro to 25 euro. The result of voting: 45 votes in favour, 31 against. 

On the motion of the Social Affairs Committee, the Patients Bill (457 SE), initiated by the Social Democratic Party Faction, was rejected. It concerned the rights and obligations of the patient and the health care professional. The result of voting: 42 votes in favour, 32 against. 

On the motion of the Social Affairs Committee, the Bill on Amendments to the Parental Benefits Act (486 SE), initiated by the Social Democratic Party Faction, was rejected. It concerned improvement of the flexibility of the parental benefit system. The result of voting: 41 votes in favour, 24 against. 

On the motion of the Finance Committee, the Bill on Amendments to the Alcohol, Tobacco, Fuel and Electricity Excise Duty Act (485 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, was rejected. It had been intended to specify the rules on how much fuel may be brought to Estonia from non-EU countries. The result of voting: 41 votes in favour, 17 against. 

The sitting ended at 10.00 p.m.

The Riigikogu Press Service 

 

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