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At Tuesday's sitting of the Riigikogu, President of Eesti Pank Ardo Hansson made a report on the 2014 Annual Report of Eesti Pank, and Chairman of the Management Board of the Financial Supervision Authority Kilvar Kessler made a report on the 2014 Annual Report of the Financial Supervision Authority.

President of Eesti Pank Ardo Hansson explained that, last year, the Riigikogu had given the central bank a clearer mandate to exercise macro-financial supervision in Estonia, and Eesti Pank has begun to give content to this mandate. “As the first step, Eesti Pank established the requirement of systemic risk buffer of 2% for commercial banks in order to manage the banking risks arising from the peculiarity of small and open economy,” Hansson said. “As the second step, three months ago, we enforced the requirements for granting housing loans for commercial banks with the aim of preventing a possible lending boom in the future,” Hansson added.

In Hansson’s opinion, the eurozone economy grew in 2014 but the situation was uneven in different countries and, in summary, last year’s growth remained smaller than forecasted. “According to the data of the beginning of this year, it can be said that the economic activeness in the eurozone is recovering at a moderate pace. The competitiveness of the eurozone has improved in the course of recovery from crisis but here the situation is also variable in different countries,” Hansson said. He stressed that long-term economic growth can be ensured only with reforms that increase the competitiveness of the economy.

Hansson highlighted the launching of the single banking supervisory mechanism as an important task of central banks last year.

Hansson said that the economic growth of Estonia in 2014 had come at the expense of internal market, particularly at the expense of private consumption. “Domestic consumption increased thanks to the growth of employment, decrease in unemployment, strong salary growth and the simultaneous decline in price level. Salaries grew quickly in the situation of essentially zero inflation,” Hansson said.

Hansson viewed the growth pace of Estonian economy as satisfactory, considering that there is a certain amount of insecurity in the global economy, and several export markets of Estonia have lingering growth problems. “The economic growth in 2014 turned out to be quicker than in 2013, but it has to be taken into account that there is no hope in the future for such growth pace as was seen in the boom years of the last decade. In the present stage of development of the Estonian economy and population, long-term attainable growth will remain significantly lower, around 3–4%,” Hansson said

During the debate, Tarmo Tamm took the floor on behalf of the Estonian Centre Party Faction.

Chairman of the Management Board of the Financial Supervision Authority Kilvar Kessler said that, in 2014, the central tasks of the Financial Supervision Authority to maintain financial stability and to see to the fair and transparent functioning of financial markets as a whole had been fulfilled.

Kessler explained to the Riigikogu the principles of the Financial Supervision Authority in the implementation of the Creditors and Credit Intermediaries Act that had entered into force on 29 March. “This Act helps increase the transparency and fairer functioning of the financial market. The tasks brought about by the new Act are a proper challenge to us,” Kessler said.

“In the supervision, we focus on the organisational solution of creditors and credit intermediaries. For example, the Financial Supervision Authority assesses the determination of the areas of responsibility, the reporting, the transparency thereof, the qualifying holding, and the suitability and skills of managers, the relevance and sufficiency of internal rules, and the existence and functioning of internal control systems,” Kessler said. “The experience of the supervision of banking and other regulated financial market has shown us that this is indeed the cheapest and at the same time a relatively effective way of protecting broad consumer groups.”

Kessler attached importance to the single banking supervisory mechanism of the eurozone, SSM, launched on 4 November 2014, which is composed of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt and the banking supervisory authorities of the eurozone countries, including the Financial Supervision Authority. “The SSM decides on the grant and withdrawal of banking licences, upholds the uniform quality of the capital supervision of all banks and, in close cooperation with the supervisory authorities of the Member States, applies direct supervision of the 120 largest banks and banking groups in the eurozone,” Kessler said.

The Riigikogu appointed members to the Gambling Tax Council, the Supervisory Board of the Guarantee Fund, the Supervisory Board of the National Opera, the Supervisory Board of the National Library of Estonia and the Estonian Public Broadcasting Council.

The Riigikogu approved with 70 votes in favour (2 abstentions) the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Formation of the Gambling Tax Council” (19 OE), by which Members of the Riigikogu Andres Ammas, Helmen Kütt, Lauri Luik, Andres Metsoja, Meelis Mälberg and Mailis Reps are appointed members of the Council. The Secretary General of the Ministry of Education and Research Janar Holm, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Culture Paavo Nõgene and the Deputy Secretary General for Social Affairs of the Ministry of Social Affairs Rait Kuuse continue as representatives of ministries.

The Riigikogu approved with 72 votes in favour the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Appointment of Members of the Supervisory Board of the Guarantee Fund” (20 OE), by which Members of the Riigikogu Aivar Sõerd and Martin Helme are appointed members of the Supervisory Board. The Supervisory Board of the Guarantee Fund has a total of nine members, and the Riigikogu is competent to appoint two members.

The Riigikogu approved with 67 votes in favour (3 abstentions) the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Appointment of Members of the Supervisory Board of the National Opera” (25 OE), by which Members of the Riigikogu Maire Aunaste, Mart Helme and Laine Randjärv are appointed members of the Supervisory Board.

Of the eleven members of the Supervisory Board of the National Opera, three are members of the Riigikogu, and four are from ministries and four from organisations of the field. The term of authority of the members of the Supervisory Board is four years.

The Riigikogu approved with 68 votes in favour the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Appointment of Members of the Supervisory Board of the National Library of Estonia” (24 OE), by which Members of the Riigikogu Igor Gräzin, Aadu Must and Mark Soosaar are appointed members of the Supervisory Board. Recognised experts of the operating areas of the national library Jüri Järs and Priit Pirsko are also appointed members of the Supervisory Board.

The Supervisory Board of the National Library of Estonia includes three members of the Riigikogu, two experts in the field, one member appointed by the Minister of Culture, and the Secretary General of the Riigikogu. The term of authority of the members of the Council is four years.

The Riigikogu approved with 71 votes in favour (1 abstention) the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Appointment of Members of the Estonian Public Broadcasting Council from among Members of the Riigikogu” (17 OE), by which Members of the Riigikogu Krista Aru, Martin Helme, Kalle Muuli, Heidy Purga, Mihkel Raud and Priit Toobal are appointed members of the Council.

The Estonian Public Broadcasting Council includes one MP from each faction of the Riigikogu and four experts from among the acknowledged experts in the field of activity of Public Broadcasting whose authority continues for five years.

The Riigikogu approved with 48 votes in favour (4 against) the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Appointment of a Member of the Estonian Public Broadcasting Council from among the Acknowledged Experts in the Field of Activity of the Estonian Public Broadcasting” (31 OE), by which acknowledged expert in the field of activity Pille Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt is appointed member of the Council.

The need to appoint a member of the Estonian Public Broadcasting Council who is an expert arose in connection with the premature termination of the authority of member of the Council Krista Aru.

The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of another draft:

The Bill on Amendments to the Adult Education Act (12 SE), initiated by the Cultural Affairs Committee, which will repeal the current Adult Education Act as of 1 July 2015 because the new Adult Education Act will enter into force as of that date.

The verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian)
Photos of the sitting

Video recordings of the Riigikogu sittings can be viewed at:

Riigikogu Press Service
Kati Varblane
T: 631 6353, 516 9152
kati.varblane@riigikogu.ee
Questions: press@riigikogu.ee

 

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