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The Riigikogu passed seven Acts: 

The Act on Amendments to the Broadcasting Act (241 SE), initiated by the Government, which specifies the issuing of broadcasting licences and creates more favourable conditions for holders of broadcasting licences as they switch from analogue transmission to digital transmission of their programmes, was passed with 53 votes in favour (16 votes against, 1 abstention). 

The Act on Amendments to the Defence Forces Service Act (244 SE), initiated by the Government, which harmonises the level of education of members of the Defence Forces of Estonia with the level of education required in the corresponding office by NATO member states and EU member states, enables officers who have acquired civilian higher education to serve in positions of commanding officer, and postpones by four years the general term of compliance with the requirements for education as provided by law, was passed with 73 votes in favour (2 votes against). The Act enables continuation of service for the regular members of the Defence Forces who have acquired civilian higher education or a training which complies with the requirements for education at a military school of a NATO or EU member state, and the officers who have commenced acquisition of higher education. 

The Act on Amendments to the Establishment of Cause of Death Act (242 SE), initiated by the Government, which grants to doctors accompanying military missions the authority to issue death certificates in Estonian which would be equal in validity to death certificates issued by family physicians or heads of ambulance crew, was passed with 77 votes in favour (1 vote against). 

The Act on Accession to the Convention between the Kingdom of Belgium, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Kingdom of Spain, the French Republic, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Republic of Austria on the stepping up of cross border cooperation, particularly in combating terrorism, cross border crime and illegal migration (233 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 73 votes in favour (2 votes against). The purpose of the Convention is to enable more rapid exchange of information between the parties to the Convention in the prevention, combating and investigation of crimes. Among other things, the Convention covers the establishing of national DNA registers and data exchange. The national DNA register was established in Estonia by the Government Regulation of 14 December 2006. The Institute of Forensic Services of Estonia is the authorised processor of the register. 

The Act on Accession to Protocol of 2003 to the International Convention on the Establishment of an International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage, 1992 (247 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 64 votes in favour. The purpose of the accession to the Protocol is to ensure an opportunity for Estonia to apply for and receive compensation for oil pollution damage from the international supplementary fund in the cases when compensation is not paid under the 1992 Convention on liability or the compensation paid on the basis thereof is insufficient for covering the pollution damage, and the compensation paid from the international fund on the basis of the 1992 Convention on the Fund is also insufficient. The supplementary fund allows damage caused to the injured party to be fully compensated also in cases of large-scale oil pollution disasters. 

The Act on the Ratification of the Agreement on taking account of the periods of insurance completed in the territory of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the Republic of Latvia (230 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 68 votes in favour (1 vote against). The Agreement was signed in Tallinn on 12 October 2007. The legal background of its scope of application has changed significantly as compared to the time of signature of the former Agreement because at the time when the Agreement was signed the states were not yet part of the EU social security coordination system. Pursuant to the Agreement, the state of the party in whose territory a longer period of insurance was completed will take account of the periods of insurance completed in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and will pay the pension. 

The Act on Accession to Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (258 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 73 votes in favour. An international information network has been created within the framework of the Agreement which provides rapid and up-to-date information about the condition of the birds on migration and this allows dangers to be assessed with more precision. It is possible to take protection measures quickly, as necessary, in consideration of not only the conditions of Estonia but the scope of the whole migration area. This will ensure an integrated approach to the protection of migratory birds. The birds protected under the Agreement receive heightened attention in the European Union and the Agreement will serve as a basis for introducing additional protection measures for species in need of special attention in Estonia in the future. Accession to the Agreement will considerably enhance opportunities to participate in international projects, to exchange information and experience, and to plan and organise protection of endangered species. 

The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of eighteen Bills: 

At today’s sitting, the Riigikogu continued the second reading of the Supplementary Budget of the Year 2008 Bill (273 SE) by voting on the motions to amend. Motions to amend No 134 – 166 were covered. The supplementary budget will reduce the revenue of this year’s budget by 6.1 billion kroons and the expenditure by 3.2 billion kroons. The Bill was sent to the third reading. 

