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Riigikogu

The Riigikogu passed six Acts and a Resolution:

The Riigikogu passed with 72 votes in favour (5 votes against) the Aliens Act Amendment Act (706 SE and 729 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The Act enables to issue a shot-time single entry visas to aliens with a residence period of up to five calendar days for the purpose of using tourism or leisure services.

If an alien arrives in Estonia for this purpose and does not want to stay here for more than five days and his/her economic situation makes it possible to pay for his/her accommodation and stay and for his/her departure from Estonia, such an alien will not need a sponsor to invite him/her to Estonia. The acceptance of applications for visas and the issue of visas and the additional assessment of the risk related to the arrival of aliens to Estonia will remain in the competence of consular officials of the Estonian representations in the area of government of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Riigikogu passed with 81 votes in favour the Legal Deposit Act Amendment Act (711 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The need to work out the Act proceeded from the fact that an essential and steadily growing part of the Estonian publishing production is made available only through computer network. In 2000 the National Library of Estonia launched a systematic monitoring of network publications. The monitoring showed that more than 1,000 designations of network publications were added on the Internet in a year, meeting the criteria of the information carriers preserved as Estonian national cultural heritage.

The Riigikogu passed with 70 votes in favour the Salaries of State Public Servants Appointed by Riigikogu or President of the Republic Act and Defence Forces Service Act Amendment Act (701 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, pursuant to which the bases of determining the salary of the Commander of Defence Forces will be changed. Pursuant to the Act, the salary of the Commander of Defence Forces is the multiplication of the Estonian average wages and the relevant factor. The value of the factor is 5.0. According to the average wages of the fourth quarter of 2004 the salary of the Commander of Defence Forces will be EEK 7,704 x 5.0 = EEK 38, 520, plus the rank allowance EEK 4,000.

The Riigikogu passed with 79 votes in favour the State Family Benefits Act Amendment Act (755 SE). Pursuant to the Act, the childbirth allowance and the adoption allowance will be increased up to EEK 5,000 per each child born or adopted.

The Riigikogu passed with 61 votes in favour the Act on the Accession to the Convention Creating an European University Institute (750 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The purpose of the Convention is to promote the refreshing of one’s knowledge in the spheres of European culture, history, law, economy and the development of institutions. The objective of the Institute is to contribute to the development of the European cultural and scientific heritage by providing higher education and research work.

The Riigikogu passed with 58 votes in favour the Act on the Accession to the Agreement Establishing the European Molecular Biology Conference (751 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The Agreement establishing the European Molecular Biology Conference has been drafted in 1969. As an international organisation the Conference occupies a prominent place in directing the development of molecular biology in Europe, the Conference involves approximately 1,200 scientists, from whom more than thirty are Nobel Prize nominees. In the words of the initiator the rapid accession to the Conference opens new and vital avenues for the development of molecular biology in Estonia.

The Riigikogu passed with 57 votes in favour the Resolution of the Riigikogu On the Use of of the Estonian Defence Forces Unit in Performance of International Duties of the Estonian State in Bosnia Herzegovina (765 OE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The Resolution provides for the use of the Estonian Defence Forces Unit with a staff of up to 35 members in the peacekeeping mission, led by the European Union Force, in Bosnia Herzegovina, for a term of up to 2 years beginning with the dispatch of the Estonian unit to the mission area. In December 2005, Estonia is planning to join the military operations of the EU – ALTHEA with a group size unit (29). That would be the first serious contribution of Estonia to the military operations of the EU. The Estonian Defence Forces have participated in peacekeeping missions in the Balkans (UNPROFOR, IFOR, SFOR, KFOR, Concordia) since 1995. At present Estonia participates in the operation ALTHEA with three members of the Defence Forces in all.– 1 officer and 1 non-commissioned officer in the EUFOR staff in Sarayevo and 1 officer in the Multinational Task Force North (MNTF(N) staff in Tuzla, The main objective of the operation ALTHEA is to ensure the fulfilment of the Dayton peace agreement and to contribute to the creation of a safe and secure environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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The Riigikogu did not pass the Bill on Amendments to the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act (633 SE), initiated by Members of the Riigikogu Peeter Kreitzberg, Ivari Padar, Jarno Laur, Kadi Pärnits, Eiki Nestor, Katrin Saks, Sven Mikser, Jüri Tamm and Mark Soosaar. 32 votes in favour, 51 against.

The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of five Bills:

The Bill on Amendments to the Vocational Educational Institutions Act, Republic of Estonia Education Act and Private Schools Act and Health Insurance Act (738 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Bill on Amendments to the Government of the Republic Act and the Chancellor of Justice Act (675 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Bill on the Implementation of the Council of the European Union Regulation (EC) No 1435/2003 on the Statute for a European Cooperative Society (SCE) (708 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Environmental Charges Bill (730 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Bill on Amendments to the Value Added Tax Act and Taxation Act (740 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.

On the motion of the Legal Affairs Committee the deliberation of the Bill on Amendments to the Police Act and Police Service Act and to Other Acts Arising therefrom (500 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was suspended.

The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of five Bills:

The Bill on Amendments to the Fisheries Market Act (771 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Bill on Amendments to the Consumer Protection Act (756 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic;

The Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu On the Extension of the Time Limit of the Use of the Estonian Defence Forces Unit in Performance of International Duties of the Estonian State under the International Peacekeeping Mission in Kosovo (774 OE), submitted by the Government of the Republic;

The Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu On the Increase of the Staff and on the Extension of the Time Limit of the Use of the Estonian Defence Forces Units in Performance of International Duties of the Estonian State under the International Peacekeeping Mission in Afghanistan (775 OE), submitted by the Government of the Republic;

The Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu On the Extension of the Use of the Estonian Defence Forces Units in Performance of International Duties of the Estonian State under the International Security Assistance Mission in Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Iraq (776 OE), submitted by the Government of the Republic;

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On the motion of the Constitutional Committee the Riigikogu rejected the Bill on Amendments to the Public Service Act (728 SE), initiated by the Social Democratic Party Faction, from the legislative proceeding. The result of voting: 66 votes in favour, 13 against.

On the motion of the Legal Affairs Committee the Riigikogu rejected the Bill on Amendments to § 83 of the Penal Code (692 SE), initiated by the Union for the Republic – Res Publica Faction, from the legislative proceeding. The result of voting: 42 votes in favour, 14 against.

At Question Time Prime Minister Andrus Ansip answered the questions about Estonia and the European Union, about the Bills waiting for proceeding in the Riigikogu, about the use of the state funds, the decision of the Electoral Committee, the administration of the state and the Election Act.

The sitting ended at 7.04 p.m.

The questions asked at the Question Time and the answers to them as well as the verbatim record of the Riigikogu sitting are available (in Estonian) on the Internet at:

http://web.riigikogu.ee/ems/plsql/stenograms.form

The Riigikogu Press Service

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