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The Riigikogu passed 8 Acts: 

The Act on Amendments to the Building Act, the Apartment Associations Act, the Apartment Ownership Act and the Building Association Act (134 SE), initiated by the Government, which harmonises Estonian legislation with the relevant European Union directive on the energy performance of buildings, was passed with 63 votes in favour (16 against, 1 abstention). The Act contributes to the improvement of the efficiency of energy use in buildings by allowing easier access to the information on the energy consumption of a building and possible energy saving measures for users of existing buildings. It also allows to apply principles suitable in the Estonian conditions for designing the parts of buildings which determine energy consumption, when planning new buildings. 

The Act on Amendments to the Environmental Charges Act (187 SE), initiated by the Government, which amends the basis for the determination of the fishing charges for the fishing gear used to catch eels in the water bodies where expenses are incurred for reproducing eel resources by way of restocking young eels, was passed with 79 votes in favour. It also specifies the provision which establishes the range of the limit rates for the fishing charge for demersal seine or Danish seine in regard to the demersal seine used on Lake Peipus. 

The Act on Amendments to the Traffic Act (182 SE), initiated by the Government, which transposes the relevant European Union directive on Intelligent Transport Systems, was passed with 77 votes in favour (2 abstentions). The Act encourages the application of information and communication technologies in road transport as well as in the traffic on local roads and in urban transport. The Act allows to interface these applications with other modes of transport. This makes a contribution to improving environmental performance, efficiency, safety and security of road transport and passenger and freight mobility, whilst at the same time ensuring the functioning of the internal market as well as increased levels of competitiveness and employment. 

The Act on Amendments to the Accounting Act and the Commercial Code (147 SE), initiated by the Government, which defines the use of taxonomy and taxonomy forms for accounting entities that until now has been regulated with an implementing provision, and simplifies the formal requirements for annual report for accounting entities pursuing profit, was passed with 77 votes in favour. 

The Act on Amendments to the Act on the Ratification of the Revised European Social Charter (177 SE), initiated by the Government, by which Estonia considers itself additionally bound by five rights contained in the Charter, a total of eight numbered provisions, was passed with 69 votes in favour. According to the Act, the states assume the obligation to submit, at five year intervals, reports on the provisions of the Charter that they did not accept at ratification. The purpose of submitting the reports is to ascertain whether states could assume additional obligations. The aim is to ratify the Charter to the largest possible extent. 

The Act on the Ratification of the Agreement on Social Insurance Provisions between the Republic of Estonia and the Republic of Moldova (189 SE), initiated by the Government, which aims to help realise the pension rights of the persons who have lived in Estonia and Moldova and earned their pension qualifying period on the territory of those states, was passed with 63 votes in favour. Also, if persons receiving a pension and/or benefit move their place of residence from the territory of one Contracting Party to that of the other, the Contracting Party of the place of previous residence will continue to pay the awarded pension. The purpose of the Agreement is to avoid payment of pension for overlapping insurance periods and insurance periods completed on the territory of the other Contracting Party. The Agreement enables to avoid double payment for these periods. 

The Act on Ratification of Amendments to Articles 1 and 18 of the Agreement Establishing the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (201 SE), initiated by the Government, the purpose of which is to extend the activity mandate of the Bank to Mediterranean countries and to allow Special Funds accepted by the Bank to be used in its recipient countries and potential recipient countries, was passed with 62 votes in favour. The amendments to the Agreement are connected with the “Arabian spring” events in the first half of 2011 when revolutions to establish democracy took place in North-Africa and Middle East (Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Libya and Tunisia). Many international organisations, including also the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, have already been active in this region, wishing to contribute to the development of democracy and this region. Amendments to the Agreement establishing the bank involve no additional expenses from the state budget for Estonia. Upon the extension of the activities of the bank, no additional capital is required from members. 

The Act on Ratification of the Agreement between the Republic of India and the Republic of Estonia for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income (207 SE), initiated by the Government, which regulates the division of the taxation right between the Contracting States, and provides avoidance of discriminatory taxation and the obligation to prevent fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income, was passed with 64 votes in favour. 

In the second legislative proceeding of the Act on Amendments to the Universities Act, the Institutions of Professional Higher Education Act and Other Acts which the President of the Republic had refused to proclaim (89 UA), the Riigikogu concluded the second reading of the document. In the course of the legislative proceeding, several amendments were introduced to the Act. Regarding the conditions of academic leave, amendments are introduced to the Act according to which the restriction on the completion of the study programme while on academic leave will apply as of the academic year 2016/2017 to students matriculated at educational institutions as of the academic year 2013/2014 and earlier. As regards reimbursement of study expenses, the Act clearly sets out the cases when an educational institution has the right to demand that study costs be reimbursed by a student. An educational institution may demand that study costs be reimbursed by a student who is studying full-time under a curriculum in which the language of instruction is Estonian only if the student has failed to cumulatively complete by the beginning semester the study load subject to completion according to the curriculum in previous semesters. The Act also amends the regulation of the financing of the carrying out of the instruction at higher education levels, omitting the disputed provision delegating authority which gave the Government the competence to establish more specific conditions and procedure for determining the amount of activity support. According to the amendment, the Government is given the authority to only specify the definitions of the indicators specified in the Act and organisational issues.

The Riigikogu Press Service

 

 

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