The Riigikogu approved with 79 votes in favour the fundamentals of earth’s crust policy until 2050 which sets the goal of using Estonia’s earth’s crust and its natural resources in the best way, taking into account environmental, socio-economic, geological and security aspects. Seven members of the Riigikogu voted against the Resolution.
The long-term aim of the Resolution of the Riigikogu “The Fundamentals of Earth’s Crust Policy until 2050” (410 OE), submitted by the Government, is to ensure knowledge-based and environmentally clean management and use of earth’s crust resources that would be directed at promoting the country’s economic growth, by increasing resource-efficiency and reducing dependence on raw material and non-renewable natural resources.
Deputy Chairman of the Environment Committee Kalle Palling, who made a report, explained that representatives of the Estonian Council of Environmental NGOs, the Estonian Environmental Law Center, the Estonian Association of Spatial Planners, the Estonian Academy of Sciences, the Association of Estonian Mining Enterprises, the National Audit Office, the Estonian Renewable Energy Association and Eesti Energia Ltd had had the opportunity to have their say in the drafting of the fundamentals.
Andres Metsoja from the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction took the floor during the debate. He mentioned that, in the context of sustainability in the issues relating to earth’s crust, it was important to pay attention to the organisation of the education, research, application and development activities, and to contribute to raising public awareness.
The Riigikogu passed an Act
The Riigikogu approved with 82 votes in favour the Act on the Ratification of the Agreement on Defense Cooperation between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Estonia (430 SE), initiated by the Government, which is based on the agreement signed by the Minister of Defence and the Ambassador of the USA on 17 January this year in Tallinn. The agreement regulates the status of the U.S. forces, dependents of the members of the U.S. forces and contractors, tax exemptions, the import and export of property, environmental protection, customs procedures, the distribution of criminal jurisdiction between Estonia and the USA, etc.
The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of five Bills
On the motion of the National Defence Committee, the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Value-Added Tax Act and the National Defence Act (Implementation of the Agreement on Defense Cooperation between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Estonia) (431 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The amendment will amend the list of persons to whom tax exemption upon importing of goods for personal purposes, and reimbursement of VAT upon receiving goods or services in Estonia is applied. The list will be amended by including employees of contractors of the armed forces of foreign states who, under the agreement on defence cooperation between the Republic of Estonia and the United States of America, are exempt from tax upon the importing of items needed for personal purposes.
On the motion of the Cultural Affairs Committee, the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Sports Act and the Administrative Co-operation Act (423 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The Bill will continue the sports funding reform which aims to create a transparent and solid financial basis for sports organisations to operate. The amendment will allow the Ministry of Culture to focus more on the shaping of sports policy because the workload in making individual decisions will diminish.
The second reading of the Public Procurement Bill (450 SE), initiated by the Economic Affairs Committee, was concluded on the motion of the Economic Affairs Committee. The Bill will increase the flexibility of the conduct of public procurements, reduce the costs of procurement procedure, and transpose three European Union directives. The aim of the Bill is to allow for simplified procurement procedures to be used more extensively and to create preconditions for small and medium-sized enterprises to have better access to procurements. The Bill provides for a new type of procurement procedure – innovation partnership, which can be used for the development and subsequent purchase of an innovative product, service or works not yet on the market. The Bill will create the bases for transition to paper-free organisation of e-public procurements.
The Estonian Reform Party Faction moved to suspend the second reading of the Public Procurement Bill, but the motion was not supported. 38 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the motion and 51 voted against.
The Legal Affairs Committee moved to conclude the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Penal Code and the Aliens Act (385 SE), initiated by the Government. The Bill is connected with preparation of the ratification of the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence or the Istanbul Convention. The main amendments will criminalise harassment involving stalking, marriage against will, crippling female genital mutilation, and purchase of sex from a victim of trafficking in human beings. At the same time, the Bill extends the range of criminal offences committed against minors in the case of which the limitation period is suspended until the victim attains the age of majority.
On the motion of the Legal Affairs Committee, the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Code of Criminal Procedure Implementation Act (transposition of the European Investigation Order directive) (442 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The Bill will transpose into Estonian law the European Investigation Order directive. According to the proposed amendments, the same requirements for the transmission, recognition and execution of legal assistance requests would apply in all European Union Member States. The submission of legal assistance requests with the help of European Investigation Order and obtaining replies to them would become faster because all European Union Member States will observe uniform deadlines.
The Riigikogu passed two Resolutions
The Riigikogu passed with 76 votes in favour the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Amendment of the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Formation of the Anti-Corruption Select Committee”” (471 OE), submitted by the Estonian Free Party Faction, which provides for the appointment of Andres Herkel as a member of the Anti-Corruption Select Committee in replacement of Artur Talvik.
The Resolution of the Riigikogu “Appointment of a Member of the Gambling Tax Council” (469 OE), submitted by the Finance Committee, was passed with 72 votes in favour. It provides for the exclusion of Janar Holm from the membership of the Council and the appointment of the Secretary General of the Ministry of Education and Research Tea Varrak as a member of the Council to replace him.
Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu
(NB! The recording will be uploaded with a delay.)
Riigikogu Press Service
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