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The Bill that will bring the Electronic Communications Act into conformity the directive of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Electronic Communications Code passed the second reading in the Riigikogu today.

The Bill on Amendments to the Electronic Communications Act, the Building Code and the State Fees Act (437 SE), initiated by the Government, will increase the transparency of communications contracts with pre-contractual information and the contract summary, which will help prevent misunderstandings regarding the communications contracts and the actual service. Consumers will have a better overview of the communications service to be provided when they enter into communications contracts. At the same time, the extent of the regulation applied depends on the essence of the communications service provided.

Also, the requirements for granting harmonised radio frequencies will be set out, the deployment of small-area wireless access points (small cells) will be facilitated, which will accelerate rapid establishment of a new generation communications network, and the requirements for co-investment will be set out.

In addition, the Bill will specify the requirements for communications networks and services with a view to ensuring national security. In the processing of authorisations to use hardware or software, security authorities and the Information System Authority will assess threats to national security. According to the Bill, communications undertakings will be required to apply for authorisation from the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority to use the hardware or software of a communications network. The potential bans and conditions for use will be coordinated by the body specified in the Statutes of the Security Committee of the Government of the Republic.

According to an approved motion to amend, the Act will come into force from February next year.

A Bill passed the first reading

The Bill on Amendments to the Family Law Act and Amendments to Other Associated Acts (474 SE), initiated by the Government, will establish the procedure for determining maintenance for children who are minors that will meet the standard of living in Estonia and will be flexible.

The Bill will set new criteria that will have to be taken into account when determining the amount of maintenance. According to the Bill, the amount of a maintenance allowance is established in consideration of the real needs of the child, the possibilities of the obliged person and the amount of time he or she spends with the child, the number of children entitled to maintenance as well as the child benefit and the benefit for families with many children paid to the family.

According to the Bill, the current amount of minimum maintenance, which is one half of the minimum monthly wage established by the Government, will be replaced with fairer and more flexible bases for calculating maintenance. In 2021, the minimum amount of maintenance allowance is 292 euro per month for a child.

The explanatory memorandum notes that the current minimum maintenance allowance no longer fulfils the function of simplifying the judicial proceedings and may not protect the interests of the child who receives the maintenance. The minimum rate of remuneration that has been taken as the basis for determining maintenance allowance so far is too high for the majority of obliged persons. It does not take into account the actual costs incurred for the child, the number of children receiving the maintenance, the financial situation of the obliged person, or the amount of time the person spends with the child. As the minimum salary has been increasing rapidly, many parents who are required to pay maintenance allowance have involuntarily become debtors because it is financially infeasible for them to pay the minimum maintenance. For the same reason, the reduction of a maintenance allowance below the minimum, which was initially planned to be an exception, is taking place more frequently. On the basis of the above, resolving maintenance disputes in court has become complicated and often involves high legal aid costs and is time-consuming for the parties.

Verbatim record of the sitting (in Estonian)

The video recording of the sitting will be available on the Riigikogu YouTube channel.
(Please note that the recording will be uploaded with a delay.)

Riigikogu Press Service
Veiko Pesur
Phone: +372 631 6353, +372 5559 0595
E-mail: [email protected]
Questions: [email protected]