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At Question Time Minister of Justice Ken-Marti Vaher and Minister of Culture Urmas Paet answered the questions of the members of the Riigikogu. The problems connected with education in the official language, cultural heritage, teaching Estonian in non-Estonian schools, regional policy, freedom fighting of World War II and forensic medical examination in Ida-Virumaa were discussed.

 

The Riigikogu passed the following Acts:

 

The Act on the Implementation of the European Union Council Regulation (EC) No 2157/2001 on the Statute for a European Company (SE) (431 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was passed with 80 votes in favour. The Act specifies the implementation of the Regulation on SE in cases the location of the future SE is Estonia. Pursuant to Article 249 of the Treaty of the European Union the Regulation of the European Union is directly applicable in all Member States and therefore it generally does not need implementing provisions for national transposition. The Regulation on the Statute for the SE deviates from this general principle, as it provides several guidelines and options to national regulators for the regulation of individual matters.

 

The Riigikogu passed with 75 votes in favour the Act on Amendments to the International Military Cooperation Act and to Other Acts (430 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The Act ensures better implementation of the International Military Cooperation Act. At the same time, the bases for the aviation activities of the Defence Forces and the protection of the air space of Estonia as a member of NATO are stipulated in amendments to the Aviation Act.

 

The Riigikogu passed with 72 votes in favour (1 abstention) the Response to Memoranda and Requests for Explanation Act (251 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The Act ensures the right of an individual, stipulated in § 46 of the Constitution, to address state agencies with memoranda and get the responses pursuant to the procedure provided by law. The responding to petitions, pursuant to the same provision, is covered by the Administrative Procedure Act, several specific laws are added to it.

 

The Supplementary State Budget of the Year 2004 Act (444 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was passed with 55 votes in favour (38 against). The planned revenue of the supplementary budget is EEK 848,687,087 in all and the expenditure EEK 1,033,793, 383. The Isamaaliit Faction moved to suspend the third reading of the Bill. The motion was not supported. The result of voting: 38 votes in favour, 59 against.

 

The Act on the Accession to the Agreement between the Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty for the Security of Information (447 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was passed with 54 votes in favour. The objective of the Agreement is to ensure uniform protection of the classified information produced for NATO in all Member States. The accession to the Agreement is a prerequisite to Estonia?s getting classified information of NATO. Thus the accession to the Agreement is a prerequisite to Estonia?s normal participation in NATO?s structures.

 

The Act on the Ratification of the Instruments Amending the Constitution and the Convention of the International Telecommunication Union (446 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was passed with 51 votes in favour.

 

The Riigikogu passed with 45 votes in favour the Act on the Accession to the Constitution of the International Organization for Migration and on the Ratification of its Constitution and Amendments to the Constitution (448 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The IOM is the most important intergovernmental international organization dealing with migration problems. The main fields of activities of the IOM are the following: labour migration, trafficking in persons, help to the migrants returning to their native countries, practical solutions of the organisation of migration, helping the resettlers from developing countries and war districts to integrate into the life of their new location country, promotion of legislation and technical cooperation. The main attention is focussed on the welfare of migrants and the protection of their rights and the provision of information on migration.

 

The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of the following Bills:

 

The Bill on Amendments to the Study Allowances and Study Loans Act (449 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.

 

The Creative Persons and Creative Persons? Associations Bill (412 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The Social Democratic Party Faction moved to suspend the second reading of the Bill. The results of voting: 28 votes in favour, 55 against. The motion was not supported.

 

The Bill on Amendments to the Machinery Safety Act (435 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.

 

The Bill on Amendments to the Alcohol, Tobacco and Fuel Excise Duty Act and Associated Acts (450 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.

 

The Bill on Amendments to the Gambling Tax Act (451 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.

 

The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of the following Bill:

 

The Bill on Amendments to the Social Welfare Act, Social Benefits for Disabled Persons Act, State Family Benefits Act, Public Procurements Act, Value Added Tax Act and Juvenile Sanctions Act (452 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The Estonian Centre Party Faction, Social Democratic Party Faction and the Isamaaliit Faction moved to reject the Bill. The results of voting: 35 votes in favour, 54 against. The motion was not supported. The Bill remained in the legislative proceeding.

 

The Riigikogu started the second reading of the last item on the agenda of the Wednesday?s sitting ? the State Budget of the Year 2005 Bill (453 SE). The Finance Committee submitted 225 motions to amend to the plenary for the review. During the voting process the Estonian Centre Party Faction took ten-minute recesses, due to which the voting procedure lasted till the beginning of the Thursday?s sitting. 69 motions to amend had been put to a vote by the end of the sitting. The second reading is resumed at the Thursday?s sitting.

 

The sitting ended on November 11, 9.58.

 

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

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

 

The Riigikogu Press Service

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