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A Bill on allowing micro and small businesses to buy electricity from energy suppliers as a universal service passed the first reading at today’s sitting. This possibility would apply from November of this year until the end of 2023.

The Bill on Amendments to the Electricity Market Act (680 SE), initiated by the Economic Affairs Committee, extends the possibility to buy electricity as a universal service also to sole proprietors, foundations, and non-profit organisations who consume up to one Gigawatt hours. The Bill intends to prevent the loss of competitiveness of the companies in the target group, and their closure.

During the debate, Taavi Aas from the Centre Party, Rene Kokk from the Estonian Conservative People’s Party, Reili Rand from the Social Democratic Party, and Aivar Kokk from Isamaa took the floor on behalf of their factions.

The Riigikogu passed two Resolutions

Resolution of the Riigikogu “Appointment of an Auditor to Supervise the Activities of the National Audit Office in 2022-2023” (671 OE), submitted by the Finance Committee, appoints auditing and consulting company OÜ KL Partners to audit the activities of the National Audit Office on the 2022–23 budget year.

58 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of passing the Resolution and one was against.

The Riigikogu also passed the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Appointment of a Member of the Supervisory Board of the Bank of Estonia Who Is a Member of the Riigikogu” (676 OE), submitted by the Finance Committee, appointing MP Andres Sutt to the Supervisory Board of the Bank of Estonia. His authority was interrupted last year in connection with his appointment as the Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology. Last year, the Riigikogu voted to replace Sutt in the Supervisory Board of the Bank of Estonia with MP Jürgen Ligi.

47 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of passing the Resolution and one abstained.

Four other Bills passed the first reading

The Bill on Amendments to the Alcohol, Tobacco, Fuel and Electricity Excise Duty Act (675 SE), initiated by the Finance Committee, provides for the natural gas used for liquified natural gas (LNG) regasification to be resealed from excise duty. This has already been provided for the natural gas used for operating the natural gas network as well as for the electricity used to keep up the power generation capacity. The explanatory memorandum says that a mooring quay and infrastructure with floating LNG terminal capacity is being built in Paldiski as a priority project to ensure the supply security of natural gas in the conditions of an energy crisis; however, our excise regulation has not taken into account LNG regasification and needs to be amended.

The Bill on Amendments to the Courts Act and Other Associated Acts (633 SE), initiated by the Government, provides for the specialisation of judges on administrative, civil or criminal law. In the future, judges will apply for positions in the civil or criminal departments of county courts, or the administrative, civil, or criminal chambers of circuit courts.

The Bill updates the management structure of county courts. Instead of courthouse managers there will be heads of civil or criminal departments. In order to harmonise the more extensive specialisation and procedural practices of judges, the proceeding of all the registration matters will be handed over to Tartu County Court, and a guardianship supervision department will be established in Pärnu County Court.

The Bill provides the general organisation of feedback to the judges and creates a system which supports improving the professional skills of advocates general and preparing for the office of a judge. The Bill ensures that judges who are on a temporary break from their office can return to their office. It also provides uniform conditions for advocates general and assistant judges to be appointed into office and facilitates movements inside the system. The amendments provide for assistant judges to be appointed by the chief judge of a county court.

In order to ensure the sustainability of court registers and the remuneration that respects the value of the work, the salaries of assistant judges will be increased.

The European Union Common Agricultural Policy Implementation Bill (666 SE), initiated by the Government, updates the necessary references to the EU law in connection with reforming the European Union Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The applicable provisions are also amended to correspond to the reform package of the CAP. The Bill introduces changes in the agricultural direct payments system. The application of the common market organisation of agricultural products is taken into conformity with the relevant amended EU regulation. Additionally, bases are provided for granting rural life development aids for the 2014–20 programme period.

The Bill on Amendments to the Language Act (640 SE), initiated by the Estonian Conservative People’s Party Faction, intends to increase the fines for violating the provisions of the Language Act and to amend the Act with new sanctions. The Bill increases the fine in case of substitutive enforcement from EUR 640 to EUR 25,000. As a complementary sanction against companies, it will be possible to impose a prohibition on business by a permission of the court in case of systematic violation of the Language Act.

During the debate, Helle-Moonika Helme from the Estonian Conservative People’s Party and Heiki Hepner from Isamaa took the floor on behalf of their factions.

Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian)

The video recording of the sitting will be available to watch later on the Riigikogu YouTube channel. (Please note that the recording will be uploaded with a delay.)

Riigikogu Press Service
Merilin Kruuse
Phone: +372 631 6592, +372 510 6179
E-mail [email protected]
Questions [email protected]

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