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Today, the Riigikogu passed the Resolution on the amendment of “The Transport Development Plan for 2014–2020”.

According to the development plan approved in the Riigikogu earlier, the state had a 100-per cent holding in Port of Tallinn Ltd. In order that it would be possible to bring the minority shareholding of Port of Tallinn Ltd to the stock exchange, the development plan sets out that the state retains a majority shareholding in Port of Tallinn Ltd. Thus at least 2/3 of the shares of Port of Tallinn Ltd remain in state ownership.

The Resolution creates possibilities for a public listing of the shares of Port of Tallinn Ltd. The public listing of up to 1/3 of the shares of Port of Tallinn Ltd has been agreed upon in the coalition agreement of the Government. The more exact percentage of the listing may remain between 28–33 per cent. That will become clear when the structure of the emission will have been developed. The aim of the enterprise is to list the shares on Nasdaq Tallinn Stock Exchange by the end of the first half of 2018 at the latest.

During the debate, Sven Sester from the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction and Toomas Kivimägi from the Reform Party Faction took the floor. They supported the amendment of the development plan.

58 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Amendment of “The Transport Development Plan for 2014–2020”” (573 OE), submitted by the Government, and four were against.

One Bill passed the second reading in the Riigikogu:

The Bill on Amendments to the Emergency Act, the Taxation Act and the National Defence Duties Act (571 SE), initiated by the Government, will create preconditions for the establishment and implementation of the Government Regulation “Formation of additional employments with national defence work obligation at providers of vital services, and the procedure for drawing up and amending the list, and for submission of data” in a manner that is the least possibly burdensome for businesses.

The Ministry of Defence has drafted a package of Bills that describes the assignment of employments with national defence work obligation in the businesses providing vital services, and provides for the procedure for keeping records thereof.

The National Defence Act provides that, during the increased defence readiness or a state of war, it is possible for the state to implement the national defence work obligation in posts of employment that as a rule are related to the national defence tasks, internal security and constitutional order or ensuring a vital service. An employment with national defence work obligation entails work obligation before the employer, and such a person is exempt from mobilisation.

Under the current procedure, the national defence work obligation is implemented only in the public sector, and there is no implementing act that would enable posts with national defence work obligation to be assigned in businesses designated as providers of vital services (under the Emergency Act).

According to the Bills that have been prepared, the authorities organising vital services will coordinate with the Ministry of Defence the number of employments with national defence work obligation in the businesses providing vital services, and will enter notations regarding the relevant personnel of the businesses to the employment register. Also, the register of civil assets will maintain records of the relevant employers.

Three Bills passed the first reading in the Riigikogu:

The Bill on the Ratification of the Agreement between the Republic of Estonia and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg on the Hosting of Data and Information Systems (563 SE), initiated by the Government.

On the basis of the agreement, the data important for ensuring the continuity of the Estonian state, and critical databases, can be hosted in Luxembourg’s national data centre which will increase the security of the Estonian digital society and the quality of hosting data.

The explanatory memorandum notes that, in the hosting of data and information systems, Luxembourg has been chosen as a partner because state-owned high security data centres exist there that have been certified at Tier 4 level. None such exist in Estonia. Luxembourg is also ready to ensure the immunity of the Estonian data and information systems. Besides, Luxembourg is a digitally advanced society with whom it is possible to effectively cooperate in the field of digital services, and Luxembourg also has very good data communication connections.

“The data embassy” is a national cloud solution through which it is possible to host data and services and, if necessary, to operate them from a secure data centre outside the territorial borders of the state. This will enable to continue the functioning of the Estonian state also in the conditions where the functioning of the data centres located on the territory of the state has stopped or is disturbed.

The concept as a whole is novel, and, as far as is known, no such national system for hosting data have been taken into use yet. It is not a diplomatic mission on which the same privileges and immunity are applied as on embassies. In view of that, it is necessary to enter into an agreement the aim of which would be to protect the immunity of the critical data and information systems of the Estonia state. The agreement between the states will determine the obligations and rights of the states that are necessary to protect the data and information systems of the Estonian state.

