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The Riigikogu passed with 71 votes in favour (2 abstentions) the Act on Amendments to the Packaging Act (594 SE), initiated by the Estonian Green Party Faction, which ensures dominant influence of package entrepreneurs on the packaging recovery organisation, preventing their going under the control of waste handlers and the potential accompanying increase of price.
 
The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of three Bills:
 
The Bill on Amendments to the Penal Code (642 SE), initiated by the Government, will have a significant impact above all on international economic relationships because the Bill harmonises the Estonian penal law with the EU Framework Decision.
 
The Bill on Amendments to the Language Act and the Citizenship Act (635 SE), initiated by the Government, brings the databases and information systems of the Ministry of Education and Research, both the existing ones as well as those being established, involving language proficiency examinations of Estonian and the examination on the knowledge of the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia and the Citizenship Act into conformity with the provisions of the regulation of databases in the Public Information Act which has been amended. This will improve the capacity of the Ministry of Education and Research to systematise and automatise data.
 
The Bill on Amendments to the Personal Data Protection Act, the Public Information Act and the Archives Act (564 SE), initiated by the Government, amends the procedure for the registration of processing of sensitive personal data as provided in the Personal Data Protection Act such that the procedure is as simple and economic as possible. The Estonian Centre Party Faction moved to suspend the second reading. The result of voting: 40 votes in favour, 46 votes against, 1 abstention.
 
On the motion of the Finance Committee, the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Income Tax Act (180 SE), initiated by the Government, was suspended.
 
The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of nine Bills:
 
The Bill on Amendments to § 2 of the Permanently Inhabited Small Islands Act (650 SE), initiated by Members of the Riigikogu Mark Soosaar, Imre Sooäär, Tarmo Mänd, Kalev Kotkas, Aleksei Lotman, Tarmo Kõuts and Kalle Laanet, amends the list by adding Pakri Islands.
 
The purpose of the Bill on Amendments to the Income Tax Act and § 3 of the Social Tax Act (631 SE), initiated by the Estonian People’s Union Faction and the Social Democratic Party Faction, is to equalise the situation of sole proprietors with that of salaried employees as regards sickness benefits.
 
The Bill on Amendments to the Traffic Act and the Code of Misdemeanour Procedure (673 SE), initiated by the Legal Affairs Committee, ensures greater reliability of automatic traffic supervision and effectiveness of the proceedings, and creates better opportunities for economic and purposeful use of resources.
 
The Riigi Teataja Bill (654 SE), initiated by the Government, provides the transition to issuing of Riigi Teataja only electronically and provides publishing of all regulations of local governments and the consolidated texts thereof in Riigi Teataja.
The Bill on Amendments to the Public Procurements Act and Associated Acts (665 SE), initiated by the Government, harmonises the European Union remedies directive, reorganises the functions of the supervisory and advisory units of public procurements, specifies the provisions of the Act which is currently in force, clarifies the regulation and solves the practical problems encountered upon the implementation of the Act.
 
The Bill on Ratification of the Agreement on Amendments to the Agreement between the Republic of Estonia and the Czech Republic for the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments and on Termination thereof (660 SE), initiated by the Government, organises the Estonian legal system and terminates the agreement which is essentially unnecessary and the application of which may lead to a conflict with EU law.
 
The Bill on Approval of Amendments to the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area (670 SE), initiated by the Government, involves certain additional requirements for agricultural producers relating to the updating of the technology of spreading of fertilizers in some enterprises.
 
The Bill on Amendments to the State Pension Insurance Act and Other Associated Acts (652 SE), initiated by the Government, provides equal pensionable age for men and women and raises it to 65 years as of 2026, raising it by three months every year as of 2017. The Bill is based on the objective set at the EU Council’s Barcelona Summit in 2002, to achieve a progressive increase of about 5 years in the effective average age at which people stop working, that is, to 65 years instead of the 59.9 years established in 2001.
 
The Estonian Centre Party Faction, the Estonian People’s Union Faction and the Social Democratic Party Faction moved to reject the Bill at the first reading. The motion was not supported. The result of voting: 41 votes in favour, 44 against.
 
The Assistant Police Officers Bill (633 SE), initiated by the Government, defines the concept of assistant police officer in the Estonian legal system and provides the requirements set for assistant police officers.
 
On the motion of the Constitutional Committee, the Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu “Formation of the Committee of Investigation of the Riigikogu for Investigation of the Circumstances of Building of the Victory Monument of the War of Independence” (668 OE), submitted by the Estonian Centre Party Faction and the Estonian People’s Union Faction, was rejected from the legislative proceeding at the first reading. The result of voting: 48 votes in favour, 34 against.
 
At Question Time, the Minister of Education and Research Tõnis Lukas in the capacity of Prime Minister answered the question about the school reform, submitted by Mailis Reps, and the question about the situation of pre-school education, submitted by Heljo Pikhof. The Minister of the Environment Jaanus Tamkivi answered the question about the risks related to Kaliningrad nuclear power station, submitted by Mark Soosaar, and the question about compensation for lands under nature conservation management, submitted by Georg Pelisaar. The Minister of Agriculture Helir-Valdor Seeder answered the question about provision of services in rural areas, submitted by Arvo Sarapuu.
 
The sitting ended at 7.16 p.m.
 
The Riigikogu Press Service
 
 
 
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