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The Riigikogu passed with 58 votes in favour the Rescue Service Act (164 SE), initiated by the Government. The Act was prepared due to the need to regulate service issues in rescuing by a separate Act. Thus far, none of the Acts which regulated service would take account of the special character of the work of rescue service workers. At the same time, it is the responsibility of the state to secure efficient preparation and equipment of rescue service agencies because the Rescue Board and the agencies providing rescue service play a central role in the rescuing of the lives and property of people and in the organisation of inevitable works performed for the protection of the environment. This Act regulates the organisation of rescue service and the legal status of rescue service workers. The Public Service Act extends to rescue officials, and the Employment Contracts Act and other labour laws apply to rescue service workers, with the specifications arising from this Act. The Act enters into force on 1 March 2008. Nobody voted against the Act and nobody abstained.

The Act on Amendments to the Trading Act, the Register of Economic Activities Act and Associated Acts (150 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 79 votes in favour. The purpose of the Act is to specify the provisions of the Acts, to clarify and simplify regulation, and to harmonise the general provisions relating to the obligation of registration in different spheres of economic activities. Both the Economic Activities Register Act and the Trading Act being so-called framework Acts necessitated amending of the Alcohol Act, the Building Act and the Tourism Act as well. This Act enters into force on 15 May 2008 and the amendments to the Tourism Act enter into force on 1 September 2008. Nobody voted against the Act and nobody abstained.

The Act on Amendments to the Energy Efficiency of Equipment Act and the Building Act (167 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 82 votes in favour. The Act was prepared in view of the need to harmonise Estonian legislation with the European Parliament and Council Directive on eco-design requirements for energy-using products. The Act provides eco-design requirements for energy-using products and ensures free movement of such products within the internal market. The Act is concerned with the requirements to be fulfilled by equipment falling under the implementing measures, in order to be allowed into the market and utilisation. The requirements are meant to improve the energy-efficiency of the equipment and the level of environmental friendliness of their production, which in turn is going to contribute to sustainable development. The Act enters into force pursuant to general procedure. Nobody voted against the Act and nobody abstained.

The Bill on Amendments to the Social Welfare Act, the Public Transport Act and the Persons Repressed by Occupying Powers Act (151 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, was rejected at the first reading on the motion of the Social Affairs Committee as leading committee. 47 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the motion of the Committee and 34 members voted against, nobody abstained. Thus, the Bill was withdrawn from the legislative proceeding.


The Riigikogu Press Service