The main objective of the Bill on Amendments to the Alcohol Act (89 SE), initiated by the Government, is to resolve urgent issues relating to the supervision exercised over handling of alcohol. The Bill sets a restriction on the sale of alcoholic beverages in the whole country, allowing the sale of alcohol in shops from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

the Bill on Amendments to the Health Insurance Act and the Estonian Health Insurance Fund Act (246 SE) and (196 SE), initiated by the Government and the Estonian Centre Party Faction; 

the Bill on Amendments to the Nature Conservation Act and Associated Acts (212 SE), initiated by the Government; 

the Bill on Amendments to the Penal Code (225 SE), initiated by the Legal Affairs Committee; 

the Bill on Amendments to § 16 and § 19 of the Environmental Charges Act (264 SE), initiated by the Environmental Committee; 

the Bill on Amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Code of Misdemeanour Procedure (238 SE), initiated by the Government; 

the Bill on Amendments to the Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure (239 SE), initiated by the Government; 

the Recognition of Foreign Professional Qualifications Bill (259 SE), initiated by the Government; 

the Bill on Amendments to the Code of Misdemeanour Procedure, the Courts Act, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Code of Civil Procedure (260 SE), initiated by the Government; 

the Bill on Amendments to the Aviation Act and the State Fees Act (245 SE), initiated by the Government; 

the Bill on Amendments to § 265¹ of the Securities Market Act (282 SE), initiated by the Finance Committee; 

the Bill on Amendments to the Authorised Public Accountants Act (283 SE), initiated by the Finance Committee; 

the Defence Forces Organisation Bill (202 SE), initiated by the Government; 

the Bill on Amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Peace-Time National Defence Act, the War-Time National Defence Act, the Government of the Republic Act and the Code of Misdemeanour Procedure (203 SE), initiated by the Government; 

the Bill on Amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Code of Criminal Procedure Implementation Act (219 SE), initiated by the Government; 

the Bill on Amendments to the Universities Act, the Private Schools Act and the Institutions of Professional Higher Education Act and Associated Acts (272 SE), initiated by the Government; 

the Rural Development and Agricultural Market Regulation Bill (275 SE), initiated by the Government; 

the Bill on Amendments to the Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Management System Act (280 SE), initiated by the Government. 

The Riigikogu suspended the second reading of two Bills: 

on the motion of the initiator of the second reading, the Bill on Amendments to the Study Allowances and Study Loans Act (223 SE), initiated by the Cultural Affairs Committee; 

on the motion of the initiator, the Bill on Amendments to § 90 of the Electronic Communications Act (261 SE), initiated by the Cultural Affairs Committee; 

The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of six Bills: 

the Bill on Amendments to the Riigikogu Rules of Procedure and Internal Rules Act (235 SE), initiated by the Estonian Green Party Faction; 

the Bill on Amendments to the Riigikogu Rules of Procedure and Internal Rules Act (236 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction; 

the Equal Treatment Bill (262 SE), initiated by the Estonian Reform Party Faction, the Social Democratic Party Faction and the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction; 

the Bill on Amendments to the President of the Republic Official Benefits Act (276 SE), initiated by the Government; 

the Bill on Amendments to the Maritime Safety Act and the State Fees Act (274 SE), initiated by the Government; 

the Bill on Amendments to the State Pension Insurance Act and the State Family Benefits Act (267 SE), initiated by the Government; 

The Riigikogu rejected five Bills at the first reading: 

on the motion of the Social Affairs Committee, the Bill on Amendments to the State Pension Insurance Act, the State Family Benefits Act, the Social Benefits for Disabled Persons Act and the Value Added Tax Act (221 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction. The result of voting: 53 votes in favour, 14 against. 

on the motion of the Social Affairs Committee, the Bill on Amendments to the Social Benefits for Disabled Persons Act (234 SE), initiated by the Estonian People’s Union Faction. The result of voting: 53 votes in favour, 14 against. 

on the motion of the Constitutional Committee, the Bill on Amendments to the Persons Repressed by Occupying Powers Act (237 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction. The result of voting: 47 votes in favour, 10 against. 

on the motion of the Social Affairs Committee, the Bill on Amendments to § 63 of the Health Insurance Act (249 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction. The result of voting: 48 votes in favour, 12 against. 

on the motion of the Finance Committee, the Bill on Amendments to § 4 to the Income Tax Act (250 SE), initiated by the Estonian People’s Union Faction. The result of voting: 48 votes in favour, 13 against.

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At Question Time, the Minister of Social Affairs Maret Maripuu answered questions about the budget of the Ministry of Social Affairs and the e-health program. The Minister of Agriculture Helir-Valdor Seeder answered the question about the competitiveness of agriculture. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet answered questions about the future of the Treaty of Lisbon, the steps taken to free the hostaged Estonian citizen, cooperation with Central Asian countries and developing relationships with Russia. 

The sitting ended at 12.10 a.m. 

The Riigikogu Press Service 

 

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