The Riigikogu passed four Acts:
The Act on Amendments to the Government of the Republic Act and to Other Acts in connection with Establishing of Police and Border Guard Administration (344 SE), initiated by the Government, which introduces substantial and technical amendments to several Acts in connection with the merger of police authorities, border guard authorities and the Citizenship and Migration Board into the Police and Border Guard Administration, was passed with 76 votes in favour.
The Police and Border Guard Act (343 SE), initiated by the Government, which provides the merger of the Police Board, the Border Guard Administration and the Citizenship and Migration Board, which belong to the area of government of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, into one agency as of 1 January 2010, was passed with 76 votes in favour (1 vote against). The name of the new agency will be the Police and Border Guard Administration and it will be essentially a police authority.
The Act on Amendments to the Notaries Act and Associated Acts (411 SE), initiated by the Government, which grants notaries the right to register marriages, was passed with 73 votes in favour. Also, notaries will have the right to issue apostils (certificates of authentication of public documents of Estonia) and notaries are granted the right to engage in conciliation and arbitration proceedings for extra-judicial adjudication of disputes.
The Act on Amendments to subsection 11 (12) of the Institutions of Professional Higher Education Act (431 SE), initiated by the Government, which allows to compete to be admitted to student places for officer training at an institution of professional higher education for national defence also immediately after graduation from secondary school, that is, before completion of compulsory military service, was passed with 71 votes in favour.
The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of four Bills:
The Bill on Amendments to the Government of the Republic Act and Other Acts arising from the Merger of the Motor Vehicle Registration Centre and the Road Administration (439 SE), initiated by the Government, merges the two specified agencies. The name of the merged agency will be the Road Administration. The agencies will be merged with the intention of improving the intercommunication and cooperative capacity of the three closely related spheres – road network, vehicles and public transport –, to reduce administrative costs, improve road safety and improve the cooperation of traffic-related registers.
A main purpose of the Bill on Amendments to the Identity Documents Act, the Consular Act, the Penal Code, the State Fees Act, the Aliens Act and the Citizenship Act (395 SE), initiated by the Government, is to establish a regulation of the document for digital identification of a person. It also provides the possibility of issuing a digital identity card if an identity card has been issued to the person before or if he or she applies for an identity card simultaneously with a digital identity card. During the second reading, amendments were introduced in the Bill which eliminate the requirement of visa invitation and thereby simplify visa proceedings.
The Bill on Amendments to the Support of Enterprise and State Loan Guarantees Act (455 SE), initiated by the Government, changes the conditions concerning the circle of the undertakings which qualify for the grant of loan guarantees. The current restriction on size, according to which large undertakings did not qualify for the grant of loan guarantees, will be eliminated. The permitted limits upon entry into guarantee contracts will be increased. The total amount of guarantee contracts upon the grant of guarantees for business loans will increase to 1.5 billion instead of the current 800 million, and to 1.5 billion instead of 950 million also in the case of the grant of guarantees for housing loans.
The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of six Bills:
By the Bill on Amendments to the Government of the Republic Act and Other Acts relating to Reorganisation of the Plant Production Inspectorate, 13 Regional Land Improvement Bureaus and the Land Improvement Bureau of Supervision and Expertise into the Board of Agriculture (470 SE), initiated by the Government, the Board of Agriculture is established as of 1 January 2010.
The purpose of the strategy approved by the Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu “Approval of National Development Plan for Energy Sector until 2020” (443 OE), submitted by the Government, is to integrate the specific development plans of the sphere and to provide the general aims of energy policy until 2020. The Estonian Green Party Faction moved to reject the Draft at the first reading. The motion was not supported. The result of voting: 5 votes in favour, 59 against.
By the Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu “On State Guarantee for the Loan between the Council of Europe Development Bank and the Credit and Export Guarantee Fund KredEx” (469 OE), submitted by the Government, a state guarantee in the amount of 34 500 000 euro is granted the Council of Europe Development Bank with regard to a loan applied for therefrom. The loan is intended for financing a project of renovation of apartment buildings.
The Bill on Amendments to the Funded Pensions Act and the Social Tax Act (476 SE), initiated by the Government, suspends the contributions to mandatory funded pension in full amount as of 1 June 2009 until the end of 2010 and in half amount in 2011. According to the Bill, the regular payments regime would be resumed as of 2012. The Estonian Centre Party Faction moved to reject the Bill at the first reading. The motion was not supported. The result of voting: 28 votes in favour, 42 against.
The purpose of the Bill on Amendments to the Penal Code (467 SE), initiated by the Government, is to extend the range of necessary elements of the criminal offence as regards an attack against flight safety. Also, unauthorised use of the identity of another person, that is, identity theft, is criminalised.
The purpose of the Bill on Amendments to the Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Competition Act (438 SE), initiated by the Government, is to improve the combating of cartels and other serious violations of competition law.
At Question Time, the Minister of Education and Research Tõnis Lukas answered the question about education problems, submitted by Karel Rüütli, the question about the situation of teachers, submitted by Mailis Reps, and the question about the Basic Schools and Upper Secondary Schools Act, submitted by Eldar Efendijev. The Minister of Regional Affairs Siim Valmar Kiisler answered the question about the revenue base of local governments, submitted by Arvo Sarapuu. The Minister for Population and Ethnic Affairs Urve Palo answered the question about remigration, submitted by Mai Treial.
The sitting ended at 6.21 p.m.
The Riigikogu Press Service
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