Today the Riigikogu passed the implementation Act on the European Citizens’ Initiative which lowers the minimum age for signing a statement of support for a citizens’ initiative from the current age of 18 to 16.
80 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the Act to Implement Regulation (EU) 2019/788 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Citizens’ Initiative (74 SE), initiated by the Government. Seven were against.
The Ministry of the Interior was designated as the national contact point to assist groups of organisers of citizens’ initiatives if they need help in national issues.
Compared to the current Act, there will be no changes concerning the national governmental authorities who perform the obligations arising from the Regulation in relation to the verification of the signatures of support and the certification of the conformity of the individual online collection systems.
The European citizens’ initiative is an instrument of participatory democracy that allows to make proposals on legal amendments in all fields where the European Commission has the competence to present legislative proposals (e.g. environment, agriculture, energy, transport and trade).
A citizens’ initiative must receive the support of one million citizens from at least seven Member States. Initiatives allow citizens of different Member States to influence the policy-making of the EU. The new Regulation was established to increase the possibilities of EU citizens to participate in the democratic life and to make the European citizens’ initiative less burdensome and more user-friendly for organisers and supporters and thereby to bring the EU closer to citizens.
On behalf of the Social Democratic Party Faction, Katri Raik moved that the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Formation of the Riigikogu Committee of Investigation to Establish the Truth about the Claims of the Minister of the Interior on the Prosecutor’s Office being Politically Biased” (107 OE), initiated by her faction, be withdrawn from today’s agenda.
The Riigikogu approved the agenda for the working week. The Bill on Amendments to the Weapons Act, the State Fees Act and the Strategic Goods Act (transposition of the Firearms Directive) (62 SE), initiated by the Government, was removed from the agenda on the motion of the Legal Affairs Committee.
The Minister of Education and Research Mailis Reps replied to the interpellation concerning the education sector (No 13) and the interpellation concerning the unequal treatment of children whose home language is not Estonian and who study at Estonian-medium schools (No 9), submitted by members of the Riigikogu. Maris Lauri took the floor during the debate.
The Minister of the Environment Rene Kokk replied to the interpellation concerning waste management (No 8), submitted by members of the Riigikogu.
During the open microphone, Peeter Ernits took the floor.
Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu
(Please note that the recording will be uploaded with a delay.)
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