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The Riigikogu passed with 71 votes in favour the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the United States of America for Scientific and Technological Cooperation Ratification Act (532 SE), initiated by the Government. The Agreement creates dynamic and efficient international cooperation between the scientists and research and development institutions of Estonia, the USA and the Baltic region.                         

The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of four Bills:
 
The Riigikogu concluded the second reading during the second legislative proceeding of the Act on Amendments to the Gender Equality Act, the Republic of Estonia Employment Contracts Act and the Equal Treatment Act (317 UA), refused to be proclaimed by the President of the Republic. The Act is amended so that it would adhere to the requirements provided by the European Union. With the amendment, the definition of harassment on grounds of sex will be added to the Estonian law. In order to guarantee better legal protection of persons, it will be prohibited to request data relating to the issues connected with gender identity from applicants for a job.
                         
The Bill on Amendments to the Universities Act, the Research and Development Organisation Act, the National Library of Estonia Act, the Private Schools Act and the Institutions of Professional Higher Education Act (533 SE), initiated by the Government. As a result of the amendment concerning transitional assessment, the rights of the students to receive documents certifying education and to receive nationally recognised graduation certificates are guaranteed. The provisions concerning the election of research workers are mutually conforming and enable to take into account high-level competitions of research workers taking place outside the research and development institution when electing research workers. With the amendment of the Institutions of Professional Higher Education Act, it will be possible to conclude fixed-term employment contracts with vice rectors in accordance with the nature of their work. The amendment of the Act makes it possible for private universities to act as research and development institutions. Establishing uniform bases for financing scientific collections enables to finance scientific collections on equal conditions to all managers. Regulating the requirements of state aid framework will prevent disputes with the persons or institutions that would get state aid from the state budget financing means under current procedure. Due to the postponement of evaluation by one year it will be possible for research and development institutions to apply for both targeted and basic financing also this year.
 
The Bill on Amendments to the Vocational Educational Institutions Act and the Study Allowances and Study Loans Act (534 SE), initiated by the Government, will create possibilities for establishing basis for taking into account earlier studies and professional experience (hereinafter ESPE) at vocational educational institutions, as well as connecting the types and curricula of vocational education with the qualifications framework established by the Annex of the Professions Act. Furthermore, the deficiencies in the Act connected with establishing national curricula and the special foundation for education allowances at vocational educational institutions will be rectified.
 
The basic purpose of the Bill on Amendments to the Government of the Republic Act, the Public Service Act and the State Public Servants Official Titles and Salary Scale Act (483 SE), initiated by the Government, is to provide that the sphere of public service development falls within the area of government of the Ministry of Finance and the respective functions of the State Chancellery will be transferred to the Ministry of Finance. The Bill is motivated by the new Public Service Bill and prepares its implementation.
 
The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of two Bills:
 
The purpose of the Bill on Amendments to the Value Added Tax Act and Taxation Act (551 SE) is to take over the amendments to the Council Directive on value added tax concerning the determining of the place of creating the supply of services, the order of refunding VAT to non-residents and the reporting of intra-Community turnover. In order to prevent tax evasions with excise goods, the transactions within excise warehouse will, like in customs warehouse and tax warehouse, be imposed 0% taxation rate instead of the current 18% rate. To prevent tax evasions, the law will give the tax administrator the right to request the provision of security from the handler of excise goods if there is reason to suspect that the tax liability will not be observed. The Bill will amend the concept of supply by adding the compulsory purchase of goods.
                       
The European Union Common Agricultural Policy Implementation Bill (540 SE), initiated by the Government, will provide for the issues connected with the simplification and the health check of CAP in accordance with the EU law. The Treaty establishing the European Community gives the legal basis for the implementation of the European Union Common Agricultural Policy. The CAP has been created to fulfil its objectives and to guarantee the functioning and development of the common market of agricultural products. The CAP is financed from the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund and the related rural development measures from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
 
At Question Time, the Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Juhan Parts answered the question about the economic situation of Estonia, submitted by Toomas Varek. The Minister of Defence Jaak Aaviksoo answered the question about the capability of foreign missions of the Estonian Defence Forces, submitted by Marek Strandberg. The Minister of Social Affairs Hanno Pevkur answered to the question about the subsistence capacity of the population, submitted by Mai Treial.
 
The Riigikogu Press Service
 
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