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At today’s sitting, the Riigikogu passed the Act that provides for clear rules for calculating the payment for tolerating utility networks, and for the payment of a greater compensation to landowners.

Under the Act on Amendments to the Law of Property Act Implementation Act and Other Acts (change to payment for tolerating utility networks) (405 SE), initiated by the Government, the amount of the payment for tolerating utility networks is 7.5 per cent of the taxable value of the land under the construction. Such a payment will help owners cover the costs of the land tax, and also compensate for loss of profit to some extent.

The Act provides for the coefficients for determining the extent of the restriction on the use of land; the final amount of the payment for tolerating utility networks depends on that. In a case when the use of the land according to its intended purpose is significantly restricted due to the obligation to tolerate utility networks, the actual extent of the restriction is 100 per cent. If it is partially possible to use the land, the actual extent of the restriction is 50 per cent. If the use of the land is not significantly hindered and the utility network is necessary for using the land, no payment for tolerating is paid for such a restriction.

During the debate, Külliki Kübarsepp from the Free Party Faction and Valdo Randpere from the Reform Party Faction took the floor.

66 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the Act, 8 were against, and there were 5 abstentions.

Three drafts passed the first reading in the Riigikogu:

Under the Bill on Amendments to the Social Welfare Act and the Taxation Act (558 SE), initiated by the Government, an IT-solution to help young people will be developed, with the help of which a list of young people who potentially need support, together with their contact details, will be displayed to a case manager of a local government. However, that will be done only in the case when for example the social worker has so requested and has confirmed that he or she would deal with young people who need help. This way the local government can identify the need for support in a young person aged 16–26 residing in its area and proactively offer him or her support in returning to education and the labour market. The young person will have the right to tell the social worker at once that he or she does not wish help or the processing of his or her personal data, and thereafter the personal data will be deleted.

During the debate, Tarmo Kruusimäe from the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction, Monika Haukanõmm from the Free Party Faction and Helmen Kütt from the Social Democratic Party Faction took the floor.

The aim of the Bill on Accession to the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (557 SE), initiated by the Government, is to accede to and implement in Estonia the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004. The aim of the convention is to protect the marine environment from alien species who may be transferred through ships’ ballast water. The spread of alien species is considered one of the five main threats to biological diversity.

The main amendment is that the ships that use ballast water will have to duly manage the ballast water discharged into the sea which means that cleaning systems will have to be installed on ships.

Accession to the convention will enable ships flying Estonian flag to apply for exemptions from these requirements. It is possible to grant exemptions to certain ships which operate between specified ports. In Estonia, exemptions are applied for presumably for regular routes, e.g. Tallinn–Helsinki and Tallinn–Stockholm routes. In Estonia, the Maritime Administration, which performs the functions of the maritime administration in Estonia, will grant exemptions to ships. Not installing cleaning systems on ships is justified if the alien species are the same in the ports on the regular routes.

The convention was adopted at the Assembly of the International Maritime Organization in 2004 and it entered into force internationally on 8 September 2017. 63 states which represent 68.51% of the world’s merchant fleet tonnage have ratified or approved or acceded to the convention.

During the debate, Peeter Ernits from the Centre Party Faction took the floor.

The Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu “Amendments to the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Extension of the Time Limit for the Use of the Defence Forces in the Fulfilment of the International Commitments of the Estonian State in the Training and Advisory Mission in Afghanistan”” (564 OE), submitted by the Government, will enable Estonia to increase the number of active servicemen in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-led training and advisory mission in Afghanistan.

The draft Resolution provides that the maximum limit for the Defence Forces for participation in the Afghanistan operation can be increased in the rotation period to up to 92 active servicemen within one month as of the arrival of the active servicemen who participate in the rotation in the operation area. The number of Estonian active servicemen participating in this operation is connected with the rotation that takes place twice a year. Therefore, both leaving and arriving active servicemen can temporarily stay in the same operation area simultaneously in the rotation period.

The explanatory memorandum notes that, in 2017, the Ministry of Defence and the Defence Forces had analysed Estonia’s military possibilities and limitations for additional contributions, taking into account also the potential impacts on Estonia’s independent defence capability and the integral development of the Defence Forces, as well as the existing national and international commitments of the Defence Forces in foreign missions. As a result of the analysis, the Defence Forces are ready to contribute in Afghanistan with an infantry platoon.

NATO has repeatedly asked all its member states to fill in the critical key gaps in the structure of the mission to guarantee the success of the mission. Most recently, the need for additional contributions was on the agenda at the meeting of the NATO defence ministers in November 2017. In 2017, several countries promised to contribute additionally, for example, the US has promised 4000 military servicemen.

Estonia’s aim is to be a solidary and reliable ally who, among other things, actively contributes to international military operations, in order to stabilise international security and thereby Estonia’s security. Estonia’s security and defence policy interest is a united and strong NATO and a stable global security environment, and therefore it is also in Estonia’s interests to additionally contribute to Afghanistan.

Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian) http://stenogrammid.riigikogu.ee/en/201801171400.

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]