It is a novel solution in international relations, and the conclusion of this agreement will also constitute a precedent in international law.

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas and the Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel signed this agreement in Luxembourg on 20 June 2017. The document needs to be ratified by the Riigikogu.

During the debate, Taavi Rõivas from the Reform Party Faction, Krista Aru from the Free Party Faction and Tanel Talve from the Social Democratic Party Faction took the floor.

The Bill on Amendments to the Occupational Health Care and Safety Act and Other Acts (581 SE), initiated by the Government, will facilitate the creation of a safe working environment and the prevention of damage to the health of employees, improve the legal clarity of the current procedure, and reduce the administrative burden for employers in complying with occupational health and safety requirements.

The explanatory memorandum notes that at present the employer must refer every employee to a medical examination in the first month of commencement of employment. It has appeared in practice that employers do not take the risk assessment of the working environment and the effect of hazards on employees as a basis when referring employees to medical examinations. Therefore employees undergo medical examinations uniformly, regardless of the degree of the risks actually affecting them.

It is planned to link the need for a medical examination of an employee more clearly with the risks in the working environment. An employee will have to be referred to a medical examination on the basis of the hazards present in the work area. In the future, an employer may refer an employee to a primary medical examination within a longer term, which means that a medical examination will be carried out during the probationary period and not in the first month of commencement of employment.

In the future, employers will have more possibilities to decide on the manner of instruction of employees, and on who carries out the instruction; for example, the instruction and training of employees, and the regulation of first aid, will be based on the needs of the enterprise.

Under the new procedure, an employee and an employer will have the possibility to agree on the payment of a contractual penalty for violation of occupational health and safety requirements. An agreement on a contractual penalty will have to set out the specific activities of the employee and the employer that are considered as violation of occupational health and safety requirements and that may involve risk to the health of the employee.

The amendments will eliminate the obligation of an employer to notify the Labour Inspectorate of the commencement of activities or of a change in the employer’s area of activity, and of the formation of a working environment council, and to submit the annual report on the activities of the working environment council every year. In addition, employers will no longer have to report to the Labour Inspectorate all minor occupational accidents, but cases where an occupational accident results in temporary incapacity for work, serious bodily injury or death. In the future, the Labour Inspectorate will not investigate occupational accidents while criminal proceedings are being conducted, in order to avoid parallel proceedings in the investigation of occupational accidents.

The Bill on Amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure (562 SE), initiated by the Estonian Reform Party Faction, will establish in the Code of Criminal Procedure a regulation for situations where a local government that is a victim does not file a proof of claim in public law for compensation for damage. In such a case, a prosecutor’s office may file it on behalf of the state. This would ensure that patrimonial damage caused by an intentionally committed offence by a local government official is collected.

A Bill was dropped from the proceedings of the Riigikogu:

The first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Riigikogu Election Act (555 SE), initiated by members of the Riigikogu Jüri Adams, Andres Herkel, Artur Talvik, Krista Aru and Monika Haukanõmm was continued.

The Bill was intended to change the general principle for forming electoral districts for Riigikogu elections, according to which not less than eight and not more than thirteen mandates are distributed in the electoral districts. The initiators proposed that the Government Office could form electoral districts, after having heard the opinion of the National Electoral Committee, not later than a week after the elections are called.

During the debate, Andres Herkel from the Free Party Faction and Helmut Hallemaa from the Centre Party Faction took the floor.

The lead committee moved to reject the Bill at the first reading. 63 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the motion and 9 were against. Thus, the Bill was dropped from the legislative proceedings.

Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian) http://stenogrammid.riigikogu.ee/en/201802201000.

Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu (NB! The recording will be uploaded with a delay.)

Riigikogu Press Service
Marie Kukk
631 6456; 58 213 309
[email protected]
Questions: [email protected]