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At today’s sitting of the Riigikogu, the Bill which aims to merge the Environmental Board and the Environmental Inspectorate as of 1 January passed the first reading. According to the Bill, the name of the merged agency will be the Environmental Board.

The purpose of the Bill on Amendments to the Government of the Republic Act and Other Acts (merger of the Environmental Board and the Environmental Inspectorate) (710 SE), initiated by the Government, is to merge the Environmental Board and the Environmental Inspectorate, two governmental authorities in the area of administration of the Ministry of Environment. The aim of the merger of the authorities is to enhance the implementation of the strategic tasks of the state in the environment sector, to use the existing resources more efficiently and effectively, to offer high-quality public services and to also meet the expectations of society in a longer perspective. The agency to be established will be performing all the current main functions of the two agencies.

The agencies are to be merged as of 1 January 2019. The name of the merged agency will be the Environmental Board.

During the debate, Peeter Ernits, and Rainer Vakra from the Faction Isamaa took the floor.

Another Bill passed the first reading in the Riigikogu:

Under the Bill on Amendments to the European Parliament Election Act (696 SE), initiated by the Constitutional Committee, the number of members of the European Parliament elected in Estonia will be omitted from the Act, because the number of seats allocated to Estonia in the European Parliament derives from EU legislation and it may change. Therefore the Bill sets out that the number of members of the European Parliament elected in Estonia are provided for in European Union legislation.

Under the current Act, six members of the European Parliament are elected in Estonia. Under the European Council Decision of 28 June, the number of representatives in the European Parliament elected in Estonia in the European Parliament elections in 2019 will be seven. In the event that the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union will not yet have become legally effective at the beginning of the parliamentary term, six members from Estonia will take up seats in the European Parliament on the basis of the election results, and the seventh member elected will take up his or her seat when the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union will have become legally effective.

The Bill also provides that the number of candidates on the list of a political party may exceed twice the number of members of the European Parliament elected in Estonia. Thus up to nine people may stand as candidates for the European Parliament on the lists of political parties next year. At present, the list of a political party may include up to 12 candidates, which is double the number of members of the European Parliament elected in Estonia so far.

Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian).

Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu

Riigikogu Press Service
Merilin Kruuse
Phone +372 631 6353, +372 510 6179
E-mail merilin.kruuse@riigikogu.ee
Questions press@riigikogu.ee

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