The Riigikogu passed six Acts
The Act on Amendments to the Broadcasting Act, the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Code of Civil Procedure and the Law of Obligations Act (656 SE), initiated by the Government, which creates the legal order for persons who process data for journalistic purposes and who therefore have the right to rely on the protection of sources, was passed with 51 votes in favour (12 against, 1 abstention). The Act provides application of the preventive function of the compensation of damage. Application thereof is provided only within the context of causing non-patrimonial damage. The court is granted the right to take into consideration the preventive function of the compensation of damage separately only in the case of such personality rights violations as are aimed against the honour, name and image and the inviolability of private life of a person.
The Act on Amendments to the Political Parties Act and Other Associated Acts (655 SE), initiated by the Government, increases the transparency of the system of the financing of political parties, election coalitions and independent candidates, and of the reporting of election campaigns, was passed with 80 votes in favour (9 against, 1 abstention). The Act establishes rules for donations, provides the consequences of accepting prohibited donations, grants the supervision competence to an independent supervisory body and establishes punishments to those who ignore the rules established by law. The Act specifies the principles of the formation of election coalitions in local elections and determines the status and composition of the committee who organises the financing of political parties.
The Act on Amendments to the Professions Act (842 SE), initiated by the Cultural Affairs Committee, which extends the terms for implementation of the Professions Act which entered into force on 1 September 2008 until 1 January 2014, was passed with 90 votes in favour. The transition period has proved too short and the selection of all necessary bodies that award professions and the introduction of the possibility of obtaining state recognition of curricula for all curricula has not yet been completed. The Act eliminates the vagueness in defining a national curriculum. This will enable to grant the rights of a body that awards a profession to the educational institutions who have national curriculums.
The Act on Amendments to the Identity Documents Act and Other Acts (844 SE), initiated by the Government, which provides in Estonian law the implementation of the European Union residence permit card with a uniform format for third-country nationals, was passed with 61 votes in favour. Since implementation of the residence permit card as a stand-alone document is compulsory for Estonia, then, not later than on 20 May 2011, a new type of identity document in ID 1 format will begin to be issued to aliens who permanently reside in the state. It is a residence permit card including biometric data containing the data of the residence permit and work permit which complies with European Community legislation in terms of its technical specifications and format.
The Act on Amendments to the Value Added Tax Act (797 SE), initiated by the Government, which transposes the amendments to the Council of the European Union directive on value added tax and provides the special procedure for cash basis value added tax accounting in the Value Added Tax Act, was passed with 87 votes in favour. The amendments concern determining of the location of turnover of the natural gas and electricity and heating and cooling energy. The Act extended the option of the special procedure for cash basis value added tax accounting to all persons liable to value added tax whose annual turnover does not exceed 200 000 euro. According to the Act which is currently in force, only sole proprietors have the right to opt for the special procedure for cash basis value added tax accounting. In order to prevent tax evasions, an obligation to apply reverse charge mechanism in case of immovables and metal waste was provided.
The Act on Amendments to the Taxation Act (802 SE), initiated by the Government, which improves the efficiency of tax proceedings and reduces the administrative burden for tax authorities as well as for taxable persons, was passed with 88 votes in favour. A ceiling was established for amounts of interest and, as a result of that, interests will never exceed the principal debt. The Act was amended by adding provisions which help the tax authority to fight tax evasions more efficiently. The Act amended the part concerning the acts ensuring performance of the tax liability and specified the opportunities to carry out an inspection.
The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Waste Act and the Local Government Organisation Act (866 SE), initiated by the Environmental Committee. The amendments arise from a Council of the European Union directive. Their purpose is to prohibit the use of equipment containing polychlorinated biphenyls and polychlorinated terphenyls as of 1 January 2011. Holders of such equipment containing PCBs will have to eliminate the equipment by 31 December 2010 at the latest.
The Estonian Centre Party Faction as the initiator withdrew from the legislative proceeding the Bill on Amendments to the Value Added Tax Act and the Health Insurance Act (816 SE).
The Riigikogu Press Service
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