Today, the Council of Elders of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) decided to reorganise the work of the Riigikogu in connection with the emergency situation declared by the Government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
At the meeting with the representatives of the factions, the Board of the Riigikogu decided that, until 1 May this year, the Riigikogu would resolve only time-critical issues.
The Council of Elders proposes to the Riigikogu to change the working schedule of plenary sittings of the Riigikogu at each Monday’s sitting so that, until the end of the emergency situation, plenary sittings will be held only on Mondays, and Question Time on Wednesdays. The public and the media can watch live coverage of the sittings on the web.
The Committees of the Riigikogu will meet on Mondays, and more often only in the case of unavoidable necessity. Guests are invited to the committee sittings if necessary, and it is advisable that the guests participate in sittings via a video bridge.
All official travels of the members of the Riigikogu have been cancelled, and the Board of the Riigikogu decides if a travel is unavoidably necessary. Members of the Riigikogu are strongly advised not to travel abroad, and in the case of domestic meetings, to avoid holding meetings in Toompea Castle.
The entry to Toompea Castle complex will be temporarily restricted for the people whose visits are not directly connected with the work of the Riigikogu. Visiting of Toompea Castle for guided tours, for the art exhibitions and for watching the sittings will be prohibited.
We ask all members of the press to kindly make use of the possibilities of teleworking when covering the work of the Riigikogu, and to ask comments from the members of the Riigikogu via telephone. For photos and video materials, please turn to the Public Relations Department of the Chancellery of the Riigikogu.
The Council of Elders of the Riigikogu has also instructed the Constitutional Committee of the Riigikogu to prepare a regulation that would enable to hold committee sittings via electronic means of communication during emergency situations.
All restrictions will be temporary. We will follow the development of the situation and inform you about our new decisions.
The Council of Elders of the Riigikogu will meet regularly to evaluate the situation and to discuss further activities, presumably on Wednesdays at 9.
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