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At today’s plenary sitting, the Riigikogu heard the report on the implementation of the Fundamentals of the Estonian Sports Policy until 2030 by the Minister of Culture Tõnis Lukas. The minister noted that the fundamentals formulated as a national goal the importance and growing role of exercise and sport in increasing the vitality of the Estonian people, in creating diverse living environment, and in designing a good reputation of the Republic of Estonia.

In his report, Lukas focused on the period from 1 September 2018 to 31 August 2019. As major initiatives, he pointed out the activities of the programme “Schools in Motion”, the valuing of the coach’s profession, issues of the integrity in sport, the support measure established to host intentional sports events in Estonia, the plans to amend the Sport Act and the development of top-level sports through the Estonian league project.

The Minister of Culture was worried that Estonian children exercised too little, and exercise was no longer part of children’s daily life. One solution that is already in place, he said, is the programme “Schools in Motion”, initiated by the research group of physical activity for health at the University of Tartu. 78 schools all over Estonia have already joined the programme. “The programme aims to offer exercise opportunities to students throughout the duration of their school-day – the journey to school, before the classes, classes and breaks, as well as the time after the end of the school-day,” Lukas explained. In his words, it is important to support the expansion of the project to all schools in Estonia.

Lukas said that a programme to support regional recreational sports centres had been re-launched in 2019 with a view to promoting exercise. The aim is to improve the quality of services and the exercise conditions in at least one recreational sports centre in every county. In Lukas’s words, it is important to continue with the programme in the following years. “In the development of sports infrastructure, we will also go on for example with the establishment of indoor football halls in counties. On the proposal of the Ministry of Culture, the amounts planned in the state budget would first go to municipalities or locations designated by specialists within the framework of a pilot project,” the Ministry of Culture said.

In the Minister’s words, when planning public space, it is important to pay attention to solutions that facilitate daily exercise for both children and adults. They may be sports grounds within urban regions, playgrounds, jogging tracks, outdoor gyms, a comprehensively designed bicycle track network, or bicycle parkings in public transport hubs and at schools. “It is also necessary to boost the subsidies earmarked for the organisation of events directed at increasing exercise and activeness,” Lukas noted. In his words, as a follow-up to the sports reform, the Ministry of Culture has suggested that the Physical Fitness and Sports Endowment of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia be restructured in particular as the supporter of exercise, leaving the supporting of the projects oriented at achievement sports the domain of the Estonian Olympic Committee and sports federations.

Raivo Tamm (Isamaa) who took the floor in the debate said that thanks to active communities, various subsidies and modern sports infrastructure, the availability of sporting opportunities had improved remarkably. He noted however that regional disparities also stood out in amateur sports. In low density areas, sporting opportunities are not so readily available, he said, and efforts will need to be made so that equal opportunities would be ensured to young people in Estonia.

In his report, Dmitri Dmitrijev (Centre Party) said that little attention had been paid to sports tourism. He noted that Rally Estonia was the greatest sports event in Estonia, and the organisers had set the goal to also host a World Rally Championship round in Estonia in coming years. These aspirations deserved support, Dmitrijev said. He added that it was also possible to think bigger and apply for the right to host the initial stages of the famous bicycle race Tour de France.

In Kristina Šmigun-Vähi (Reform Party) raised a concern about the situation where exercise was not a natural part of children’s daily life. She said that enough opportunities for exercise and sporting would have to be created for the new generation at the first opportunity, and a very clear vision was needed for that already by 2020. Šmigun-Vähi confirmed that it was the responsibility of politicians to create the conditions for the development of mentally and physically healthy people.

In his report, Indrek Saar (Social Democratic Party) expressed his delight about the functioning system for subsidising international sports events. However, the salary rise for coaches was taking a step backwards compared to previous years, he said. Saar expressed the hope that the Sport Act would solve the issues of the regulation of the grants for top athletes and the remuneration of their work.

