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At today’s sitting, the Riigikogu approved the Act that organises the reporting relating to fishing and increases the clarity of the use of free fishing capacity of the register of fishing vessels.

The Act on Amendments to the Fishing Act (491 SE), initiated by the Government, ensures the collection of the data related to fishing as provided for in the Act, and inclusion thereof in the database established therefor which is registered in the administration system for the state information system (RIHA).

The Act also ensures that the collection, analysis and transmission of data related to fishing as established in European Union legislation and in law is conducted on the basis of provisions delegating authority. The persons submitting the data, the agencies related to the organisation and supervision of fishing, scientists researching fish stocks, and other stakeholders will be able to use the data collected to the commercial fishing register. After registration of the commercial fishing register in RIHA in compliance with the requirements, and with the use of the connection possibilities necessary for the commercial fishing register in connection with other national registers and databases, the availability of data will improve and the administrative burden of citizens will decrease.

The Act increases the clarity and efficiency of the use of free fishing capacity of the register of fishing vessels. Persons engaged in commercial fishing will have the possibility to faster find the restricted fishing capacity necessary to register a fishing vessel used in fishing, as businesses who have free fishing capacity will have less opportunity to keep free fishing capacity in their possession without limits. Thus the waiting period for entering a fishing vessel into the register of fishing vessels will be reduced in some cases. There will be less possibility to make fictitious transactions with the aim of extending the time of keeping for an undertaking a free fishing capacity that is expiring in the register of fishing vessels.

During the second reading, a had committee made a motion to amend the Bill that provided for a restriction, at the level of law, on the allocation of fishing opportunity that is not allocated on the basis of historical fishing rights. This is because, upon refusal to assign fishing opportunities, it is not important whether the fishing opportunities are allocated on the basis of historical fishing rights, but whether it is possible to issue a fishing authorisation to the applicant.

71 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the Act and five were against.

The Riigikogu passed a Statement:

The Riigikogu passed the Statement “On Iraqi Kurdistan Independence Referendum” (516 AE), initiated by 27 members of the Riigikogu, which emphasises the need to solve all disputes between the Government of the Republic of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government by negotiations after the referendum that was held on 25 September, and to avoid the escalation of an armed conflict. The Riigikogu invites all parties to maintain a peaceful, transparent, democratic and mutually respectful attitude.

The Riigikogu affirms in the Statement that it respects the territorial integrity of the Republic of Iraq, as long as preserving it will not bring along violent suppression of the human and political rights of the Kurdish minority in Iraq. The Statement also says that the Riigikogu understands the legitimate aspirations of the Kurdish people in exercising their right to national self-determination. In the Statement, the countries of the region are called upon not to interfere with the internal affairs of the Republic of Iraq.

The Statement was initiated by members of the Riigikogu Eerik-Niiles Kross, Andres Herkel, Kalle Palling, Johannes Kert, Artur Talvik, Lauri Luik, Maris Lauri, Ain Lutsepp, Kristen Michal, Ants Laaneots, Madis Milling, Kalle Laanet, Urmas Kruuse, Laine Randjärv, Remo Holsmer, Heidy Purga, Andres Ammas, Krista Aru, Külliki Kübarsepp, Monika Haukanõmm, Jaak Madison, Igor Gräzin, Valdo Randpere, Yoko Alender, Meelis Mälberg, Aivar Sõerd and Jüri Jaanson.

Mihhail Stalnuhhin from the Centre Party Faction and Mart Nutt from the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction took the floor during the debate.

43 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the Statement and there were three abstentions.

Three Bills passed the first reading in the Riigikogu:

The Bill on Amendments to the Act on Granting International Protection to Aliens (472 SE), initiated by the Legal Affairs Committee, will create the possibility to revoke the refugee status of an alien who constitutes a danger to the community of Estonia, and to expel or return the alien, if an alien to whom refugee status has been granted has been sentenced to imprisonment for an intentional offence against a natural person, an offence against a child, an offence relating to narcotics or dangerous to public, extortion, or a criminal offence in the first degree.

Under the current Act, it is possible to revoke refugee status if there is good reason to believe that an alien poses a threat to national security, or a judgment of conviction in the first degree crime has entered into force with regard to an alien.

Major amendments introduced by the Bill on Amendments to the Vital Statistics Registration Act and Other Associated Acts (511 SE), initiated by the Government, are connected with the registration of births and deaths and the entering of the data of persons who have been granted international protection into the population register.

The Bill will significantly extend the range of persons who in the future will have the possibility to submit an application for registration of birth in a digitally signed form. If under the current Act only parents who are married to each other can submit an application this way, then under the new rules a majority of parents will have the possibility to submit a digitally signed application (except for the exceptions set out in the Act, for example parents who are minors and parents with restricted active legal capacity).

Under the Bill, the registration of a death will become considerably simpler from 1 July next year. As a general rule, there will be no need to go to a vital statistics office to register a death, because the data concerning a death will be entered into the population register automatically when a health care provider prepares a death certificate.

The Bill will establish a regulation for entering the data of persons who are granted international protection into the population register, because in most cases such persons do not carry documents certifying vital statistics events when they come to Estonia. The Bill will enable vital statistics data to be entered into the population register on the basis of a decision on the granting of international protection prepared by the Police and Border Guard Board under which vital statistics events and relationships are established within the framework of proceedings for granting international protection. More lenient requirements will be established for the formal requirements for vital statistics documents of persons who have been granted international protection, as persons in need of international protection are not in a position to comply with the requirements set for a foreign document in the current Act.

The Bill on Amendments to the Competition Act (508 SE), initiated by the Government, will provide for the obligation of the Ministry of Finance to disclose state aid exceeding 500 000 euro in the European Commission Transparency Award Module. Information concerning such aid will have to be disclosed within six months as of the award of aid.

It is the European Commission recommendation to Member States in order to allow citizens and companies to access information about state aid awarded in large amounts, which entered into force on 1 July last year. Since 1 July last year, such aid has been awarded for 76 times in Estonia.

The Bill will change the procedure for submitting state aid reports to the European Commission and provide for the obligation of the Ministry of Finance to submit the reports via the web application of the European Commission. The amendments will bring the regulation into conformity with the current procedure.

A Bill was dropped from the proceedings of the Riigikogu:

The Bill on Amendments to the Income Tax Act (484 SE), initiated by the Estonian Reform Party Faction, provided for restoration of the possibility for spouses to submit a joint income tax return in the Income Tax Act. In practice, that would have meant that the incomes of both spouses and the deductions made from the incomes would have been added up.

Jürgen Ligi from the Reform Party Faction, Mihhail Stalnuhhin from the Centre Party Faction and Andres Herkel from the Free Party Faction the floor during the debate.

The lead committee moved to reject the Bill at the first reading; 42 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the motion and 37 were against. Thus, the Bill was dropped from the legislative proceedings.

Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian).

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.)

Riigikogu Press Service
Merilin Kruuse
Phone +372 631 6353, +372 510 6179
E-mail merilin.kruuse@riigikogu.ee
Questions press@riigikogu.ee

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