The Chancellor of Justice Indrek Teder spoke before the Riigikogu and presented to the Riigikogu the report on the exercise of supervision over the conformity of the legislation of general application with the Constitution and the Acts, and respect for fundamental rights and liberties, and the activities of the Chancellor of Justice as a preventive institution. In Teder’s words, the main theme of the report is the parliament as the decision-maker. In his speech, Teder said that, for better ensuring of the fundamental rights and freedoms of persons, Estonia needs an administrative reform, that is, essential strengthening, changing of local governments, and one traditional option worth considering here is to reduce their number. He suggested that if drawing of borders fails, then the option might be considered of the state taking over the tasks of local governments because the fundamental rights of persons have to be ensured. “Whether it is the state or the local government who ensures it, is probably of secondary importance from the standpoint of the person,” believed Teder.
In connection with the discussion of performance of obligations arising from the European Financial Stability Facility Framework Agreement that had been held in the Riigikogu, the Chancellor of Justice found that the role of the Riigikogu in helping the states of the euro zone who have fallen into economic difficulties has to be greater than merely deciding on the maximum possible amount of a general guarantee. He stressed that the Constitution requires that significant matters be left to the parliament to decide. “The parliament has to control the Government, and not the other way round,” noted Teder. He added that the people also have to have an opportunity to decide, though the representatives they have elected, how to act in the economic crisis. There has to be an opportunity for electors of the opposition parties to have their say, too.
The Chancellor of Justice also mentioned that the problem with the rehabilitation service for children with addiction disorder, which had been mentioned in his report already in autumn 2009, had not been solved. Nor has a solution been found to the proposals for amending the Social Welfare Act in order to guarantee availability of shelter and the asylum service for people who have no shelter, which were included in the report presented in June 2010.
In his speech, the Chancellor of Justice also touched upon the issues of the immunity of the members of the parliament and their right to protect themselves against possible arbitrary criminal charges.
In Teder’s words, the above examples concern the previous composition of the parliament. Teder hoped that the current composition would show Estonia as a parliamentary state where the parliament uses the rights granted to it by the Constitution, debates and makes decisions.
On behalf of the factions of the Riigikogu, comments were presented by Marko Pomerants, Deniss Boroditš, Rait Maruste and Andres Anvelt.
The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Commercial Code and Other Associated Acts (75 SE), initiated by the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction and the Estonian Reform Party Faction. The main aim of the Bill is to bring the Estonian law into conformity with the relevant European Parliament and Council directives. The purpose of the directives transposed with the Act is to help enhance the competitiveness of the EU by reducing the administrative burden arising from the European company law directives. Amendments involve reduction of reporting and documentation requirements for companies, including also in the case of a merger between a parent company and its subsidiary, as well as updating of information requirements. In addition, similar amendments have also been partially made to the Cross-Border Mergers Directive. Amendments to the Capital Requirements Directive enable Member States to reduce reporting requirements upon the formation of a public limited liability company and an increase in subscribed capital if these occur in the context of the merger or the division. The Bill was sent to the third reading.
On the motion of the Social Affairs Committee, the Bill on Amendments to the Health Insurance Act (61 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, was rejected at the first reading. 43 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the motion and 35 members of the Riigikogu voted against. Thus, the Bill was dropped from the legislative proceeding.
Due to the end of the working hours of the sitting of the plenary assembly, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to § 222 of the Social Welfare Act (62 SE), initiated by the Social Democratic Party Faction, was adjourned. The deliberation of the Bill will be resumed tomorrow, at the sitting beginning at 2 p.m.
The verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian) is available at:
The Riigikogu Press Service