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Overview First, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip replied to the interpellation concerning the use of the European Union structural funds (No 58), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Vilja Savisaar, Kalev Kallo, Kalle Laanet, Mailis Reps and Ain Seppik on 21 April.  

Ansip said that the deadline for using the structural funds for the period of 2004-2006 was the end of the year 2008. As at 30 April 2008, 93.13 per cent of the funds of the national development plan allocated to Estonia for the period of 2004–2006 (these funds amount to a total of 5.18 billion kroons) are covered by projects and 79.18 per cent, or 4.6 billion kroons, have been paid. Ansip explained that approximately 1.2 billion kroons were yet to be paid from the funds of the Cohesion Fund. Of these funds, 100 per cent of the 6.74 billion kroons allocated for the period of 2004–2006 are covered by projects and 58.1 per cent, i.e. ca 3.9 billion kroons, have been paid as at 30 April. About 2.8 billion kroons are yet to be paid. The funds of the Cohesion Fund can be used until the end of 2010. Prime Minister admitted that the implementation of the measures for using the structural funds for the period of 2007–2013 should indeed have progressed at a speedier pace. At the same time, it should be borne in mind that the negotiations with the European Commission on the three implementation plans which are the basis for using the funds, and the internal procedures in the Commission took longer than expected and the plans were approved as late as in 2007. “At the moment, it is certainly inappropriate to speak about the possibility that a substantial part of the amounts of the new programme period will go unused,” confirmed Ansip. As regards the funds to be used in the period 2007–2013, the first interim deadline for the funds programmed for the first year of the period (2007) is as late as 31 December 2010. The specified term should be totally sufficient for achieving the maximum final result. Prime Minister said, “I am convinced that co-financing by the state will be guaranteed even if the Riigikogu adopts a negative supplementary budget. And I have said from this high rostrum here that using the European Union funds is a priority for Estonia.”

Prime Minister also replied to the following interpellations: the interpellation concerning the situation in Narva (No 67), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Vladimir Velman, Lembit Kaljuvee, Valeri Korb and Olga Sõtnik on 8 May; the interpellation concerning ensuring of the use and co-financing of European aid (No 68), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Ester Tuiksoo, Mai Treial, Jaanus Marrandi, Karel Rüütli and Villu Reiljan on 8 May; the interpellation concerning merging of Türi Technical And Rural Economy School and Paide Vocational School into Järvamaa Vocational Education Centre (No 70), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Jaanus Marrandi, Karel Rüütli, Villu Reiljan, Mai Treial, Ester Tuiksoo and Tarmo Mänd on 13 May; the interpellation concerning ensuring constitutional rights of citizens (No 71), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Karel Rüütli, Ain Seppik and Kalle Laanet on 13 May; the interpellation concerning solving the problem of kindergarten places (No 74), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Villu Reiljan, Mai Treial, Karel Rüütli and Tarmo Mänd on 15 May.

The agenda for the working week was approved. On the motion of initiators, the first readings of the Bill on Amendments to the Riigikogu Rules of Procedure and Internal Rules Act (235 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, and of the Bill on Amendments to the Persons Repressed by Occupying Powers Act (237 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, were excluded

The Riigikogu Press Service

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