Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas and the members of the Government formed by him took the oath of office before the Riigikogu.
The Riigikogu passed ten Acts
The Motor Third Party Liability Insurance Act (423 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 83 votes in favour. It is the consolidated text of a new Act regulating motor third party liability insurance. The current Motor Third Party Liability Insurance Act entered into force on 1 June 2001, that is, before the completion of private law reform in Estonia and the accession of the state to the European Union. The Act makes the settling of matters more convenient for victims of traffic accidents and makes the motor third party liability insurance contract similar and comparable to other insurance contracts. The Act provides for an innovation in the system of compensating for traffic damages – a person can apply to his or her the insurer providing motor third party liability insurance with a claim for compensation for damage. The Act provides for an automatic motor third party liability insurance. It is a compulsory insurance system whereby vehicles which have been entered in the traffic register and do not have a compulsory motor third party liability insurance contract are automatically included under the insurance cover. The Act maintains the principles of the current Act that function well in practice. The provisions that had become outdated were updated. When the Act enters into force, it will replace the Motor Third Party Liability Insurance Act which is currently in force.
The Act on Amendments to and Repeal of Acts in connection with a Review of Legislative Acts (519 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 72 votes in favour. It organises the current law also through the repealing of the Acts on the ratification of the international agreements that have been fulfilled and terminated that are subject to private international law. The Acts on ratification that are repealed by the Act concern financial obligations assumed by the Republic of Estonia. These Acts had approved the taking of loans or the granting of guarantees to international banks or organisations. The obligations assumed have been fulfilled by now and the loans taken on the basis of these Acts have been repaid. The Act was drafted as a result of a revision of legislative acts and, as a result, circa 50 different Acts are amended or repealed.
The Act on Amendments to the Taxation Act (575 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 82 votes in favour. It provides the legal basis for the system of registration of employment. It establishes the employment register which will allow to collect information regarding persons who work in Estonia. All information relating to working will be gathered into a single electronic environment which will help reduce the administrative burden and overlapping activities of the Tax and Customs Board, the Unemployment Insurance Fund, the Social Insurance Board, the Labour Inspectorate, the Health Insurance Fund and the Police and Border Guard Board in the submission, collection and processing of data.
The Act on Amendments to § 22 of the Advertising Act (584 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 80 votes in favour. It enables patients to make an informed choice between healthcare providers when choosing a health service, to take into account also the price of the service and in this way to protect the economic interests of the patient.
The Act on Amendments to the Natural Gas Act (556 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 77 votes in favour. It transposes in full extent the relevant EU directive. The Act provides the bases for the activities of the LNG terminal operator and storage facility operator and for regulating the wholesale market for gas. The bases include development of the conditions and coordination of the pricing principles with the Competition Authority. The Act is also amended by adding the principles of the management of the distribution network undertaking and storage system operator, and the functions of the Competition Authority with regard to market monitoring and consumer protection. It is provided that a gas undertaking engaged in production and sale may not have a dominant influence over a transmission network undertaking active in another Member State if the requirement of ownership unbundling of the transmission network undertaking from the gas undertaking engaged in production and sale is applied in that other State. Thereby it is ensured that the gas undertaking engaged in production and sale is firmly separated from the transmission network undertaking, and a conflict of interests between transmission activities and production and sale is avoided. Also, a wholesale energy market database is established, the chief processor of which is a national regulatory authority, according to the relevant EU Regulation. In Estonia, the Competition Authority is the authority.
The Act on Amendments to Other Acts relating to Amendments to the Taxation Act (574 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 76 votes in favour. It ensures the obtaining and use of data from the employment register to be established at the Tax and Customs Board which will secure better and more effective protection of social rights of persons who work. The aim of the employment register to be established at the Tax and Customs Board will be to gather information relating to working into a single system, to reduce the administrative burden by increasing the volume of the data collected electronically, to secure better protection of social rights of persons who work and to simplify the principles of the functioning of the social guarantees system.
The Act on Amendments to the Health Insurance Act (551 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 79 votes in favour. With it, the rights relating to the insurance cover of members of the management and controlling bodies of a legal person and persons who receive remuneration or service fees on the basis of a contract for services, authorisation agreement or any other contract under the law of obligations are harmonised with the rights of persons employed on the basis of an employment contract or in public service, and sole proprietors. The Act harmonises the terms of the contracts required for obtaining the insurance and of the waiting periods of the formation of the insurance cover, and the requirements for making an entry on the insurance cover. In addition, the regulation concerning pharmaceutical price agreements is changed. The conditions for automatic extension of a price agreement and changing a price agreement are specified.
The Act on Amendments to the Medical Devices Act (562 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 80 votes in favour. It renews the regulation concerning the database of medical devices due to the necessity to extend the composition of the data collected into the database. The data received by the Health Board in the course of market supervision will be gathered in the database. Thereby the data will be made better accessible for the competent authority as well as for the public. The database will be maintained with the purpose of ensuring the protection of human health against risks arising from medical devices. Data will be collected concerning medical devices placed on the market, put into service, distributed for the first time and used professionally for the first time in Estonia, and the related acts connected with clinical investigations, adverse incidents and supervisory procedures. The Act changes the level of two provisions delegating authority. According to the amendment, the Minister of Social Affairs will approve the requirements for designing, manufacturing, packaging and labelling and the rules for classification of medical devices, instead of the Government.
The Act on Amendments to the Health Care Services Organisation Act (566 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 75 votes in favour (1 abstention). According to the Act, the Health Board will be able to check and compare the composition of the practice lists of family physicians. On the basis of the data of the population register, persons not covered by health insurance whose place of residence is not located in Estonia according to the data of the population register can also be excluded from the practice list. The comparison of the practice lists of family physicians and the organisation thereof is necessary because the persons who are on the list but have left Estonia and do not consume the general medical care service keep the lists full. Therefore, family physicians whose practice lists are full cannot add persons who are covered with health insurance to their lists. The Act provides for the possibility of home obstetrical care which will be provided within the framework of midwifery care.
The Act on the Ratification of the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (589 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 50 votes in favour (1 abstention). It provides for ratification of the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, developed by the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The object of this Convention is to promote international co-operation for a better operation of national tax laws, while respecting the fundamental rights of taxpayers. Administrative cooperation in the field of taxation is to a lesser or greater extent regulated also by bilateral agreements for avoidance of double taxation and by European Union (EU) legislation. The ratification of the Convention will grant the possibility to engage in cooperation in the field of taxation also with those foreign countries with whom no tax agreement has been concluded and who are not EU Member States but who are Parties to the Convention. The ratification of the Convention and the entry into force thereof will grant the Tax and Customs Board a possibility for broader administrative cooperation in the field of taxation with other Parties to the Convention.
The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Labour Market Services and Benefits Act and the Unemployment Insurance Act (521 SE), initiated by the Government. With the implementation of the Bill, the procedure for submission of the application for registration as unemployed and the required documents will become more flexible and simpler. A person will have the possibility to submit an application for registration as unemployed or a job-seeker either electronically through the website of the Unemployment Insurance Fund or in a local office of the Unemployment Insurance Fund.
The Riigikogu Press Service
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