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Riigikogu

At today’s extraordinary sitting, the Riigikogu approved two Acts, one of which concerned improvement of the sharing of environmental information, and the other the calculation of the waterway due for vessels. 

The aim of the General Part of the Economic Activities Code Act Implementation Act (692 SE), initiated by the Government, is to ensure better information of the public of proceedings of environmental permits and to ensure easier access to environmental information in the possession of public bodies to citizens. The specifications and amendments made by the Act harmonise the provisions of environmental law with a view to ensuring better implementation thereof. An important amendment is connected with specification of the provisions concerning open proceedings in special Acts which are currently in force, because in addition to the current requirement to publicise a notice concerning an application for a waste permit, extraction permit, pollution permit or permit for the special use of water in the official publication Ametlikud Teadaanded, the requirement to publicise the notice in a local or county newspaper, and if the environmental disturbance can be regional or national, then also in a national newspaper, if necessary, has been added. The passing of the Act eliminates a gap in the Estonian law in connection with transposition of Article 4(2) of Directive 2003/4/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on public access to environmental information and repealing Council Directive 90/313/EEC. At present, the provisions of the General Part of the Environmental Code Act are not in full conformity with it. According to European Union law, member states must ensure easy access to environmental information in the possession of public bodies to citizens. The Act also specifies and extends the possibilities of the state to classify environmental information received as information intended for internal use. 

57 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the Act. The Act that was approved consolidated the Bill on Amendments to the General Part of the Environmental Code Act and Amendments to Other Associated Acts (612 SE) and the General Part of the Economic Activities Code Act Implementation Bill (668 SE). One reason for consolidating these Bills was the fact that both Bills were connected with the amendment and implementation of the General Part of the Economic Activities Code Act, and both Bills were due to enter into force at the same time. 

The Riigikogu passed with 60 votes in favour the Act on Amendments to the Maritime Safety Act (646 SE), initiated by members of the Riigikogu Deniss Boroditsh, Kalle Laanet, Arto Aas, Lauri Luik, Rainer Vakra, Lembit Kaljuvee, Rannar Vassiljev, Aivar Riisalu, Lauri Laasi, Vladimir Velman, Olga Sõtnik, Peeter Laurson, Kalev Lillo, Remo Holsmer, Inara Luigas and Valeri Korb. The aim of the Act is to ensure legal clarity in the calculation of the waterway due for vessels engaged in regular service in a situation where a vessel engaged in regular service is replaced with a replacement vessel. The Act will preclude the possibility that the obligated person will have to pay a double waterway due upon the replacement of a vessel engaged in regular service.

The Bill on Amendments to the Roads Act (681 SE), initiated by the Government, passed the second reading. It proposes that the financing of road management will be separated from the proceeds from fuel excise duty, and clarifies the wording concerning the distribution of the funds for road management. The aim is to allow for more flexible and purposeful planning of the state budget. The volume of the financing of road management is determined in the state budget strategy, and the amounts allocated are fixed in the state budget every year. 

The Bill on Amendments to the Health Insurance Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act (679 SE), initiated by the Government, passed the first reading. It amends the Acts with the aim of allowing the issuing of certificates of incapacity for work and the submission of the certificates to employers and the health insurance fund to be done electronically. For implementation of the electronic certificate of incapacity for work, amendments will need to be made in the abovementioned Acts. This implementation will enable a person to receive the benefit for incapacity for work more quickly, reduce the costs relating to the issuing of certificates of incapacity for work incurred by doctors and midwives, enable employers to be relieved from the obligation to submit paper certificates of incapacity for work to the health insurance fund, and thereby save postage costs and time upon submission of data. It will also increase the transparency of the system of the issuing of certificates of incapacity for work and of the submission of the certificates to the health insurance fund, and the quality of the data submitted, and enable the health insurance fund to optimise the processing of certificates of incapacity for work. In the future, a certificate of incapacity for work may be issued on paper only in the case when, for technical reasons, it is impossible to forward data electronically to the health insurance database of the health insurance fund, or when a paper certificate issued in a foreign state is submitted to the health insurance fund. 

The Riigikogu rejected the Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu “Formation of the Riigikogu Study Committee for Resistance to the Influencing Activities of the Television Channels of the Russian Federation” (658 OE), submitted by the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction, which had provided for the formation of a committee to analyse the propagandist influencing activities of the television channels of the Russian Federation, and to offer solutions for resisting their influencing activities. 53 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the rejection of the draft Resolution.

The verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian) 

The Riigikogu Press Service

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