Today the Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise presented an oral report before the Riigikogu on her activities over the last year. The Chancellor of Justice acknowledged the committees of the Riigikogu who had amended on their own initiative several problems involving situations in conflict with the Constitution. However, there is still very much work to be done in the reforming of local governments, in the opinion of the Chancellor of Justice.
Ülle Madise said that the first inspection visits to local governments had shown that several cities and rural municipalities did not know which social services they had to offer to the people. “Some local governments have said that they are unable to comply with the law and to help their people to the extent required. The state must allocate separate funds for that,” Madise said.
In Madise’s words, a rural municipality or city cannot be an extension of state authority. In her opinion, issues pertaining to local life should be resolved by the municipal council elected in the particular city or rural municipality. “It is national issues that must be resolved similarly all over the country, on the basis of the same standard. Local governments can participate in that, it is a matter of choice, but in such a case everything has to be paid from the state budget,” Madise said.
In her report, Ülle Madise touched upon the following issues, among others: dignified ageing, the payment of the unemployment insurance benefit and the raising of excise duty rates.
During the debate, Kalle Laanet, Artur Talvik, Peeter Ernits, Liisa Oviir and Marko Pomerants took the floor and presented their positions on behalf of the factions.
The annual review by the Chancellor of Justice covered the period from 1 September 2016 to 31 August 2017. Over the year, the office of the Chancellor of Justice had received 3343 petitions, and the office had worked on 2228 cases.
One Bill passed the first reading in the Riigikogu
The Bill on Amendments to § 76 of the Medicinal Products Act (481 SE), initiated by the Social Affairs Committee, will provide for measures to ensure consistent availability of medicinal products for Estonian patients. The Bill will influence the holders of marketing authorisations for medicinal products to market authorised medicinal products in Estonia, and will motivate them to actually do so.
The first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Municipal Council Election Act (470 SE), initiated by the Estonian Conservative People’s Party Faction, was adjourned due to the end of the working hours of the Riigikogu and it will be resumed at Wednesday’s sitting. The Bill will narrow the right to vote in municipal council elections, which will extend only to citizens of Estonia and citizens of the European Union. The current Act allows also permanent residents who are citizens of another country or who lack citizenship to vote in local elections.
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.)
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