The Riigikogu passed eight Acts and a Resolution:

The Riigikogu passed with 84 votes in favour the Act on Amendments to the Penal Code and Other Acts (transposition of the directive on the protection of the European Union’s financial interests, and the directive on the procedural rights of minors) (50 SE), initiated by the Government. The purpose of the Act is to ensure appropriate penal law protection to the European Union’s financial interests and to ensure the protection of the rights of minors who are suspects or accused persons or| subject to European arrest warrant proceedings.

The directive on the protection of the European Union’s financial interests obliges Member States to apply sanctions to natural and legal persons who are guilty of intentional fraud affecting the Union’s financial interests or other related criminal offences.

In the Penal Code, ‘European Union’s financial interests’ are defined as revenues, expenditure and assets covered by, acquired through, or due to the European Union budget and the budgets managed by the European Union structural units. The scope of application of the Estonian Penal Code is also extended to criminal offences affecting the Union’s financial interests committed outside Estonian territory if they are committed by an Estonian citizen, Estonian official or a legal person registered in Estonia. The Penal Code is also amended by inserting a new provision concerning procurement fraud affecting the European Union’s financial interests, and the elements of crimes related to smuggled goods are amended. In the case of criminal offences affecting the European Union’s financial interests, foreign officials are also deemed to be officials. The maximum sanction for fraud and smuggling is increased by raising the maximum term of imprisonment from three years to four years. Under the Act, the maximum term of imprisonment imposed for money laundering agreement is raised from one year to two years, and the liability of legal persons is provided for.

The directive on the procedural rights of minors concerns procedural safeguards for children who are suspects or accused persons in criminal proceedings. With a view to transposition of the directive, the rights of suspects or accused who are minors are provided for more clearly. As major amendments, the Act provides the right of a minor to an individual assessment, and to a medical examination upon deprivation of liberty, and the right of his or her legal representative or another person to participate in the criminal proceedings. For individual assessment, in the future, in the case of suspects who are minors, a pre-trial report will have to be prepared at the latest before indictment.

The Riigikogu passed with 85 votes in favour the Act on Amendments to the Military Service Act and Other Acts (59 SE). The Act organises the planning of special pensions and the prosecutor’s work ability allowance in the state budget.

Under the current law, different ministries and authorities, for example the National Audit Office and the Office of the Chancellor of Justice calculate the special pensions, and in practice the personnel records relating to the calculation have already been mainly consolidated into the State Shared Service Centre. With the amendment, special pensions and the prosecutor’s work ability allowance will be paid from the state budget, and the reference to the area of government of a specific constitutional institution will be omitted.

According to the amendment, in the future, the Ministry of Social Affairs will plan special pensions and the prosecutor’s work ability allowance in its budget, using the data prepared by the State Shared Service Centre. The amendments will not affect the amount of special pensions or the prosecutor’s work ability allowance, or the rights of the persons receiving them. Nor will there be any changes in the payment. Special pensions and the allowance will continue to be paid through the Social Insurance Board.

The Riigikogu passed with 84 votes in favour the Act on Amendments to the Value Added Tax Act (76 SE), initiated by the Government. The Act transposes the amendments to the European Union Value Added Tax Directive which harmonise the VAT treatment of call-off stock and chain transactions at the European Union level.

The harmonisation of the VAT treatment of the abovementioned transactions at the European Union level is necessary in the interests of legal clarity. The amendments will reduce the administrative burden for undertakings upon trading within the Community.

The Riigikogu passed with 84 votes in favour the Act on Amendments to the General Part of the Environmental Code Act and Other Acts (55 SE), initiated by the Government, which harmonises the procedural provisions concerning environment permits and ensures systematic environmental law.

With the amendments to the Atmospheric Air Protection Act, the greenhouse gases trading system emission permit is integrated into the dataset of the environmental permit, and the procedure relating to the assessment of air quality and air pollution permits is organised.

