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The Riigikogu passed five Acts and a Resolution:

 

The Riigikogu passed unamended with 62 votes in favour (30 votes against) the Riigikogu Internal Rules Act Amendment Act, refused to be proclaimed by the President of the Republic. The Act abolishes restrictions on members of the Riigikogu simultaneous belonging to the membership of a local government.

 

The Riigikogu passed with 82 votes in favour the Public Water Supply and Sewerage Act and Water Act Amendment Act (615 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The Act regulates the organisation of supply of registered immovables with water from the public water supply and the leading off and treatment of waste water via the public sewerage system, and provides for the corresponding rights and obligations of the state, local governments, water undertakings and clients. The Act specifies the obligations of local governments to work out the rules for connection to the public water supply or sewerage system and for its use as well as the plans for the development of the public water supply and sewerage. The Act specifies the formation of charges for connection to the public water supply or sewerage and the prices of services.

 

The Riigikogu passed with 78 votes in favour the Structural Assistance Act Amendment Act (630 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The Act stipulates the bases for the granting of structural assistance and review of applications, the rights and obligations of subjects related to the granting and use of structural assistance and the bases of supervision. The Structural Assistance Act entered into force on 1 January 2004. Since this date the state of Estonia has had the right to receive the applications for structural support, to process them and also to finance them by the state.  The Act specifies the whole process and conditions for the granting and use of the assistance, to ensure the purposeful, effective use of grants in compliance with legal acts and the requirements of the European Union.

 

The Riigikogu passed with 75 votes in favour the Act on the Denunciation of the Convention on Future Multilateral Co-operation in North-East Atlantic Fisheries (649 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The new Member States of the European Union had to resign their membership from such international fishery organisations wherein the European Communities take part by the date of accession or as quickly as possible after that. This provision takes into account the principle that after the accession to the European Union Estonia is represented in international fishery organisations by the European Communities.  By now the fishing possibilities of Estonia have already been connected to the fishing possibilities of the European Communities, whereby the unit of Estonia was determined in the NEAFC on the basis of balance principle. This unit allocated for Estonia may be caught only by the fishing vessels having Estonian certificates of nationality. Estonia may also change the fishing possibilities, allocated for Estonia in the North-East Atlantic, with other Member States of the European Union. In compliance with Article 21 of the Convention on Cooperation in Fisheries, any state could denounce the Convention at any time after two years from the date on which the Convention entered into force with respect to this state and to notify the Depositary of the Convention of it in writing. The Depositary of the Convention is the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The denunciation enters into force 12 months after the date of depositing the notification. Thus Estonia may present the application for denunciation not earlier than on 7 July 2005. But the denunciation will enter into force only on 7 July 2006. The denunciation of the Convention on Cooperation in Fisheries will also end the participation of Estonia in the NEAFC, where the European Communities present their Member States.

 

The Act on the Ratification of the Convention No 111 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) concerning Discrimination in respect of Employment and Occupation (640 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was passed with 73 votes in favour. The Convention No. 111 obliges the ILO Member State who has ratified the Convention, to implement the policy, which promotes equal opportunities and equal treatment in respect of unemployment and occupation and which is aimed at eliminating any discrimination. The Convention applies to: all the persons, including all the categories of workers, citizens as well as non-citizens; employment and vocational activities, involving all situations, where persons are working under employment contract or on any other basis or acting as enterprisers.

 

The Riigikogu passed with 66 votes in favour (5 votes against, 1 abstention) the Resolution of the Riigikogu On Amendments to the Resolution of the Riigikogu On the Formation of the State Budget Control Committee (644 OE), initiated by the Union for the Republic ? Res Publica, which amends the membership of the Select Committee as follows: Eiki Nestor, the alternate member Ivari Padar; Harri Õunapuu, the alternate member Raivo Järvi; Helir-Valdor Seeder, the alternate member Andres Herkel; Taavi Veskimägi, the alternate member Andres Jalak; Vello Tafenau, the alternate member Jaanus Männik; Värner Lootsmann, the alternate member Mihhail Stalnuhhin.

 

The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of six Bills:

 

The Bill on Amendments to the European Parliament Election Act, Local Government Council Election Act and Riigikogu Election Act (620 SE), initiated by Members of the Riigikogu Jarno Laur, Koit Prants, Mart Nutt, Jaanus Marrandi and Ela Tomson;

 

The Code of Criminal Procedure and Code of Enforcement Procedure Implementation Bill (273 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

 

The Witness Protection Bill (486 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

 

The Bill on Amendments to the Parental Benefits Act (650 SE), initiated by the Estonian Reform Party Faction, Estonian Centre Party Faction and Estonian People’s Union Faction;

 

The Bill on Amendments to the Rural Development and Agricultural Market Regulation Act and the European Union Common Agricultural Policy Implementation Act (638 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

 

The Bill on Amendments to the Old-Age Pensions under Favourable Conditions Act and Superannuated Pensions Act (626 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.

 

The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of six Bills:

 

The Bill on the Ratification of the State Border Treaty between the Republic of Estonia and the Russian Federation and the Treaty on the Delimitation of Maritime Areas of Narva Bay and the Gulf of Finland between the Republic of Estonia and the Russian Federation (660 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

 

The Bill on Amendments to the Income Tax Act and Associated Acts (658 SE), initiated by the Estonian Reform Party Faction, Estonian Centre Party Faction and Estonian People’s Union Faction. The Union for the Republic ? Res Publica Faction moved to reject the Bill. The result of voting: 19 votes in favour, 50 against. The Bill remained in the legislative proceeding.

 

The Bill on Amendments to the Universities Act and Institutions of Professional Higher Education Act (659 SE), initiated by Members of the Riigikogu Vilja Savisaar, Jaak Allik and Helmer Jõgi;

 

The Bill on Amendments to the Waste Act, Packaging Act and Packaging Excise Duty Act (668 SE), initiated by the Environment Committee;

 

The Bill on Amendments to the Social Welfare Act (656 SE), initiated by the Estonian Reform Party Faction, Estonian Centre Party Faction and Estonian People’s Union Faction;

 

The Bill on Amendments to the Infectious Animal Disease Control Act (665 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.

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At Question Time Minister of Justice Rein Lang answered the questions about combating corruption, the ratification of the Treaty Establishing the Constitution for Europe and about state fees. Minister of the Environment Villu Reiljan answered the questions about the Euro-voting and personnel policy. Minister of Social Affairs Jaak Aab answered the questions about social policy, HI-virus and victim support.

 

The sitting ended at 7.07 p.m.

 

The questions asked at the Question Time and the answers to them as well as the verbatim record of the Riigikogu sitting are available (in Estonian) on the Internet at:

http://web.riigikogu.ee/ems/plsql/stenograms.form 

 

The Riigikogu Press Service

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