The Prime Minister Andrus Ansip presented an overview of the situation in research and development activities and the Government’s policy in this sphere before the Riigikogu at the today’s sitting. In his report, Ansip underlined that the improvement of the competitiveness of Estonia was directly dependent on the success of the research and development activities and innovation policy and its impact on the economy of Estonia. This sphere is crucial for our ability to ensure an increase in the quality of life of the people of Estonia in the long term, and for us to be counted among the wealthier European countries. He noted that the Government’s research and development activities and innovation policy had been consistent. The proportion of the total expenditure on these activities is expected to amount to 2 per cent of the GDP by 2011, 50 per cent of which would be private investments. By 2015, the proportion should have increased to 3 per cent of the GDP. One of the major tasks of the Government has been the ensuring of the purposeful use of the European Union structural instruments. As the Prime Minister stated, more than 6 billion kroons are assigned to research and development activities and innovation in the structural instruments implementation plans which had been approved the European Commission this autumn. Ansip: “In the comparative study of the research and development and innovation system of the European Union Member States, the strategy of Estonia was assessed as conforming to a high international standard.”
The Prime Minister highlighted two priorities: first, the development of innovation policy and the promotion of research and development investments of enterprises and, second, the development of human resources. By way of a new initiative, the Government is going to launch a support scheme for the recruitment of development workers in enterprises and a scheme of innovation shares in 2008. “The research and development infrastructure development programme has already been launched. The success of the investments made depends on whether we have a human resource of sufficient quality and competitiveness,” Ansip said.
The report also tackled the motivating of scholars, the importance of the growth of new generations of scholars as well as the development of energy technologies.
After the overview by the Government, comments were presented by Members of the Riigikogu Hannes Astok, Marek Strandberg, Mart Laar, Peeter Kreitzberg and Aadu Must.
The resolution of the appointment of Allar Jõks to the office of Legal Chancellor (171 OE), submitted by the President of the Republic, was not passed in the Riigikogu. 56 members of the Riigikogu voted against the resolution and 36 members voted in favour, nobody abstained.
On the motion of the Legal Affairs Committee as the leading committee, the second reading of the Law of Succession Act Bill (56 SE), initiated by the Government, was suspended. The new Law of Succession Act Bill brings the contents of the law of succession into conformity with the changes brought along with the entry into force of the Law of Obligations Act and the new Civil Code. The Bill is intended for elimination of the shortcomings that have arisen in the law of succession and several regulations have undergone further elaboration. The second reading of the specified Bill is going to be continued at the next session.
On the motion of the Social Affairs Committee as the leading committee, the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Alimony Act (156 SE), initiated by the Estonian Reform Party Faction, the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction and the Social Democratic Party Faction, was concluded. The purpose of the Bill is to eliminate problems relating to the implementation of the Alimony Act with a view to preventing the potential ambiguities upon implementation of the Act. The Bill was sent to the third reading.
On the motion of the Social Affairs Committee as the leading committee, the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Social Benefits for Disabled Persons Act and Associated Acts (159 SE), initiated by the Government, was concluded. The Bill proposes an increase of the benefits for disabled persons of working age by 30 per cent. The Bill was sent to the third reading.
Due to the end of the working hours of the sitting of the plenary assembly, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Advertising Act (128 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, was adjourned and it is going to be resumed tomorrow at the sitting beginning at 2 p.m.
The Riigikogu Press Service
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