With the amendment to the Waste Act, hazardous waste management licence as an activity licence is abandoned. The requirements for permits and registration are also specified in order to reduce the workload and administrative burden for applicants for permits and registrations, as well as for the issuing authorities.

With the amendments to the Earth’s Crust Act, the environmental permit for extraction of a mineral resource and other permits in the earth’s crust sector become simpler to implement, the proceedings for permits are simplified, and excessively bureaucratic obligations are repealed.

With the amendments to the Industrial Emissions Act, the proceedings for the integrated environmental permit is brought into conformity with the authorisation procedure requirements in the General Part of the Environmental Code Act, and the requirements applied to operators of waste incineration plants and waste co-incineration plants are harmonised.

The rates for the state fees for the acts of the Environmental Board are updated and harmonised in the State Fees Act.

The Act on Amendments to the State Budget for 2019 Act (81 SE), initiated by the Government, makes the necessary amendments in the distribution between approved budget lines. The State Budget for 2019 Act was prepared last autumn and some of the funding needs have changed in the meantime. The Act makes 78 amendments in total to the state budget for 2019. The Chancellor of Justice, the National Audit Office and the Ministry of Education and Research submitted no motions to amend.

According to § 43 of the State Budget Act, in order to amend the state budget without amending the total amount of funds, the Government may initiate a draft State Budget Amendment Act not later than two months before the end of the budgetary year. Motions to amend the State Budget for 2019 Act were submitted to the Ministry of Finance in August. The Act does not reflect amendments that can be made by an order of a minister or the Government.

During the debate, Aivar Sõerd (Reform Party) and Helmen Kütt (Social Democratic Party) took the floor on behalf of factions.

57 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the passage of the Act and there was one abstention.

The Riigikogu passed with 69 votes in favour the Act on the Ratification of the Amendments of 2014 and 2016 to the Code of the Maritime Labour Convention of the International Labour Organization (75 SE).

The amendments of 2014 concern the obligation of the shipowner to have financial security for the event of abandonment of crew members and to cover contractual claims arising from occupational accident and disease. For example, liability insurance, a bank guarantee or another security that enables compensation to be paid may be financial security. For example, situations where the shipowner has left the seafarer without the necessary maintenance or has unilaterally severed their ties with the seafarer are deemed to be abandonment.

The amendments passed in 2016 concern the extension of maritime labour certificate in a situation where a maritime labour certificate expires and a new certificate cannot immediately be issued, but the ship has passed an inspection and it has been found to meet the necessary requirements for obtaining the certificate. In such a case, the validity of the maritime labour certificate can be extended by up to five months. Under the current law, there is no possibility to extend the certificate.

The amendments will affect in particular crew members and owners of ships flying the Estonian national flag and holding a maritime labour certificate, and the Estonian Maritime Administration. At the same time, the proposed amendments will have little impact because all ships holding a maritime labour certificate and flying the Estonian flag have P&I liability insurance, which covers the costs related to the repatriation and abandonment, and the injuries or death of crew members.

The Maritime Labour Convention was adopted on 23 February 2003 with the aim of establishing uniform principles to ensure decent working and living conditions for all seafarers. The Riigikogu ratified the Maritime Labour Convention on 23 February 2016, and it entered into force for the Republic of Estonia on 5 May 2017. Ninety-two member states of the ILO have ratified the Convention.

The Riigikogu passed with 71 votes in favour the Act on the Ratification of the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (88 SE), initiated by the Government. With the Act, the opportunities for residents of Estonia to avoid taxation of incomes earned as well as the opportunities for non-residents to use Estonia for tax avoidance are reduced.

The purpose of the convention developed by the OECD is to deter the use of tax schemes that enable cross-border optimization of taxes by taking advantage of gaps and discords in national tax systems. Through the convention, it is possible for countries to bring their tax agreements all at once into conformity with the minimum standard agreed upon in the OECD.

