At the sitting of the Riigikogu plenary assembly on Wednesday, the Riigikogu gave a mandate for the use of up to 55 active servicemen of Estonia in the European Union peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic. The Riigikogu also passed the State Budget Act, the Apartment Ownership and Apartment Associations Act, the Act on Amendments to and Implementation of the Maintenance of Law and Order Act, and approved the Transport Development Plan for 2014–2020.
The Resolution of the Riigikogu “The Use of the Defence Forces in the Performance of the International Duties of the Estonian State in the European Union Peacekeeping Mission in the Central African Republic” (583 OE) enables Estonia to participate in the European Union peacekeeping mission EUFOR RCA (European Union military operation in the Central African Republic) in the Central African Republic with up to 55 active servicemen as of the entry into force of the Resolution until 31 August 2014, and with up to 5 active servicemen until the end of the year. Estonia’s participation with a unit will be a one-time event and, after the end of the four-month rotation, a new unit will not be sent to the Central African Republic. The task of the Estonian infantry platoon will most likely be to conduct security and support operations with the aim of enabling the units of the French and African Union-led peacekeeping operation MISCA to conduct other operations.
At the voting, 43 members of the Riigikogu were in favour of passing the Resolution and 14 were against. Marianne Mikko, Kadri Simson and Jevgeni Ossinovski took the floor during the debate.
The Riigikogu passed the State Budget Act (513 SE). The Act creates the legal bases and basic requirements to ensure the long-term economic and financial sustainability of Estonia. The Act provides that the fundamentals of a policy are a type of strategic development document. The Act also provides that constitutional institutions are not required to draft strategic development documents, and a budget council will be established as a separate advisory body at Eesti Pank. In addition, amendments were made in several Acts associated with the State Budget Act, including the Financial Management of Local Government Act as well as the Estonian Public Broadcasting Act.
At the voting, 53 members of the Riigikogu were in favour of passing the Act, 33 were against and one member abstained. Eiki Nestor, Aivar Sõerd, Sven Sester and Mihhail Stalnuhhin took the floor on behalf of factions during the debate.
The Riigikogu passed the Apartment Ownership and Apartment Associations Act (462 SE). The Act replaces two current Acts, the Apartment Ownership Act and the Apartment Associations Act. The Act regulates all legal relationships connected with apartment ownership. All apartment ownerships will be managed in the form of an independent legal person, an apartment association, which will be created together with the establishment of apartment ownerships upon the entry into force of the Act. The state will establish apartment associations for the existing apartment ownerships which are managed in the form of a community of apartment owners until the entry into force of the new Act.
At the voting, 55 members of the Riigikogu were in favour of passing the Act and 16 were against. Marika Tuus-Laul, Margus Hanson and Siim Kabrits took the floor during the debate.
The Riigikogu passed the Act on Amendments to and Implementation of the Maintenance of Law and Order Act (424 SE). It makes necessary amendments which will allow for the current Act to be applied also to inspectional state supervision. The Act harmonises and amends the current special Acts relating to law enforcement which regulate state supervision. The procedure for the issue of an activity licence or a building, environmental or other permit and the procedure for the grant of monetary or non-monetary aid have not been included in the scope of application of the Act. The Act ensures the state supervision proceedings which function on uniform bases, are more effective, have more legal clarity and take more account of the fundamental rights of persons. After the entry into force of the Act, all bodies responsible for maintenance of law and order will exercise state supervision on uniform bases.
At the voting, 64 members of the Riigikogu were in favour of passing the Act and 1 was against. Marika Tuus-Laul and Marko Pomerants took the floor during the debate.
The Riigikogu passed the Resolution ”Approval of the Transport Development Plan for 2014–2020″ (560 OE). The transport development plan for the next seven years for a large part continues the realisation of the objectives of the previous development plan for 2006–2013. The new development plan takes into account the fulfilment of the objectives set during the previous period. During seven years, the economic environment has changed and consequently so have the development needs. The EU policy and consequently the development focuses of Estonia have changed or been specified. The transport system influences the competitiveness of enterprises. The Estonian economy being export-oriented, enterprises need high-quality cross-border connections both for importing input goods and exporting products. In view of Estonia’s location, the role of maritime transport is important in that regard. According to the development plan, the Estonian transport system must enable the free movement of people and goods in an available, convenient, safe and continuous manner.
At the voting, 57 members of the Riigikogu were in favour of passing the Resolution and 9 were against. During the open microphone, Kalev Kallo took the floor.
The following Bills passed the second reading:
1. The Bill on Amendments to the Identity Documents Act, the State Fees Act and the State Borders Act (550 SE) which provides that the period of validity of a digital identity card in a mobile-ID format will be five years instead of the current three years. It also provides that an Estonian citizen who resides or stays in a foreign country has the possibility to apply for an Estonian citizen’s passport without fingerprints. The new regulation simplifies the possibilities of Estonian citizens who reside or stay in a foreign country to apply for a travel document.
2. The Bill on Amendments to the Social Welfare Act, the Labour Market Services and Benefits Act and the Social Benefits for Disabled Persons Act (471 SE) which provides for the elimination of the bottlenecks related to the content and organisation of special welfare services for persons with special psychological needs which are financed from the state budget. The regulation concerning the provision of special welfare services will become more understandable to the persons who receive the service, the service providers as well as the Social Insurance Board which is the agency that prescribes special welfare services, enters into contracts under public law and exercises supervision.
3. The Bill on Amendments to the Medicinal Products Act (532 SE), initiated by the Government, which transposes the relevant European Union Directive for better protection of public health. The pharmacovigilance system and the requirements for the functioning of the risk-management system for authorised medicinal products are harmonised. The rules for ascertaining pharmacovigilance risk signs and for the implementation of urgent measures are specified. The Bill harmonises the activities carried out in member states of the European Economic Area and the decision-making process in ensuring pharmacovigilance.
The following Bills passed the first reading:
1. The Bill on Amendments to § 22 of the Advertising Act (584 SE). The main aim of the amendment to the Advertising Act is to enable 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 Bill will allow to provide information on the name, working time, place of business and the area of specialisation of the healthcare provider, and the name, speciality, academic degree and contact details of the health professional, and to disclose the list and price list of the health services provided.
2. The Bill on Accession to the Agreement on an International Energy Program (576 SE), which provides for accession to the International Energy Agreement (IEA).
3. The Bill on the Ratification of Protocol No. 15 amending the Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (581 SE). The aim of the Protocol is to improve court procedures and to thereby better protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in Europe.
The sitting ended at 4.48 p.m.
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