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The Riigikogu passed with 80 votes in favour the Act on Amendments to the Identity Documents Act and the State Fees Act (699 SE), initiated by the Government, which enables the issue of a digital identity card as an identity document to a person who is not an Estonian citizen or an Estonian resident who is an alien. The Act contains the regulation for the issue of a digital identity card to e-residents, for the exercise of supervision over the lawfulness of the use thereof, and for the suspension of the validity and the revocation thereof. A digital identity card of e-resident can be issued also without an application of the person by a directive of the Minister of Internal Affairs in case of substantial public interest. The establishment of the digital ID of e-residents will contribute to the involvement of aliens residing in foreign states in the development of the economy, research and education and IT-environment of Estonia, and make Estonia who offers a unique solution in the world an attractive economic, research and education environment. The Act enters into force on 1 December.

Rein Lang took the floor during the debate.

“I am extremely pleased as the idea that was proposed six years ago is finally realised. It is a very good Bill,” Lang said. “We will certainly also see critics in the near future who will say in one way or another that this system is flawed here and flawed there, that how can we offer residency to people who have no connection whatsoever with Estonia. I would like to reply already in advance to all these critics from here, the rostrum of the Riigikogu: it is quite unique in the world, and after a long while I am very glad as member of the Riigikogu to vote for something which is the beginning of an era and which has the potential to gain international attention and thereby to advance the Estonian cause.”

Two Bills passed the first reading:

The Bill on Amendments to the Courts Act (698 SE), initiated by the Government, creates the possibility for judges to work part-time. However, part-time working will not be allowed without limits but only for the time that the judge has the right to be on parental leave or the judge’s partial capacity for work is established. If the judge wishes to work with partial workload for some other reason (e.g. continuation of studies in Doctoral studies, long-term in-service training abroad, caring for a parent, etc.), then this will not be a basis for automatic reduction of the workload of the judge. In such a case, the judge may apply for a reduction of workload for one year at a time and it will be decided by the chairman of the court. The Bill also proposes to increase the membership of the judge’s examination committee and to authorise the chairman of the committee to appoint specific membership from among the committee members for each sitting. In addition, the term of mandate of the membership of the judge’s examination committee will be reduced from the current five years to three years.

The deadline for motions to amend is 4 November.

The aim of the Bill on Amendments to the Competition Act and Amendments to Other Associated Acts (712 SE), initiated by the Government, is to bring the references to European Union legal acts used in the Competition Act into conformity with the amended European Union legal acts. These amendments are of technical nature and they are due to amendment of European Union legal acts. A reference to the relevant European Union legal act is necessary in the interests of legal clarity because four different Regulations regulate the granting of de minimis aid. In addition, the Bill introduces an amendment according to which, in the future, data of agricultural and fisheries de minimis aid will have to be submitted to the register of state aid and de minimis aid kept on the basis of the Competition Act.

The deadline for motions to amend is 4 November.

The verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian): https://www.riigikogu.ee/?op=steno&stcommand=stenogramm&day=20&date=1413878266

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