Estonia signed the convention on 29 June 2018. With the convention, Estonia covers all tax agreements it has ratified. In total, the convention amends 58 tax agreements of Estonia.

The tax agreements negotiated by Estonia after 2016 already meet the standard provided for in the convention. Of these agreements, at present, the agreement with Japan has entered into force. Agreements with Hong Kong, Pakistan, Mauritius and Guernsey have been initialled.

The Riigikogu passed with 74 votes in favour the Act on the Ratification of the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China for the Elimination of Double Taxation with respect to Taxes on Income and the Prevention of Tax Evasion and Avoidance and the Protocol thereto (93 SE), initiated by the Government. The aim of the Act is to facilitate investments between the Contracting States.

Compared to national legislative acts, the agreement provides investors with greater legal certainty with regard to the elements of the tax system that are regulated by the agreement, because amendment of a bilateral international agreement is generally more time-consuming than amendment of a national legislative act. To achieve this aim, the agreement limits the income taxes that the country of the source of income can establish for the residents of the other country, ensures equal treatment of persons and eliminates potential double taxation. The obligation of mutual exchange of information provided for in the agreement creates additional possibilities for prevention of tax evasions.

The Government approved the agreement and the protocol thereto at its sitting on 12 September 2019 and authorised the Minister of Finance to sign the agreement and the protocol. The agreement and the protocol were signed in Tallinn on 25 September 2019.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is a part of the People’s Republic of China which enjoys a high degree of autonomy. It has its own legislative council and the passage of tax legislation is within its competence. In general lines, the agreement between Estonia and Hong Kong is based on the model agreement drawn up by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Estonia has concluded the agreements for the elimination of double taxation with 59 countries.

The Riigikogu approved with 70 votes in favour the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Approval of the Consolidated Report of 2018 of the State” (77 OE), submitted by the Government. The Resolution approves the audited consolidated report of 2018 of the state. It consists of the management report, the financial statement, and information concerning local authorities and public sector and government sector. The report also includes the audit report of the National Audit Office.

According to the data of the annual accounts of the state, the value of the state assets totalled 16.07 billion euro as at the end of 2018. Assets in aggregate increased by 668.7 million euro over the year. The consolidated obligations of the state amounted to 8.82 billion euro at the end of 2018, which is 860.1 million more than the year before. Among them, loan commitments amounted to 3.08 billion euro and pension allocations to former and current state employees amounted to 2.65 billion euro. In 2018, the nominal government sector budget had a deficit, accounting for 0.6% of GDP, that is, 142 million euro, according to the data of Statistics Estonia. The structural budget position of the government sector was in a deficit of 1.5% of gross domestic product in 2018. The National Audit Office found no material errors in the implementation of the Acts concerning the state budget.

The aim of the consolidated annual report of the state is to give an overview of the achievement of the goals set in the state budget, and of the financial situation, financial result and cash flows of the state. It also enables the Riigikogu to audit the activities of the Government and to provide the Government with the opportunity to explain its activities during the accounting year. With the consolidated report, the Government also submits to the Riigikogu the necessary information to make new budget decisions. At the same time, the aim of the consolidated report is to ensure the information necessary to meet the international accounting and financial reporting obligations in regard to government and public sector accounting.

Six Bills passed the second reading:

The Bill on Amendments to the Seafarers Employment Act and the Maritime Safety Act (56 SE), initiated by the Government, will transpose into Estonian law two European Union directives, and Estonian law will be brought into conformity with the amendments to the Maritime Labour Convention of the International Labour Organization (ILO) that were passed in 2016.

Under the Bill, shipowners will have to conclude seafarers’ employment agreements with persons working on fishing vessels of less than 24 metres in length. At present, ordinary labour law regulation applies to persons working under a contract of employment on board such fishing vessels. Seafarers’ employment agreement ensures additional protection to workers. For example, the shipowner must ensure regular food and the provision of medical care on the ship. Fishing vessel means a vessel used for commercial fishing.

