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The Riigikogu approved with 70 votes in favour the Act on the Ratification of Eurocontrol Protocols relating to Co-operation for the Safety of Air Navigation (448 SE), initiated by the Government.

Eurocontrol aims to enhance international cooperation in the organisation of air traffic in Europe, including to increase the safety, efficiency and expeditious flow of air traffic in European airspace.

The European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation “Eurocontrol” is an intergovernmental organisation engaged in the organisation of air navigation. It was established in 1960 and it has 41 Member States. Estonia has been a member of Eurocontrol since 1 January 2015.

The Act ratifies the Protocols of 1997 and 2002 to the Eurocontrol Convention under which the European Union accedes to Eurocontrol. The Republic of Estonia signed both Protocols in Brussels on 26 November 2014.

The European Union will become a member when the Protocol on accession has been ratified, accepted or approved, on the one hand, by all signatory States, and on the other hand, by all European Union Member States.

One Bill passed the second reading in the Riigikogu:

The Bill on Amendments to the Fishing Act (491 SE), initiated by the Government, will ensure 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) in accordance with current legislation.

The Bill will also ensure that the collection, analysis and transmission of data related to fishing as established in European Union legislation and in law will be 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 interfacing possibilities necessary for the commercial fishing register in connection with other national registers and databases, the availability of data will be simplified and the administrative burden of citizens will decrease.

The Bill will increase 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 in the register of fishing vessels whereby an undertaking extends the time of keeping for itself a free fishing capacity that is expiring.

The Environment Committee had submitted six motions to amend the Bill. Five motions to amend concerned the rules of legislative drafting. One motion to amend has been drafted on the basis of a proposal from the Ministry of Rural Affairs. With this motion to amend submitted by the committee, a restriction will be provided for at the level of law on the allocation of fishing opportunity that is not allocated on the basis of historical fishing rights, because, upon refusal to assign fishing opportunities, it is not important whether the fishing opportunities are allocated on the basis of historical fishing rights or not, but whether it is possible to issue a fishing authorisation to the applicant.

One Bill passed the first reading in the Riigikogu:

The Bill on Amendments to the Tourism Act, the Law of Obligations Act and the Consumer Protection Act (492 SE), initiated by the Government, will transpose into Estonian law the EU directive on package travel and linked travel arrangements which will improve consumer protection.

In the future, if a person procures at least two travel services from one travel agent at the same time, this will be deemed to be a package. If a person creates a trip in one place on the web, this will also be considered a package. Under the Bill, the same requirements will apply also for example to companies engaging in accommodation, car rental and the carriage of passengers who offer combined travel services to travellers. If, during a booking process in a company engaging in the carriage of passengers, a traveller can also choose, for example, a guided tour, besides transport services, this will also be a package and the travel agent will be responsible for the whole contract. The Bill provides that an organiser of a package must provide security for the refund of the payments made by or on behalf of travellers and for the travellers’ repatriation in the event of the organiser’s insolvency.

Two drafts were dropped from the proceedings of the Riigikogu:

The Bill on the Repeal of the Registered Partnership Act (461 SE), initiated by the Estonian Conservative People’s Party Faction, provided for the repeal of the content and aims of the Registered Partnership Act.

During the debate, Valdo Randpere from the Reform Party Faction, Liisa Oviir from the Social Democratic Party Faction, Marko Pomerants from the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Faction and Jüri Adams from the Free Party Faction took the floor.

The lead committee moved to reject the Bill at the first reading; 47 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the motion and 19 were against. Thus, the Bill was dropped from the legislative proceedings.

The Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu “Making a Proposal to the Government of the Republic to Suspend the Process of Ratification of the Border Treaty between the Republic of Estonia and the Russian Federation” (476 OE), submitted by the Estonian Conservative People’s Party Faction, provided for suspension of the ratification of the border treaty between the Republic of Estonia and the Russian Federation and withdrawal of Estonia’s signature from the abovementioned border treaty.

During the debate, Henn Põlluaas from the Estonian Conservative People’s Party Faction, Hannes Hanso from the Social Democratic Party Faction, Igor Gräzin from the Reform Party Faction and Andres Herkel from the Free Party Faction took the floor.

A majority vote of the members of the Riigikogu was needed for the draft Resolution to be passed. 9 members of the Riigikogu were in favour of the passage of the draft Resolution and 63 were against. The draft Resolution was not supported and was dropped from the proceedings.

The Riigikogu did not support the passing without amendment of the Sugary Drink Tax Act which the President of the Republic had refused to proclaim:

The renewed deliberation of the Sugary Drink Tax Act (457 UA) was held in the Riigikogu.

Heljo Pikhof from the Social Democratic Party Faction, Jürgen Ligi from the Reform Party Faction and Andres Ammas from the Free Party Faction took the floor during the debate.

No one was in favour of passing the Act without amendments, 62 members of the Riigikogu were against, and there was one abstention. The Act was not passed unamended. The deadline for submission of motions to amend is 31 October at 5.15 p.m.

Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian) http://stenogrammid.riigikogu.ee/en/201710171000.

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
Marie Kukk
631 6456; 58 213 309
marie.kukk@riigikogu.ee
Questions: press@riigikogu.ee

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