The Riigikogu passed unamended the Act on the mandatory funded pension reform which the President of the Republic had refused to proclaim. The decision was made with 52 votes in favour and 43 votes against.
The Act on Amendments to the Funded Pensions Act and Other Associated Acts (mandatory funded pension reform) (108 UA) which the President of the Republic has refused to proclaim, provides additional options for people contributing towards their pension. It is primarily about the freedom to decide whether to contribute to the second pillar pension fund or not. People are also given additional possibilities in investing their pension funds and in using the funds, once they reach retirement age as well as before that. The Act provides for the implementation of the reform for the most part on 1 January 2021.
The President of the Republic had justified her refusal to proclaim the Act by pointing out that it was not in conformity with the Constitution.
At the sitting of the Riigikogu, member of the Constitutional Committee Siim Kiisler gave an overview of the discussions that had been held in the committee. At the sittings of the committee, the positions that the President had presented, and the objections to them, had been discussed. At the beginning of today’s plenary sitting, there was a lively discussion about the procedure of the discussions that had been held at the Constitutional Committee and the minutes that had been prepared for them, which were pointed out by opposition members. The Constitutional Committee had decided by a majority vote to propose to pass the Act without amendments.
The Finance Committee had reached the same position. It had also made a decision by a majority vote to propose to pass the Act without amendments. Aivar Kokk, Chairman of the Finance Committee, gave explanations on the discussion that had been held in the committee. He said that the majority of the committee had seen no infringement in the provisions of the Act pointed out by the President of the Republic. It was found that the proposed amendment did not illegally breach the fundamental rights arising from the Constitution.
During the debate, Kaja Kallas (Reform Party), Kersti Sarapuu (Centre Party), Paul Puustusmaa (Estonian Conservative People’s Party), Indrek Saar (Social Democratic Party), Aivar Kokk (Isamaa), Annely Akkermann (Reform Party), Jürgen Ligi (Reform Party), Andres Sutt (Reform Party), Taavi Rõivas (Reform Party), Hanno Pevkur (Reform Party), Riina Sikkut (Social Democratic Party), Valdo Randpere (Reform Party), Mihhail Lotman (Isamaa), Lauri Läänemets (Social Democratic Party), Siim Kallas (Reform Party), Helir-Valdor Seeder (Isamaa), Maris Lauri (Reform Party), Mart Võrklaev (Reform Party), Aivar Sõerd (Reform Party) took the floor.
Opposition members pointed out that there had been no discussion of the content of the Act and there had been procedural breaches in the committees, and that therefore the Act should be deliberated again. Coalition members however had a firm position that it was necessary to continue the reform and to pass the Act without amendments.
A Bill passed the first reading
The Bill on Amendments to the Radiation Act and the State Fees Act (144 SE), initiated by the Government, will specify the provisions of the Radiation Act to bring them into conformity with the Euratom directive and the proposals of the audit of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
As a major amendment, holders of radiation practice licences will have an obligation to submit to the Environmental Board analyses of events in the course of which persons are exposed to radiation doses above the permitted level. At present, the Board must be notified only of the occurrences of such incidents.
The Act will be amended by including the procedure for the recognition of the radiation practice licences issued in the contracting parties to the European Economic Area. So far, the Environmental Board has been guided by agreements on the free movement of services and the General Part of the Economic Activities Code Act in the recognition of foreign undertakings but the Environmental Inspectorate is in no position to control the radiation practices of these undertakings at present. The recognitions will be issued by letter through a document management system.
The European Union Euratom directive laying down basic safety standards for protection against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation was due to be transposed by 6 February 2018. When the articles and the transposed provisions of the directive had been analysed, a need to specify the Act in order to avoid different possibilities for interpretation had become apparent.
The sitting ended at 7.04 p.m.
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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