The Bill will also establish a financial security system to compensate for both abandonment of crew members and for costs for crew members in respect of occupational accident or disease. All shipowners whose ships must have a maritime labour certificate (ships of 500 gross tonnage or over) must have sufficient financial security. Liability insurance, a bank guarantee or another security that enables compensation to be paid may be financial security.

The explanatory memorandum notes that the minister responsible for the area will establish by a regulation the principles for evaluating the sufficiency and calculating the amount of the security. The Estonian Maritime Administration will evaluate the sufficiency of security upon the issue of maritime labour certificates. All ships flying the Estonian flag that have a maritime labour certificate already have liability insurance.

Under an amendment to the ILO’s Maritime Labour Convention, it is possible to extend an existing maritime labour certificate for up to five months upon expiry of the certificate. This is done where the ship has successfully passed the renewal inspection, but a new certificate cannot immediately be issued to the ship. Under the current law, there is no possibility to extend the certificate.

The Act enters into force pursuant to general procedure. Under the Bill, a transitional provision will be established under which employment agreements concluded with workers working on fishing vessels of less than 24 metres will be deemed to be seafarers’ employment agreements as of 1 January 2020. The employment agreements in force will have to be brought into conformity with the law by 31 December 2020.

The Bill on Amendments to the University of Tartu Act and the Estonian Health Insurance Fund Act (98 SE), initiated by the Government, will create the legal bases for the reimbursement of the labour costs of medical residents from the budget of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund from 2020.

The Bill provides that the organisation of residency, the theoretical training and the organising costs incurred by residency teaching hospitals will be financed from the state budget. The labour costs of medical residents will be reimbursed from the Estonian Health Insurance Fund in the future. So far, all costs related to residency have been financed from the state budget through the Ministry of Social Affairs.

The proposed amendments concern in particular the Estonian Health Insurance Fund which will begin to reimburse the labour costs of medical residents to the University of Tartu; currently the Ministry of Social Affairs is in charge of reimbursing. 18 million euro have been planned for that in 2020. The Bill also concerns the University of Tartu who will have an additional contract partner to fund residency places, the Estonian Health Insurance Fund, besides the Ministry of Social Affairs.

The Bill on Amendments to the European Parliament Election Act, the Municipal Council Election Act, the Riigikogu Election Act, the Referendum Act and the Penal Code (elimination of the restriction on election campaigning and the prohibition on political outdoor advertising on election day) (51 SE), initiated by the Government, will repeal the restriction on election campaigning on election day and the prohibition on political outdoor advertising. Polling places must remain free of advertising.

The explanatory memorandum to the Bill notes that voters should be in as equal conditions as possible at the time of voting, and therefore the rules for the election campaign should also be as uniform as possible during the voting period. The effect of the prohibition on campaigning on election day is weakened by the fact that increasingly more people vote during advance voting when active campaigning is permitted. For example, in 2019 Riigikogu elections 39.3 per cent of voters participated in advance voting. The explanatory memorandum points out that in the situation where election advertising is for a large part based on the Internet, it is complicated and inexpedient to demand that no advertising be published on election day.

During the debate, Hanno Pevkur (Reform Party), Mihhail Stalnuhhin (Centre Party) and Raimond Kaljulaid took the floor. Kaljulaid moved to suspend the second reading of the Bill on behalf of the Social Democratic Party Faction.

20 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the suspension of the second reading of the Bill, and 50 voted against. Thus, the motion was not supported and the second reading of the Bill was concluded.

The Bill on Amendments to the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act and the State Fees Act (8 SE), initiated by the Government, will amend the requirements for the licensing of providers of exchange services between virtual currencies and fiat currencies, in order to reduce the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing and the commission of other crimes associated with such services.

