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The Riigikogu passed with 52 votes in favour the Act on Amendments to the Ambient Air Protection Act (726 SE), initiated by the Government. The purpose of the amendments is to amend the legal regulation of the emissions trading permitted for states under Article 17 of the Kyoto Protocol and implementation of the Green Investment Scheme. The amendments specify the national organisation of emissions trading in preparation and implementation of international agreements. The concept of the Green Investment Scheme is also defined. The amendments help ensure transparency and intelligibility of the Estonian legislative acts and implementation schemes. In addition, professional preparation of emissions trading transactions and better use of the funds received is ensured. 36 members of the Riigikogu voted against the Act, nobody abstained. This Act enters into force on the following day after its publication in the Riigi Teataja.

On the motion of the Constitutional Committee, the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Political Parties Act and Acts concerning Elections (516 SE), initiated by the same Committee, was suspended. The purpose of the Bill is to ensure that persons belong to only one political party registered in Estonia at a time and to allow an actual overview of the lists of members of political parties. According to the amendments, the leadership of a political party maintains a list of members of the political party at the registration department of the court. The leadership of the political party or a person authorised therefor by the leadership makes changes to the list of members of the political party. In the case when a member of a political party is included in more than one list of members of the political party, the registration department of the court will consider the person to belong to the party to which the person was admitted later. The registration department of the court publishes lists of members of political parties in the web query system of the non-profit associations and foundations register. Changes are published immediately. The European Parliament Election Act, the Local Government Council Election Act and the Riigikogu Election Act are also amended. The Bill was sent to the third reading.
 
On the motion of the National Defence Committee, the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Defence Forces Service Act (671 SE), initiated by the same Committee, was concluded. The purpose of the amendments is to determine on the basis of the Act restriction of the fundamental rights and freedoms of conscripts and to bring the duration of alternative service into conformity with the principles of the European Social Charter. The Bill regulates potential restrictions of the fundamental rights which may occur in the course of performance of the duties of conscripts. The duration of alternative service is also reduced and it is equalised with the duration of compulsory military service. The Bill was sent to the third reading.
 
On the motion of the National Defence Committee, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Weapons Act (719 SE), initiated by the same Committee, was concluded. The purpose of the amendments is to allow bayonet knives produced before 1946 to unrestricted commerce as cut-and-thrust weapons. Bayonet knives are permitted to be used for civilian purposes in the European Union countries as well as in most of the countries of the world. In the initiator’s words, the bayonet knife is in principle no more dangerous than hunting knives and kitchen knives that are in unrestricted commercial use. The Bill was sent to the second reading.
 
 
The Riigikogu Press Service
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