Reports were made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Enn Eesmaa.
Minister of Foreign Affairs concentrated his report on two main subjects – the European Union and security policy. “A strong, solidary and dynamic European Union and NATO are the best to serve Estonia’s interests in a rapidly changing world,” Mr. Paet stressed. Beside the financial perspective, competitiveness, research and development activities of the European Union, Mr. Paet also highlighted the importance of the deliberation of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe. Minister stressed that so far there had been too little talk about the political decisions and objectives included in the Constitutional Treaty. According to Mr. Paet, the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe makes the EU function in a more democratic and transparent way, and strengthens Estonia’s possibilities to more powerfully act in foreign relations. “I think that the Riigikogu should ratify the Treaty after a profound deliberation. Thus Estonia would state its opinion about the challenges facing the European Union. It would be Estonia’s way of saying: We must move on!” Mr. Paet stressed.
Dealing with the second main subject, the Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that during the whole period of the restoration of independence, the starting points of the Estonian security policy had been the priorities of Transatlantic relations. Mr. Paet valued highly the participation of members of the Estonian Defence Forces in international peacekeeping missions, stating that it was an efficient possibility to stand for Estonia’s security interests.
The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Enn Eesmaa also focussed in his speech on the subjects related to the European Union. As to the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, Mr. Eesmaa marked that for the implementation of some of the objectives stipulated, it would not be necessary to wait for the ratification of the Treaty by all the Member States. “As to the foreign policy of the European Union, we have stressed the need to establish the structures proceeding from the Constitutional Treaty and to work out the mechanisms of common foreign and security policy and the defence policy on the basis of the Nice Treaty, without waiting for the enforcement of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, “Mr. Eesmaa said. According to Mr. Eesmaa, in connection with the enlargement of the European Union and common foreign and security policy, the subjects of the European neighbourhood policy, as well as rendering development assistance, have become much more important.
The Liquid Fuel Stocks Act Amendment Act (772 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, Estonian Reform Party Faction and Estonian People’s Union Faction, was passed with 52 votes in favour (22 against). According to the initiators of the Bill, the former regulation was not sufficiently flexible for ensuring state liquid fuel stocks. The Act shortens the procedures for performing international public procurements. The procurements for liquid fuel stocks are considered to be public procurements related to security guarantees. The principles for the performance of procurements, organised for the formation and preservation of stocks and general conditions for the agreements on the purchase, sale, depositary and delegated stocks will be established by Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications.
The Riigikogu passed with 60 votes in favour the Resolution of the Riigikogu On the Appointment of an Auditor for Supervising the Activities of the State Audit Office in 2005, initiated by the Finance Committee. Veiko Hintsov from AS Deloitte Audit Eesti was appointed as the auditor for the supervision of the activities of the State Audit Office in 2005.
The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of the following Bills:
The Bill on Amendments to the Refugees Act, Border Guard Act, State Borders Act, Aliens Act and Obligation to Leave and Prohibition on Entry Act (558 SE), initiated by the Government of the Republic.
The Bill on Amendments to § 192 of the Electronic Communications Act (784 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, Estonian People’s Union Faction and Estonian Reform Party Faction.
The Bill on Amendments to the Health Insurance Act (773 SE), initiated by the Social Affairs Committee.
The Bill on Amendments to Social Benefits for Disabled Persons Act (783 SE), initiated by the Estonian Centre Party Faction, Estonian People’s Union Faction and Estonian Reform Party Faction.
The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of the Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu On Amendments to the Resolution of the Riigikogu On the Formation of the Committee of Investigation for Ascertaining the Circumstances related to the Export of Military Equipment from the Territory of the Republic of Estonia in 1994 (794 OE), initiated by the Isamaaliit Faction, Estonian Centre Party Faction and Estonian People’s Union Faction.
On the motion of the Foreign Affairs Committee the working hours of the riigikogu sitting were extended to 2 p.m. 60 members of the Riigikogu were in favour of the motion and 3 abstained. Due to the end of the working hours of the sitting, the first reading of the Bill on Amendments to the Participation in Legal Persons in Private Law by the State Act (657 SE), initiated by the Isamaaliit Faction, was suspended. The legislative proceeding of the draft will be resumed on Wednesday’s sitting.
The verbatim record of the Riigikogu sitting (in Estonian) can be found at:
The Riigikogu Press Service
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