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The Riigikogu passed with 71 votes in favour the Act on Ratification of the Agreement between the Republic of Estonia and the Republic of Macedonia for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income (440 SE), initiated by the Government. Estonia has already concluded the agreements for the avoidance of double taxation with Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Iceland, the Czech Republic, Canada, Ukraine, Germany, Belarus, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Ireland, the United States of America, Moldova, China, Kazakhstan, Belgium, Austria, Armenia, Malta, Croatia, Switzerland, Hungary, Portugal, Turkey, Spain, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Georgia, Singapore, Greece, Azerbaijan and Bulgaria. 

The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Technical Regulations and Standards Act and the Administrative Co-operation Act (415 SE), initiated by the Government. The purpose of the Bill is to ensure compliance with the relevant EP Regulation. The specified Regulation deals with the principle of mutual recognition in the free movement of goods and provides the rules of procedure for creating obstacles to the free movement of goods. At the same time, the Regulation replaces the Council Decision establishing a procedure for the exchange of information on national measures derogating from the principle of the free movement of goods within the Community which is currently in force but which has proved largely unsuccessful. The Bill was sent to the third reading. 

The Riigikogu suspended the second reading of the Ports Bill (393 SE), initiated by the Government. The Bill regulates the aspects relating to the creation and the activities of ports: the general organisation of shipping traffic in port areas, ensuring the safety of ports and the environmental requirements upon provision of port services. The Bill provides the definition of small port. A more favourable operation environment is created for small ports. The Bill provides a clear regulation for enabling construction of port constructions – berths and other structures – in water bodies in state ownership. The Bill eliminates the obstacle to the construction of port constructions at the bottom of water bodies. 

The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of three Bills: 

The Bill on Amendments to the Traffic Act (427 SE), initiated by the Government, brings the provision of the Traffic Act concerning night work of drivers into compliance with the purposes of the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the organisation of the working time of persons performing mobile road transport activities, with regard to which the European Commission has initiated an infringement procedure. The Bill allows use of cameras upon taking of the theory test and driving test for drivers of motor vehicles and upon roadworthiness tests of vehicles at inspection stations. Also, a new provision has been included in the Bill, according to which an owner of a public road has the right to temporarily or permanently restrict or prohibit traffic in order to ensure reduction of harmful impact on the living environment, the safety of road users, natural environment or road structures. 

The Bill on Amendments to the Health Care Services Organisation Act and Associated Acts (452 SE), initiated by the Government, grants midwives the right to provide midwifery care independently and liquidates the current restriction on the activities of midwives which provided no regulation of the independent provision of the service corresponding to training. Establishing the independent service of midwifery care allows women to choose between different service providers and to choose the service which is in accordance with their convictions, both at the time of pregnancy and post partum. 

The purpose of the Biocides Bill (446 SE), initiated by the Government, is to protect human and animal health, environment and property by establishing relevant requirements for biocides and the marketing and use thereof. 

At Question Time, the Minister of Finance Ivari Padar answered the question about the economic situation, submitted by Toomas Varek, the question about the positions of Estonia in the issues of the global financial and economic crisis, submitted by Marek Strandberg, and the question about budget policy, submitted Mai Treial. The Minister of Internal Affairs Jüri Pihl answered the question about crossing the border, submitted by Eldar Efendijev, and the question about the relationships between power agencies and the civil society, submitted by Aleksei Lotman. The Minister of the Environment Jaanus Tamkivi answered the question about hydro-electric energy and special use of water, submitted by Mart Jüssi.

The Riigikogu Press Service