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On the motion of the Finance Committee, the Bill on Amendments to the Alcohol, Tobacco, Fuel and Electricity Excise Duty Act (33 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 and 35 members of the Riigikogu voted against. Thus, the Bill was dropped from the legislative proceeding.

The first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Commercial Code and Other Associated Acts (75 SE), initiated by the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction and the Estonian Reform Party Faction, was concluded. The purpose of the directives transposed with the Act is to help enhance the competitiveness of the European Union by reducing the administrative burden arising from the European company law directives. Amendments to the mergers and divisions directive involve reduction of reporting requirements for companies, including also in the case of a merger between a parent company and its subsidiary, and updating of information requirements. Similar amendments also concern the Cross-Border Mergers Directive. Amendments to the Capital Requirements Directive enable Member States to reduce reporting requirements upon the formation of a public limited liability company and an increase in subscribed capital if these occur in the context of the merger or the division. The Bill was sent to the second reading.
 
On the motion of the Constitutional Committee, the Bill on Amendments to § 108 of the Public Service Act (71 SE), initiated by Members of the Riigikogu Kalev Kotkas and Eiki Nestor, was rejected at the first reading. 46 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the motion and 18 members voted against, one member abstained. The Bill was dropped from the legislative proceeding.
On the motion of the Rural Affairs Committee, the second reading of the Restrictions on Acquisitions of Immovables Bill (54 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The Act provides the restrictions on acquisitions of immovables used as profit yielding land arising from public interest and the restrictions arising from national security considerations. For the purposes of this Act, public interest is, above all, promotion of purposeful and sustainable management of immovables used as profit yielding land which contain agricultural or forest land. Under the regulation which was in force before, the authorisation system covered all residents of Contracting States to the European Economic Area and OECD member states who wished to acquire an immovable the land use type categories of which include 10 ha or more of agricultural or forest land and who had not resided in Estonia for at least the last three years and had not engaged in the production of agricultural products or forest management as a sole proprietor in Estonia during at least the last three financial years. However, under the regulation which entered into force as of 1 May 2011, residents of Contracting States and OECD member states can purchase land freely. Third-county nationals and legal persons will continue to have to apply for the authorisation of the county governor. Under the Bill, the range of legal persons of Contracting States who will be allowed to acquire agricultural or forest land only with the authorisation of the county governor will also decrease significantly: only a legal person of a Contracting State who has not engaged in the production of agricultural products or forest management during the three years immediately preceding the year when the transaction is concluded will have to apply for the authorisation of the county governor for the acquisition of an immovable the land use type categories of which include 10 ha or more of agricultural or forest land. The Bill was sent to the third reading.
 
On the motion of the Social Affairs Committee, the first reading of the Bill on Ratification of the Social Security Agreement between the Republic of Estonia and Ukraine (64 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The aim of the Agreement which is ratified is to replace the current Agreement which was concluded over ten years ago. In the meantime, social insurance has seen great advancements. Estonia has become a member of the European Union and, as of 1 May 2004, relevant Council of the European Union Regulations on application of social insurance schemes apply with regard to Estonia. Besides, in Ukraine as in Estonia, new types of benefits have been established. For example, neither the unemployment insurance benefit nor the parental benefit scheme existed in Estonia at the time when the current Agreement was concluded. Ukraine has also changed its social insurance schemes. The Bill was sent to the second reading.
 
21 September 2011
 
The Riigikogu Press Service
Margit Liivoja
Press Secretary, phone 631 6353
 
 
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