The Riigikogu passed with 75 votes in favour the Act on Amendments to the State Borders Act, the Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure (185 SE), initiated by the Government, which introduces amendments into the Code of Criminal Procedure as regards international cooperation in criminal procedure. The Act implements the measures provided in the Framework Decision of the Council of the European Union for ensuring that procedural decisions related to seizure of property or depositing of evidence which are made in one Member State are executed in an expedient manner and based on the principle of mutual recognition in another Member State. Also, the regulation of criminal procedure was specified in connection with the accession to the Schengen visa area. The Bill amended the regulation of cross-border surveillance and extended the investigation competence of the Border Guard Administration. The Act also introduced amendments to the provisions related to the European arrest warrant, regarding the deficiencies which the European Commission has pointed out in the evaluation report. The regulation of enforcement of imprisonment was also amended, in order to prevent avoiding execution of a court judgment which has entered into force.
The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of two Bills:
The Equal Treatment Bill (67), initiated by the Government, which aims to ensure that everyone is protected against discrimination on the grounds of race, nationality, colour, religion or beliefs, age, disability or sexual orientation. The Estonian Centre Party Faction and the Estonian People’s Union Faction moved to suspend the second reading of the Bill. The motion was not supported: 32 votes in favour, 43 against.
The Bill on Amendments to the Fishing Act (184 SE), initiated by the Government, which introduces additional measures for establishing supervision of ships engaging in illegal, unnotified or unregulated fishing operations, in pursuance of the requirement established by a Council Regulation. The Act is also amended with a view to allowing mobile payment certifying the fishing right upon hobby fishing, and specifying the procedures for application for and granting of fishing card upon hobby fishing. Also, the Fishing Act is harmonised with the amendments to the Permanently Populated Small Islands Act which were passed by the Riigikogu on 22 February 2007.
The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of five Bills:
The Bill on Implementation of the European Parliament and the Council Regulation (EC) No 1082/2006 on a European grouping of territorial cooperation (EGTC) (204 SE), initiated by the Government, which enables implementation of the relevant Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a European grouping of territorial cooperation. The objective of the Regulation is to facilitate and promote cross-border, transnational and/or interregional cooperation between Member States, with the aim of strengthening economic and social cohesion. The Regulation enables creation of cooperative groupings in Community territory, invested with legal personality, called “European groupings of territorial cooperation”, in order to overcome the obstacles hindering territorial cooperation.
The Bill on Amendments to the Excavation Operations Act (211 SE), initiated by the Government, which updates the regulation relating to personnel questions. The Act will provide the possibility to certify the competence of a specialist in charge by a professional certificate issued on the basis of the Professions Act. Also, the Act is amended by adding provisions which allow recognition of foreign professional qualifications, and by prescribing a regulation on how an undertaking of another EU Member State can also temporarily operate in Estonia in an area of activity regulated the Mining Act.
The Bill on Amendments to the Plant Protection Act, the Administrative Cooperation Act and the State Fees Act (215 SE), initiated by the Government, with the purpose to solve the problems which have emerged in the implementation of the Plant Protection Act, to unify the text of the Act and to harmonise it with the legal acts of the European Union. The Bill amends the system of compensation for costs incurred upon application of control measures against harmful organisms. The cost of destroyed plants and plant products and the profit not received due to destruction of crop are going to be compensated. Compensation of the corresponding costs to producers will ease the economic difficulties caused to producers by spread of harmful organisms and will ensure that producers effectively apply all control measures arising from the Plant Protection Act. Persons required to pay supervision fee are given the opportunity to pay the supervision fee to the customs payments office before a consignment is allowed from a non-Community state to Estonia.
The Bill on Amendments to the Police Act and Associated Acts (222 SE), initiated by the Government, one objective of which is to ensure legal clarity in cases when the police apply measures which infringe fundamental rights of persons. The preparation of the Bill was necessitated above all by analyses of the events in April. The Bill specifies issues related to restriction of the right to free movement of persons, elaborates the concept of “coercion” in order to define the application of coercion in connection with the restriction of the right to free movement of persons; specifies the use of special equipment and weapons by the police and the documentation of their use. The Bill eliminates the gap which has so far precluded prohibition of stay. The Bill provides the right of the police to establish a prohibition of stay which is also a prerequisite for organisation of evacuation of persons and other prevention of threat to public order, or for ensuring infringement proceedings.
The Bill on Amendments to the Earth’s Crust Act (228 SE), which aims at managing the use of earth’s crust and extraction of mineral resources in a manner more profitable for the state and society and more systematically, by preventing or minimising potential harmful environmental impact. The Bill specifies the terminology of the Act and the processes of geological investigation, geological explorations and proceedings concerning extraction permits. The aspect of environmental protection will be given more consideration upon issuing of extraction permit and extraction activities, and additional provisions concerning supervision of extraction activities are introduced.
At Question Time, the Minister of Finance Ivari Padar answered questions about the state budget. The Minister of the Environment Jaanus Tamkivi answered a question about forestry policy. The Minister of Education and Research Tõnis Lukas answered a question about qualification indicators of teaching staff.
The Riigikogu Press Service