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The Riigikogu passed with 73 votes in favour the Act on Ratification of the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (361 SE), initiated by the Government. The purpose of the Convention is to combat bribery of foreign public officials upon conclusion of international business transactions (“active corruption”) and to promote fair competition and the development of international economy. The Convention calls for criminalisation of the behaviour of the persons who bribe foreign public officials in order to obtain advantage in the conduct of international business. The Parties are also charged with the obligation to take additional measures for the prevention of offences of bribery, in particular by organisation of transparent accounting and international cooperation. 

The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Organic Farming Act and the State Fees Act (390 SE), initiated by the Government. The Bill enhances the state supervision of the persons engaging in organic farming. The spheres monitored by supervisory authorities are distinguished more clearly. The issuing of certifying documents to the persons engaging in organic farming will simplify the monitoring of the legality of labelling with a reference to organic production methods. This would increase the credibility of organic products among customers and the demand for organic products. 

The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of three Bills: 

The Bill on Amendments to the Income Tax Act and the Immovables Expropriation Act (400 SE), initiated by the Government, provides that public authorities have the right to enter into transactions for the transfer of an immovable with the owner of the immovable for the acquisition of the immovable. The Bill ensures equal treatment of the owners of immovables and, at the same time, the release from the obligation to pay income tax provided in the Act may motivate the owners of immovables to enter into agreements with the state or local governments which will eliminate the need for so-called formal expropriation processes. 

The Bill on Ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism (403 SE), initiated by the Government. The purpose of the Convention is to enhance the efforts of Parties in preventing terrorism and its negative effects on the full enjoyment of human rights both by measures to be taken at national level and through international co-operation. 

The purpose of the Consular Bill (378 SE), initiated by the Government, is to update the structure and contents of the training of consular officers, to bring the provisions concerning the authority and activities of honorary consuls into conformity with the needs, to amend the consular acts of consular officers and honorary consuls and to introduce the possibility to issue visas pursuant to representation agreements. 

At Question Time, the Minister of Regional Affairs Siim-Valmar Kiisler answered the question about regional policy, submitted by Mai Treial and Arvo Sarapuu. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet answered the question about the coordination of economic activities in foreign states, submitted by Enn Eesmaa. The Minister of Culture Laine Jänes answered the question about the administrative management of the Ministry of Culture, submitted by Maret Merisaar.

The Riigikogu Press Service