Minister of the Environment Jaanus Tamkivi addressed the Riigikogu with a political statement, explaining the obligations of the Assistant Minister Ruta Annus.
The Riigikogu passed three Acts:
Act on the Ratification of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the European Communities and Their Member States of the One Part, and the Republic of Albania of the Other Part (57 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was passed with 70 votes in favour. The objective of the Agreement is to create an association between the Communities and their Member States of the one part and Albania of the other. The objectives of the Association are to support Albania in strengthening democracy and establishing the rule of law; promote political, economic and institutional stability in Albania; create a framework for the political dialogue between parties to the Agreement; support Albania in furthering economic and international cooperation, including by harmonising national legislation with Community legislation; assist Albania in completing the transition to functioning market economy, creating harmonious economic relations; and gradually develop a free trade zone between the Community and Albania, as well as promote regional cooperation in all fields covered by this Agreement.
Act on the Ratification of the Convention between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the Republic of Singapore for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income and the Protocol thereto (96 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was passed with 65 votes in favour. The purpose of agreements for the avoidance of double taxation is to favour investments, to ensure equal treatment of persons and to eliminate double taxation, which may occur as a result of joint influence of the relevant Acts of two states. For the achievement of these purposes, the agreement imposes restrictions on income and property taxes, which may be established to the residents of the other state by the state of the source of income. The Agreement also contributes to the creation of additional possibilities for the prevention of tax evasions. Estonia has already concluded the agreements for the avoidance of double taxation with Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and United States of America.
Act on the Denunciation of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention Concerning the Employment of Women during the Night (No 41) and the Convention Concerning the Employment of Women on Underground Work in Mines of All Kinds (No 45) (107 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, was passed with 54 votes in favour (1 abstention). The objective of the Act is to denounce the Convention Concerning the Employment of Women during the Night (No 41), adopted on 19 June 1934 in Geneva and ratified by the Republic of Estonia on 21 December 1935, as well as the Convention Concerning the Employment of Women on Underground Work in Mines of All Kinds (No 45), adopted on 21 June 1935 in Geneva and ratified by the Republic of Estonia on 4 June 1937.
The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of two Bills:
Bill on Amendments to Employment Services and Subsidies Act and Associated Acts (103 SE), initiated by the Government, which will establish a labour policy information system that enables efficient analysis and monitoring of political measures in the sphere of labour policy;
Bill on Amendments to the Securities Market Act and Associated Acts (108 SE), initiated by the Government, which helps to guarantee the formation of common securities market of the European Union; The Bill increases the number of regulated fields and the regulation will improve in detail, which in its turn sets higher requirements for the carrying out of financial supervision, as well as for the harmonisation of the behaviour of market participants with the provisions of the Bill. The Bill also creates a legal basis for the better internal integration of the European Common Market in the field of investment services. The financial instruments markets directive, transposed by the Bill, regulates in depth the content and scope of investment services, issues concerning the activity licences of investment firms and regulated securities market organisers, and other aspects of supervision. In addition, the directive sets out common standards for the provision of investment services to clients.
The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of four Bills:
Bill on Amendments to the Refugees Act and the Obligation to Leave and Prohibition on Entry Act (117 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, which harmonises Estonian legal acts with the rules and regulations valid in the European Union common visa area, which give Estonia the opportunity to participate, as a full-fledged member, in the European Union common visa area.
Bill on Amendments to the Acts Related to Notaries Information Systems and Legal Registries (105 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, which creates a general legal basis for the implementation of the notaries’ information system e-notary and the carrying out of information exchange between e-notary and the state data bases. This far the use of e-notary has been regulated on the level of a regulation. According to the initiator, the regulation of the communication between e-notary and the state registers is very important from the point of view of state registers (Land Register, Commercial Register), since the entries compiled by notaries are introduced via e-notary immediately and smoothly to the state register and it is notably easier for the land registry and registration departments of the courts to process these than the applications sent by letter or e-mail. This also alleviates the risk of human errors.
Bill on Amendments to the Commercial Code and Associated Acts (102 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic, which transposes a directive simplifying the cross-border merger process of various types of limited liability companies regulated under the national legislation of parties to the European Economic Area. The Directive sets out the common requirements for common merger agreements, their publication, merger reports drawn up by the management bodies of the companies, independent expert reports and certain aspects of approval of merger agreements.
Bill on Amendments to the Prosecutor’s Office Act (104 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic. The objective of the Bill is to harmonise the education requirements and conditions set to prosecutors, and bring them into line with the requirements set to judges and assistant judges as well as persons exercising free legal professions. The second objective of the Bill is to change the procedure for appointing judges in a way which allows a Public Prosecutor to be appointed without public competition, similarly to Attorney General, Chief Public Prosecutor and Senior Prosecutor. A Public Prosecutor would be appointed by the Minister of Justice on the proposal of the Attorney General. This change simplifies to an extent the filling of Public Prosecutor vacancies.
At the Question Time Minister of the Environment Jaanus Tamkivi answered the questions about the usufruct of land properties, the report on the implementation of the Forestry Development Plan, sustainable use of peat resources, and the environmental monitoring and supervision equipment. Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet answered the questions about human rights in China and Tibet. Minister of Economy and Communications Juhan Parts answered the questions about energy sector, economic sustainability, Estonia’s participation in foreign missions, Advertising Act, funding for infrastructure projects and support to national maritime activities.
The verbatim record (in Estonian) can be found at: https://www.riigikogu.ee/?op=steno
The Riigikogu Press Service