Under the Bill, when processing an authorisation relating to virtual currency, the Financial Intelligence Unit will check the background and suitability of the members of the management board of the company, including whether they have an impeccable reputation. The registered office, the location of the management board, and the place of business of the company will also have to be located in Estonia. Foreign companies will have to open a branch in Estonia to apply for authorisation.

According to an amendment made by the Bill, the state fee for an authorisation relating to virtual currency will be raised from 345 euro to 3,300 euro. Virtual currency means a value represented in the digital form (e.g. bitcoin), which is digitally transferable, preservable or tradable and which traders mutually accept as a payment instrument, but that is not the legal tender of any country.

Companies that already hold an authorisation have time until 1 July 2020 year to bring their activities into conformity with the requirements of the Act and to submit additional data to the Financial Intelligence Unit.

The Bill on Amendments to the Income Tax Act and Amendments to Other Associated Acts (106 SE), initiated by the Government, will solve several mismatches that have arisen in taxation. In particular, the amendments concern maternity benefit and redundancy payment, benefits for families with many children, and the increased basic exemption starting from the third child. The Bill will also resolve the mismatches in taxation involving third countries.

The persons who receive maternity benefit or redundancy payment in the fourth quarter will have the option of postponing part of their benefit to the following year for taxation purposes, so that they can use their basic exemption at the current level. When the benefit is partially transferred to the following year, the situation achieved in terms of taxation is similar to the situation where the maternity benefit or redundancy payment is paid monthly. The supports to improve the living conditions of a family with many children and to increase the energy efficiency of a small residential building paid from the state budget will be exempt from income tax. According to the Bill, the increased basic exemption for a child will not decrease when the child receives survivor’s pension or national pension in the event of loss of a provider. The increased basic exemption for a child will increase by 100 euro per month starting from the third child.

The Bill will also transpose the European Union directive on mismatches in taxation involving third countries. The aim is to avoid double taxation resulting from differences in the characterisation of financial instruments, payments and entities in different jurisdictions, or from the allocation of payments between the head office and permanent establishment or between two or more permanent establishments of the same entity. Since such mismatches in taxation could lead to a double deduction or to a deduction without inclusion, the Bill provides for provisions under which, depending on the situation, tax is charged on payment, expenses or losses that can be deducted in another country or that are exempt from income tax in another country, or alternatively it is not allowed to apply income tax exemption on income that has been deducted or is exempt from income tax in another country.

In light of the objective of the directive to avoid double taxation and to ensure taxation of profit of companies, in the future, dividends received from abroad will be exempt from income tax in Estonia only in the case when income tax on the dividend has been withheld or income tax has been paid on the share of profit which is the basis therefor. In addition, it will be ensured that, if a resident natural person receives income, including pension, from abroad, deductions from taxable income will be equivalent to deductions from income received in Estonia. The same will be provided for for residents of the Contracting States of the European Economic Area who receive income in Estonia. At present, deductions from income taxable in Estonia are restricted in proportion to the share of the income taxable in Estonia in the total taxable income received in the period of taxation. As a result of an amendment, it will be possible to make all deductions to the full extent regardless of how large an amount of the income is earned in Estonia.

The deadline for submitting income tax returns will be extended to 30 April and the deadline for the payment and refund of income tax will be extended to 1 October for natural persons, non-residents, management companies of common investment funds, and public limited funds. Also, the limit for making advance payments will be increased from 64 euro to 300 for sole proprietors.

Helmen Kütt (Social Democratic Party) took the floor during the debate.

The Bill on Amendments to the Alcohol, Tobacco, Fuel and Electricity Excise Duty Act and the Act on Amendments to the Social Tax Act, the Income Tax Act and Other Acts (80 SE), initiated by the Government, will amend the excise duty on cigarettes and smoking tobacco, the incentives for small beer producers, and issues relating to the definition of heated tobacco product. In addition, the principles for the revenue stamping of excise goods will be specified in the interests of legal clarity.

