At Question Time, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip answered the question about the financial policy of the state, submitted by Jaanus Marrandi, and the question about economic growth, submitted by Ain Seppik. The Minister of Finance Ivari Padar answered questions about the state budget. The Minister of Culture Laine Jänes answered the question about the budget of the Ministry of Finance, submitted by Jaak Aab.
The Riigikogu passed five Acts:
The Act on Ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community (193 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 91 votes in favour (1 vote against). The Treaty of Lisbon amends the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community. The aim of the Treaty of Lisbon is to complete the process started by the Treaty of Amsterdam and by the Treaty of Nice with a view to enhancing the efficiency and democratic legitimacy of the Union and to improving the coherence of its action. Member of the Committee Urmas Reinsalu gave an overview of the deliberations of the Constitutional Committee. Chairman of the European Union Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson, Enn Eesmaa, Ester Tuiksoo, Marek Strandberg, Jaanus Marrandi, Kristiina Ojuland, Raivo Järvi, Igor Gräzin, Hannes Rumm and Aivar Riisalu took the floor during debate. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet also addressed the Riigikogu.
The Act on Amendments to the Punishment Register Act, the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Code of Civil Procedure, the Code of Civil Procedure and the Code of Enforcement Procedure Implementation Act and the Code of Misdemeanour Procedure (218 SE), initiated by the Government, which allows transition to partially electronic administration in infringement proceedings and saving the data of infringement proceedings in the e-file system, was passed with 93 votes in favour. The Act provides the opportunity to create procedural documents also in electronic form and to preserve them in the e-file system of law enforcement authorities.
The Act on Amendments to the Police Act and Associated Acts (222 SE), initiated by the Government, the objective of which is to ensure legal clarity in cases when the police apply measures which infringe fundamental rights of persons, was passed with 58 votes in favour (30 against). The preparation of the Act was necessitated above all by analyses of the events in April. The Act specifies issues related to restriction of the right to free movement of persons and to the freedom to hold meetings, elaborates the concept of “coercion” in order to define the application of coercion in connection with the restriction of the right to free movement of persons; specifies the use of special equipment and weapons by the police and the documentation of their use. Among other things, the Act regulates the use of electric shock weapon.
The Act on Amendments to the Earth’s Crust Act (228 SE), initiated by the Government, which aims at managing the use of earth’s crust and extraction of mineral resources in a manner more profitable for the state and society and more systematically, by preventing or minimising potential harmful environmental impact, was passed with 40 votes in favour (35 against). The Act specifies the terminology of the Act and the processes of geological investigation, geological explorations and proceedings concerning extraction permits.
The Act on Amendments to the Act on the Accession to the Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail (176 SE), initiated by the Government, which specifies that Estonia is going to accede to the version of the Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail (COTIF) which was amended in 1999, was passed with 49 votes in favour. The amendments made in the Convention in 1999 had not entered into force by 2004, the time of initial ratification of the Convention by the Riigikogu. However, states can only accede to a version of COTIF which is in force. The Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail is a uniform system of legal provisions concerning international carriage of passengers, luggage and goods by rail. The uniform rules of the Convention are applied in international rail transport, but also with regard to road and water transport which is related thereto. Parties to the COTIF constitute the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF), with the headquarters in Berne. Estonia’s accession to the OTIF will be possible after the specified instrument of accession has been presented.
The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of one Bill:
The Bill on Amendments to the Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Management System Act (280 SE), initiated by the Government, which provides the legal bases and procedure for the assessment of environmental impact and the strategic assessment of environmental impact, the organisation of the environmental management and environmental auditing system and the legal bases for giving ecolabels, and establishes liability for violation of the requirements of the Act, with the aim of preventing damage to the environment. In implementation of the Act which is currently in force, it has become apparent that certain provisions of the Act are not effectively usable in practice and some legal provisions need to be specified because they have proved not to be in full compliance with European Union law. The Estonian Green Party Faction moved to reject the Bill at the first reading. The motion was not supported: 35 votes in favour, 57 against.
The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of one Bill:
The purpose of the Bill on Amendments to the Broadcasting Act (241 SE), initiated by the Government, is to specify the issuing of broadcasting licences and to create more favourable conditions for holders of broadcasting licences as they switch from analogue transmission to digital transmission of their programmes.
At the beginning of the sitting, 33 deputies of the Estonian Centre Party Faction, the Estonian People’s Union Faction and the Estonian Green Party Faction submitted an expression of no confidence in the Minister of the Environment Jaanus Tamkivi. The Government applied for deliberation of the issue at the earliest opportunity at the Riigikogu sitting on Wednesday. The expression of no confidence found no support in the voting following the discussion. The result of voting: 36 votes in favour, 59 against. Thus, the Riigikogu did not pass a vote of no confidence in the Minister of the Environment Jaanus Tamkivi.
Due to the end of the working hours of the sitting, the second reading of the Supplementary Budget of the Year 2008 Bill (273 SE), initiated by the Government, was adjourned. The supplementary budget provides reduction of this year’s revenue by 6.1 billion kroons and reduction of the expenditure by 3.2 billion kroons. 166 motions to amend were submitted for the second reading, of which 117 were submitted by the Estonian Centre Party Faction and 49 by the Estonian People’s Union Faction. The specified Factions put the motions to amend to a vote and took a ten-minute recess before to each voting. This prolonged the proceeding until Thursday morning, 12 June. In total, 65 motions to amend were voted on.
The sitting which began on Wednesday, 11 June, ended on Thursday, 12 June at 9.54 a.m.
The verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian) can be found at:
The Riigikogu Press Service
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