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The Riigikogu passed an Act and a Resolution: 

The Act on Amendments to the Defence League Act (458 SE), initiated by the Social Democratic Party Faction, which allows non-citizen young people to be members of the youth organisations of the Defence League, was passed with 72 votes in favour (1 abstention). 7-18 year old citizens of Estonia and young people of that age permanently residing in Estonia may be junior members of the Defence League. At the same time, a junior member who is not an Estonian citizen may only belong to youth organisations. 

The Resolution of the Riigikogu “Appointment of Members of the Supervisory Board of Eesti Pank” (593 OE), submitted by Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Eesti Pank Mart Laar, was passed with 70 votes in favour (1 abstention). Kalev Kallo, Kaie Kerem, Enn Listra, Rein Minka, Jaanus Tamkivi, Liina Tõnisson and Urmas Varblane were appointed to the Supervisory Board of Eesti Pank. Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Eesti Pank submitted the proposal on the basis of the Bank of Estonia Act. 

The Minister of Interior Affairs Ken-Marti Vaher presented the report on the implementation of “Main Objectives of Security Policy of Estonia until 2015” in 2013. 

Vaher explained that, in 2011, priorities had been set to activities to reach the roots of internal security. “We set as our goal to help, at every step, make our living environment safer, more secure and more friendly,” Vaher said. He stressed that, last year, the attention of internal security had been focused on increasing the feeling of security of Estonian people, particularly through prevention, saving of human lives and a rise in the motivation of internal security workers. 

Vaher gave an overview of the prevention policy and the reducing of deaths by accident. In 2013, the number of deaths by accident, that is, traffic, fire and drowning deaths was the smallest after after the restoration of Estonia’s independence. 184 people, that is, 6% less than a year earlier, died in accidents. In nearly 20 years, with joint efforts, the number of people who die in accidents has been reduced by more than four times, saving nearly 600 human lives. The number of fire casualties was also smaller than ever before, 47, in 2013. This is seven people less than in 2012 and three and a half times less than in 2006. The number of residential building fires has decreased significantly, having fallen to 892 last year, while this number amounted to over 1000 as recently as the year before the previous year. However, carelessness with open fire which was the cause of half of the fires continues to be a problem. “Therefore it is clear that we must continue fire safety prevention work,” the Minister of Internal Affairs stressed. 

Vaher noted that, as a result of the work of the office of crimes of corruption established at the Central Criminal Police two years ago, there has been an improvement in detection of crimes and also seizure of income from corrupt practices in the case of such criminal offences as fall within the competence of the Police and Border Guard Board. Compared to 2012, the number of the procedures sent from the office of crimes of corruption to the prosecutor’s office increased from 80 to 293. Property has been seized in the amount of circa 0.3 million euro. “Last year, larger corruption risks were connected with the use of funds by officials, supervisory activity and conflict of interest,” Vaher said. 

When speaking of strengthening the life saving capacity, Vaher noted that, in 2013, the life saving capacity of Estonia had reached the best level since the regaining of independence. “Only a complete team of at least three rescuers who can do smoke diving in case of a fire, save a person from a body of water or release a person from a vehicle, can save human lives in an accident. With the reform of rescue commandos in 2012, we increased the number of commandos who have life saving capacity from 41 to 66. With that, the number of people who can receive life saving service increased by more than 120 000,” Vaher characterised the situation. He added that innovative solutions for saving human lives had also been implemented last year. Namely thermo cameras which help rescuers now find a victim in a room full of smoke ten times faster. By the end of 2013, 32 commandos had a thermo camera, and the number is expected to increase this year. Last year, nearly 170 persons were rescued from fires and 33 persons were rescued from water accidents. The quick arrival of a rescue commando and efficient action at the site plays an important role in saving human lives. 

Vaher also attached importance to involving volunteers in security. “It is clear that involvement of volunteers has long traditions and our aim is to give much more highlight to involving communities and volunteer work in the society,” Vaher stressed. 

Andres Anvelt and Peeter Võsa took the floor during the debate. 

The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Public Transport Act (499 SE), initiated by the Government. According to the Bill, when organising carriage of passengers by bus, the relevant European Union Regulation concerning the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport will also have to be followed, besides the Public Transport Act. This Regulation concerns only international regular services. The provisions which apply where the distance of the service is shorter, including domestic regular services, regulate primarily the issues relating to disabled persons as well as the obtaining of information and the resolution of complaints. 

The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of two drafts

The Draft Building Code (555 SE), initiated by the Government, establishes an updated Building Code which is conformity with special fields. The term “Code” will be used now instead of “Act” which means that, besides the general provisions of construction law, special provisions and special structures are also covered. Planning and construction law was codified with the aim of systematising and organising the provisions concerning both branches of law and making proposals for organising the situation or formulating new provisions. The draft Code tightens the requirements for acquiring the right of activity and equalises the conditions of competition of undertakings, increasing also the administrative burden. All undertakings operating in construction must be competent for the works performed. The requirements for competence are also tightened. If, so far, also a person without the relevant education and work experience could be held competent in the field of building, then in the future only a person who has certified competence can be held competent. 

With the Planning Bill (571 SE), initiated by the Government, a new Planning Act is established which is part of the codification of planning and construction law. The Bill organises the law concerning the field of planning. Plans and the procedures thereof are differentiated by types. In addition to the national spatial plan, county-wide spatial plan, comprehensive plan and detailed spatial plan existing in the current Act, the Bill sets out as new types the special plans of the state and local government that are required in the case of structures of national or international importance. When drafting special plans, it is obligatory to consider alternative locations in order to find the most suitable location for the structure. It is possible to begin the preparation of the building design documentation on the basis of a plan adopted in a special procedure. According to the Bill, a local government has the possibility to waive the procedure of detailed spatial plan and replace it with design criteria in the event of the building of a detached house. At the same time, the building characteristics and comprehensive plan of the locality will have to be adhered to. In addition, a term of 3 years will be provided for the processing of a detailed spatial plan. 

Due to the end of the working hours of today’s sitting, the first reading of the Bill on Implementation of the Building Code and the Planning Act (572 SE), initiated by the Government, will be tomorrow.

The Riigikogu Press Service