The Riigikogu passed with 84 votes in favour the Act on Electronic Identification and Trust Services for Electronic Transactions which will help provide a common foundation for secure electronic interaction between citizens, businesses and public authorities.
The European Union wishes to enhance trust in electronic transactions in the internal market.
The Act on Electronic Identification and Trust Services for Electronic Transactions (237 SE), initiated by the Government, creates a national regulation for implementation of the European Union Regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions (eIDAS Regulation).
The Regulation regulates the cross-border use of electronic identification and the provision of trust services, such as electronic signature, time stamp and website authentication, in the internal market on the basis of uniform rules. The Regulation contributes to the promotion of the single market and facilitates the cross-border use of online services.
Under the electronic identification cooperation, authorities of Member states will have to mutually recognise digital signatures in 2016, and electronic identity in 2018. Member States may mutually recognise electronic identities of other Member States already earlier.
The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of four Bills:
The Bill on Amendments to the Procurement, Handling and Transplantation of Cells, Tissues and Organs Act (278 SE), initiated by the Government, will transpose into Estonian law two European Commission directives to ensure that cells and tissues imported from third countries comply with European Union standards of quality and safety.
The Bill specifies that tissues and cells used for advanced therapy medicinal products will have to be traceable at least until transferred to the ATMP manufacturer.
After the implementation of the directives, the State Agency of Medicines will have to record in the EU Tissue Establishment Compendium all undertakings who engage in the procurement and handling of cells and tissues and to whom the relevant activity licence, including the import certificate, has been issued.
At present, nine undertakings engage in the handling of cells and tissues in Estonia, two of whom engage in the importation of cells and tissues from third countries. Upon entry into force of this Act, these two undertakings will have to apply for the relevant import certificate. An activity licence for manufacturing of advanced therapy medicinal products has been issued to one undertaking. Advanced therapy medicinal product is a medicinal product intended for gene therapy or somatic cell therapy or a tissue engineered product. Starting from 29 April 2017, a single European code consisting of a donation identification sequence and a product identification sequence will be allocated to all cells and tissues procured and handled, and to manufactured products derived therefrom.
The Bill on Amendments to the State Budget for 2016 Act (296 SE), initiated by the Government, will not change the total volume of the state budget revenue and expenditure, but the current year’s expenditure of ministries and other authorities will be specified. The Bill covers 98 motions to amend in total.
Minister of Finance Sven Sester, who introduced the Bill, said that the aim of the amendments is to allow for the funds released due to changes to cost predictions during the year to be used to solve urgent problems of the state. “The expenditure of the state as a whole will not increase, but we will be able to use the funds released for other expenses,” Sester confirmed. Sester pointed out that, in connection with the construction costs of the eastern border being specified in the area of government of the Ministry of the Interior, approximately 16 million euro will be released because the buying of the lands from owners has been delayed and, as a result, other activities have also been delayed. From the funds to be released, 250 000 euro are planned to be allocated for the procurement of protective clothing for rescuers.
In the budget of the Ministry of Social Affairs, he said, 430 000 euro more than is actually going to be spent has been planned for the childcare service for children with a severe or profound disability. In the budget of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, 7.5 million euro of funds intended for road management costs had been released which, according to the proposal of the Government, will be directed to ensuring the sustainability of the railway infrastructure of Estonian Railways Ltd.
As a way to use the funds to be released, the Minister said, the Government has made a proposal to allocate 3 million euro to alleviate the difficult economic situation of dairy and pork producers. Sester explained that this aid to dairy and pork producers is part of a larger package for which additional 4.6 million has been planned also in the state budget for 2017. Eight million euro of extraordinary aid given by the European Union will be added to that. Thus farmers will receive over 15 million euro extraordinary aid.
In the area of government of the Ministry of Culture, the Government has proposed to increase the supports to the Estonian Public Broadcasting by 4 million euro to complete the construction works of the news building of the public broadcasting. In addition, there is a plan to direct 700 000 euro for the procurement of a new mobile broadcast station for the Public Broadcasting.
In the area of government of the Ministry of Education and Research, the Government has proposed to allocate 3.2 million euro in order that the scientific libraries could ensure access to the scientific databases in 2017 by paying the licence fees this year.
In the area of government of the Ministry of Justice, there is a proposal to allocate 300 000 euro to buy medicinal products for prisoners. In the area of government of the Ministry of Social Affairs, there is a proposal in a total amount of two million euro for linking Narva Hospital and Põlva Hospital better to the national hospital network.
In the area of government of the Ministry of Defence, the Government’s proposal is to specify the budget so that, according to the approved procurement plan, 9.8 million euro of management costs would be spent to buy special defence equipment.
The Bill on Amendments to § 100 of the Gambling Act (260 SE), initiated by the Government, will create the possibility for perpetrators of betting frauds to be punished pursuant to criminal procedure. An example of betting fraud is a case where athletes bet on a previously agreed result, like the victory of opponents, and try to deliberately lose. On the basis of judicial practice, today such frauds are punishable only under misdemeanour procedure. The Bill introduces amendments to the necessary elements of a misdemeanour, and provides that misdemeanour proceedings are applied only in the cases when the necessary elements of fraud provided for in the Penal Code are not present.
The Bill on Amendments to the Accounting Act (259 SE), initiated by the Government, will make invoicing with the public sector based entirely on electronic invoices. E-invoicing will be made mandatory in the invoicing between the private and the public sector in view of the goal set by the Government to promote the real time economy. Besides that, the requirements for the accounting source document will be amended. The Bill provides for an obligation that, starting from 1 January 2017, invoices submitted to the public sector will have to be electronic invoices both upon selling goods and providing services. Electronic invoice is an invoice which is handled electronically – the invoice is transmitted from one accounting software directly to another via an operator, and the recipient does not need to enter the data of the invoice manually. Transition to e-invoicing will mean a circa 2.5 million euro saving per year for the public sector. To ensure smooth transition to e-invoicing, the state will allow micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to use the web-based software of the Centre of Registers and Information Systems for generation and transmission of electronic invoices free of charge in 2017–2018. The Bill will amend the requirements for the accounting source document, such as contracts, receipts, acts and delivery notes, to simplify the generation thereof and to avoid presentation of unnecessary data. The mandatory requirements for the source document will include only the date, substance and figures of the business transaction. Additional requirements will apply only to invoices submitted between accounting entities, for example, sales invoices between two undertakings.
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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