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The Riigikogu passed five Acts:

The Act on Amendments to the Penal Code (140 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 91 votes in favour. The law imposes up to seven years of imprisonment for human trafficking, with the prison sentence in aggravated cases running up to fifteen years. A provision is also made to provide the possibility for forceful dissolution of a legal person and for a broadened confiscation of the property acquired by criminal means. In relation to the new definition of human trafficking, provisions of the Penal Code on sexual exploitation and organ donorship have been clarified.

The Act on Amendments to the Waste Act and the Packaging Act (155 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 66 votes in favour (13 against). The amendments change the domestic regulation on waste management and transfer the plastic used in agriculture from the scope of application of the Packaging Act to the scope of application of the Waste Act. The Act extends the range of producers by adding producers of agricultural plastic. The Act also improves control over transboundary movement of packaging subject to deposit established in Estonia and clarifies the conditions for taking back packaging subject to deposit.

Act on Ratification of the Statute of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) (163 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 85 votes in favour. Estonia signed the agreement on 11 June 2009 in Berlin. The Statute of IRENA entered into force and the organisation was deemed to be officially established on 8 July 2010, one month after submitting the 25th instrument of ratification. The aim of the Agency is to promote the adoption of renewable energy and the sustainable use of different forms of renewable energy (bioenergy, hydropower, wind energy, etc.).

The Act on Amendments to the Act on the Accession to the Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail (160 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 82 votes in favour (1 against). The amendment applies the appendices of the Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail to international carriage by rail; the appendices establish the general procedure for the conclusion of contracts relating to the use of railway infrastructure for international carriage by rail on the basis of the Uniform Rules concerning the Contract of International Carriage of Passengers by Rail. The Act concerns the validation of technical standards on which the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF) and the European Union agreed that the standards would be established on the basis of the technical regulations prepared and used in the European Union.

The Act on the Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (161 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, with passed with 88 votes in favour. The purpose of the Convention is to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity. The Convention contributes towards the harmonisation of the practices concerning persons with disabilities by specifying and unifying all issues relating to the rights of persons with disabilities which are provided in several international conventions and documents. The Convention does not directly create new rights but reiterates the rights existing in international legislative acts in a way which is directed to the needs and situation of persons with disabilities. The issues not addressed in the Convention will continue to be regulated by international customary law.

The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Gambling Act and Other Associated Acts (88 SE), initiated by the Government. The aim of the Bill is to improve the technical requirements in the Gambling Act by bringing them better into conformity with practical needs. The technical requirements should ensure that the gambling activities organised in Estonia correspond in the best possible way to the expectations or the participants and that it is possible to efficiently supervise the organisation of gambling. The Bill was sent to the third reading.

The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of six Bills:

The Bill on Amendments to the Traffic Act (182 SE), initiated by the Government, transposes the European Union directive on intelligent transport systems. The purpose of the Bill is to promote the use of information and communication technology in road transport (incl. traffic on local roads and urban transport) and link these applications to other types of transport in order to improve environmental protection, efficiency, safety and security in road transport as well as transport of passengers and merchandise, all the while guaranteeing the functioning of the internal market and strengthening of competitiveness as well as increased employment. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

The Bill on Amendments to the Natural Gas Act and the General Part of the Economic Activities Code Act (166 SE), initiated by the Government, provides for the separation of proprietary rights over gas transmission networks from generation or sale of electricity. The amendments should improve Estonia’s energy security and promote competition on gas market, which should ensure a better price for final consumers of gas. The Bill will bring the natural Gas Act into conformity with the relevant directive of the European Union concerning the common rules for the internal market of natural gas. The Bill obligates the company AS Eesti Gaas, which has monopoly position, to sell its gas transmission networks by 1 January 2015 at the latest to a company whose owners do not include any gas producers or sellers of overpowering influence. The Estonian Centre Party Faction moved to reject the Bill at the first reading; 52 members of the Riigikogu voted against the motion and 17 in favour. Thus, the motion was not supported and the Bill was sent to the second reading.

The Bill on Amendments to the Act on the Ratification of the Revised European Social Charter (177 SE), initiated by the Government, aims to recognise Estonia’s further adherence to the five rights included in the Charter, eight numbered provisions in total. With the ratification of the Charter, states assume the responsibility to present reports at five year intervals on the provisions of the Charter that they did not accept at ratification. The purpose of the reports is to determine whether states could assume additional responsibilities. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

The Bill on the Ratification of the Agreement on Social Insurance Provisions between the Republic of Estonia and the Republic of Moldova (189 SE) will help to realise the pension rights of individuals who have lived in the Republic of Estonia and in the Republic of Moldova and have earned their pension qualifying period on the territory of those states. The Agreement also ensures that a pension issued under this Agreement will be continued to be paid out when an individual receiving pension from one party moves from the territory of one state to the territory of the other state. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

The Bill on Amendments to the Environmental Charges Act (187 SE), initiated by the Government, changes the bases for determining the fee for fishing rights on fishing equipment used to catch eels in water bodies where investments have been made for replenishing eel populations by releasing young eels. The Bill specifies the provision which sets the upper and lower limits to fishing fees on using trawl nets; the provision concerns trawl nets used on Lake Peipus. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

The National Defence League Act (190 SE), initiated by the Government, was prompted by the need to bring the existing Act into conformity with the introduced or planned changes in legislation, in connection with changes in the sphere of national defence. The Bill fixes the exact duties of the Defence League as well as the authority of the Commander of the Armed Forces over the activity of the Defence League, which the Bill limits to military training. The Bill provides for specialised bodies to be brought within the structure of the Defence League as its structural units. The Bill also regulates the weapons of the members of the Defence League. The Bill was sent to the second reading.

The verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian) is available at:

 

The Riigikogu Press Service

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