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The Riigikogu passed with 68 votes in favour the Gender Equality Act and Equal Treatment Act Amendment Act (317 UA). The purpose of the amendments is to adhere to the requirements provided by the European Union. Among other amendments, the definition of harassment on grounds of sex will be added to the Estonian law and, with a view to ensuring 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. According to the Act, harassment on grounds of sex takes place where an unwanted conduct or activity related to the sex of a person occurs with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person, and of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. Nobody voted against the Act, one member of the Riigikogu abstained.

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 Amendment Act (533 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 63 votes in favour. The aim of the amendments is bring the acts regulating higher education and research into accordance with the new Employment Contracts Act that entered into force in July this year and bringing the organisation of research and development activity into accordance with the Community Framework for State aid to Research and Development and Innovation. Besides that, the Act will solve the problems that emerged during the implementation of legislation on higher education and research. As a result of the amendment concerning transitional assessment, the rights of the students to receive document certifying education and to receive nationally recognised graduation certificate are guaranteed. In the election of research workers it will be possible to take into account also the results of high-level competitions of research workers taking place outside the research and development institution. According to 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. Private universities will have the possibility 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 for state aid framework will help prevent disputes with the persons or institutions receiving state aid. Nobody voted against the Act and nobody abstained.
 
The Vocational Educational Institutions Act and the Study Allowances and Study Loans Act Amendment Act (534 SE) was passed with 58 votes in favour. The amendments will create possibilities for vocational educational institutions to establish common bases for taking into account earlier studies and professional experience. In this way, better conditions for lifelong learning are guaranteed because in the future non-formal and informal studies will also be taken into account. Besides that, it will be possible to connect 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. Nobody voted against the Act and nobody abstained.
 
The Resolution on Amendments to the Resolution on the Formation of the Estonian Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (574 OE) was passed with 58 votes in favour. Pursuant to the amendment, the former head of the delegation Jürgen Ligi was excluded from the membership of the delegation and Member of the Riigikogu Mati Raidma was appointed new head of the delegation. Nobody voted against the Resolution and nobody abstained.
 
The Riigikogu Press Service
 
 
 
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