The Bill will change the beer production volume limit for small producers from 0.6 million litres to 1.5 million litres a year, in order that undertakings could make longer-term investment plans. The planned rise in the excise duty on cigarettes in 2020 will be lowered from 10 per cent to 5 per cent to reduce the impact of border-trade with Latvia arising from the price difference, and 5-per cent excise duty rises will be established for 2021–2023. The rise in the excise duty on smoking tobacco for 2020, provided for in the Act concerning excise duties, will not be changed, and the excise duty will be increased by around 8.3 per cent in 2021, so that it would comprise 2/3 of the minimum amount of excise duty on cigarettes in 2021. With that, smoking tobacco will be deemed to be subject to tax equivalently to cigarettes. In addition, 5-per cent rises in the excise duty on smoking tobacco for 2022 and 2023 will be provided for.

During the debate, Tarmo Kruusimäe (Isamaa), Madis Milling (Reform Party) and Aivar Kokk (Isamaa) took the floor.

A Bill passed the first reading:

The Bill on Amendments to the Sport Act and Amendments to Other Associated Acts (105 SE), initiated by the Government, will set an annual limit on the payment of a sports-related grant which will be 12 times the minimum remuneration.

The limit will organise the current procedure for the payment of grants, because in practice tax-free grants are also paid to athletes in the case of an employment relationship. In such cases, state taxes are not paid and the athletes have no social guarantees either. As the provision of a limit on grants will bring about the obligation to enter into contracts of employment or other contracts under the law of obligations with athletes, certain specifications for athletes will also be made in the current Employment Contracts Act, and athlete’s allowance will be introduced as a totally new type of allowance.

The Bill will amend the provision concerning doping crimes in the Penal Code. Prescribing a substance or a method, inducing a person to use a substance or a method and assisting in the use of a substance or a method, and carriage of substances across a state border or manufacturing, producing, marketing, mediating or trafficking thereof will be deemed to be criminal offences. Under the current procedure, a punishment can be imposed only in the case of inducing a person to use a medicinal product as doping.

With a view to fighting against the manipulation of sports competitions, the Bill provides for the establishment of a contact point to train and inform the relevant organisations in regard to the fight against the manipulation of sports competitions. The Estonian Anti-Doping and Sports Ethics Foundation will implement these tasks.

The amendments will include among the elements of the Estonian sports register a sub-database to consolidate the sports results achieved in Estonian and international title events. The database will be an important tool in distributing public funds and making sports policy decisions. The results of amateur sports and exercise competitions will not be gathered into the database.

A Bill was dropped from the proceedings of the Riigikogu:

The Bill on Amendments to the Funded Pensions Act, the Income Tax Act and the Securities Register Maintenance Act (91 SE), initiated by the Social Democratic Party Faction and the Estonian Reform Party Faction, was intended to make the mandatory funded pension payments system flexible and to ensure that people are better informed of their pension rights and options.

The current system of payments under which insurance contract is the only option for payment is too rigid, according to the explanatory memorandum to the Bill, and this can be considered the greatest problem of the funded pension system in the wake of the amendments that came into force from autumn 2019. Therefore the Bill intended to create greater flexibility in how the assets accumulated are used during the retirement period and to also enable needs-based use of the assets in the contributions stage in certain clearly delimited cases.

During the debate, Heljo Pikhof (Social Democratic Party) and Maris Lauri (Reform Party) took the floor.

The Finance Committee moved to reject the Bill at the first reading. 49 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the motion and 39 voted against. Thus the Bill was rejected and it was dropped from the proceedings.

The sitting ended at 8.37 p.m.

Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian)

Video recordings of the sittings of the Riigikogu can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/riigikogu
(The recording will be uploaded with a delay.)

Riigikogu Press Service
Kristi Sobak
Phone +372 631 6592, +372 5190 6975
E-mail kristi.sobak@riigikogu.ee
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