At today’s sitting, the Riigikogu approved the Act which ratified the agreement between the Governments of the three Baltic countries on the configuration of the Baltic Air Surveillance Network and Control System.
The new intergovernmental agreement provides that the Control and Reporting Centre will be closed down, and the implementation of the Baltic Air Surveillance Network and Control System to secure the sovereignty of the airspace will be carried out through national control and reporting centres that are able to replace one another if necessary. The Ministers of Defence of the Baltic states signed the agreement in Brussels on 24 September 2019.
In 1999, BALTNET, the integrated air surveillance network of the three Baltic states was established by an intergovernmental agreement with the aim of organising exchange of information between Estonian, Lithuanian and Latvian national air surveillance systems, enabling the production of a common air surveillance picture of the Baltic region, and sharing it with third parties. As part of the NATO air defence system, BALTNET’s tasks also include air traffic control and tactical control of air polishing operations, besides air surveillance. The BALTNET air surveillance system consisted of a common control and reporting centre in Lithuania, and national centres in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
With the entry into force of the agreement, the agreement between the Governments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on the Development of the Baltic Air Surveillance Network and Control System, ratified by the Riigikogu on 24 October 2007, becomes invalid.
66 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the Act on the Ratification of the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Estonia, the Government of the Republic of Latvia and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania on the Configuration of the Baltic Air Surveillance Network and Control System (137 SE), initiated by the Government.
A Bill passed the second reading in the Riigikogu
The Bill on Amendments to the Tobacco Act and the Alcohol, Tobacco, Fuel and Electricity Excise Duty Act (9 SE), initiated by the Government, will transpose two articles of the EU Tobacco Directive, on the basis of which a European-wide tracking and tracing system for tobacco products will be implemented to curb the black market in tobacco. According to the directive and the implementing acts, all over the European Union, unit packets of tobacco products will be labelled with a unique identifier, and a tamper-proof security feature will be installed on them. In Estonia, tax stamp will be introduced as the security feature. It complies with the requirements of EU legislation. If no tax stamp is installed on a product, the security feature of the manufacturer will have to be installed on the product.
According to the Bill, it will be permitted to add menthol flavour in electronic cigarettes. The general prohibition on the sale of smokeless tobacco products will also be repealed in Estonia, and handling of novel smokeless tobacco products will be included. Prohibitions on tobacco for oral use, chewing tobacco, nasal tobacco and other smokeless tobacco products remain in force. In addition, the Tobacco Act will be amended by adding a new category of tobacco products – heated tobacco products.
At the sitting, Chairman of the Social Affairs Committee Tõnis Mölder introduced the opinions and motions to amend the Bill that had been submitted after the sitting of the Riigikogu on 27 February when the second reading of the Bill had been suspended. Specifications concerning language and the rules of legislative drafting were incorporated into the Bill, and the dates relating to the labelling of packages of tobacco products with unique identifiers were amended.
A Bill passed the first reading
The Bill on Amendments to the Working Conditions of Employees Posted to Estonia Act (158 SE), initiated by the Government, will establish measures to better protect the rights of posted workers.
It will be specified that posted temporary agency workers who are posted by user undertakings in the framework of the provision of services are also posted workers. The terms and conditions of employment that must be ensured to posted workers during their stay in Estonia will be amended. According to the Bill, instead of the minimum remuneration, remuneration will have to be ensured to workers, and expenditure incurred on account of the posting will have to be reimbursed additionally. A regulation for long-term posting will be established, under which the whole Estonian labour law, instead of the minimum terms and conditions of employment listed in the Act, will have to be applied to a posted worker after he or she has worked in Estonia for 12 or 18 months. The Bill also includes a provision under which, when imposing penalties for infringements identified, monitoring bodies will have to take into account whether information on the terms and conditions of employment of workers posted to Estonia is available on the relevant single web page or not.
The Bill will eliminate the restriction under which only residents of Estonia can be contracting entities contracting for services in Estonia. According to the Bill, it is important that the contracting entity operate in Estonia. A clear obligation will be established for the employer to regularly update the information provided on workers. The identity document number of a posted worker will also have to be reported to the Labour Inspectorate. Under the Bill, after the end of a posting, during a period of three years the Labour Inspectorate will have the right to request the documents concerning the posting that are necessary for supervision. This is a reduction from the current period of seven years. The rates of fines for misdemeanours will be harmonised. As a result, in the case of both misdemeanours, the maximum fine rate will be 300 fine units for natural persons and 32 000 euro for legal persons.
Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed on the Riigikogu YouTube channel.
(Please note that the recording will be uploaded with a delay.)
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