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At today’s remote-participation sitting, the Riigikogu decided to appoint member of the Riigikogu Priit Sibul as a member of the Estonian Public Broadcasting Council.

The Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu “Appointment of a Member of the Estonian Public Broadcasting Council from among the Members of the Riigikogu” (375 OE), submitted by the Cultural Affairs Committee, provides for the appointment of member of the Riigikogu Priit Sibul as a member of the Estonian Public Broadcasting Council in connection with the premature termination of the mandate of member of the Council Viktoria Ladõnskaja-Kubits. Ladõnskaja-Kubits had submitted an application to resign from the Council at her own request.

The Estonian Public Broadcasting Council consists of members of the Riigikogu and acknowledged experts in the field of activity of the Public Broadcasting. On the proposal of the Cultural Affairs Committee, the Riigikogu appoints one representative from each faction of the Riigikogu until the date of termination of the authority of the composition of the Riigikogu, and four experts from among the acknowledged experts in the field of activity of the Public Broadcasting whose authority continues for five years.

90 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of passing the Resolution.

A Bill passed the second reading

The Bill on Amendments to the Fisheries Market Organisation Act and the Criminal Records Database Act (310 SE), initiated by the Government, was drafted mainly due to the need to ensure that persons engaged in commercial fishing on sea and in inland water bodies are treated equally upon the grant of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) supports.

The amendments proposed in the Bill will affect the persons engaged in commercial fishing in inland water bodies who have committed serious infringements of fishing requirements and apply for support from the EMFF. Under the current Act, applications for EMFF support by persons who commit serious infringements of certain fishing requirements are inadmissible only in the case of persons engaged in commercial fishing on sea. The Bill will create a situation where the applications for EMFF support by persons having committed similar serious infringements of fishing requirements either on sea or in inland water bodies will be inadmissible for the duration of at least 12 months.

The Bill will also amend certain provisions of the Fisheries Market Organisation Act. The need to amend them has emerged from the current experience of implementation of EMFF and this will enable to reduce administrative burden upon implementation of EMFF.

At the same time, the Act will be amended by adding provisions that will enable, upon grant of state aid to fisheries, de minimis aid to fisheries and other aid to fisheries, to approve conforming applications within the limits of the budget funds earmarked for granting this category of aid in a situation where the amounts applied for in the applications exceed the funds earmarked for that.

A Bill passed the first reading

Under the Bill on Amendments to the Restrictions on Acquisition of Immovables Act (365 SE), initiated by the Government, state foundations established to support enterprise in rural areas will be included in the list of persons connected with the state in respect of whom the restrictions on the acquisition of agricultural land and forest land are not applied. As a result of the amendment, such foundations will no longer need to apply for authorisation from the municipal council before buying land. The aim is to reduce bureaucracy, in order to better support agricultural producers and rural businesses who are facing difficulties due to the crisis.

Under the Bill, citizens of the United Kingdom and legal persons whose seat is in the United Kingdom will continue to be exempt from the application of the restrictions arising from national defence reasons in the event of acquisition of immovables.

A Bill was dropped from the proceedings

The Bill on Amendments to the President of the Republic Election Act (340 SE), initiated by the Social Democratic Party Faction and Member of the Riigikogu Raimond Kaljulaid, was intended to amend the rules for determining the number of representatives in the electoral body for the election of the President of the Republic so as to preserve the ratio between members of the Riigikogu and representatives of municipal councils that was in place before the administrative-territorial reform of 2017.

According to the Constitution, the President of the Republic is elected by the Riigikogu or the electoral body. If the President of the Republic is not elected in the Riigikogu, an electoral body is convened which is comprised of members of the Riigikogu and representatives of municipal councils. After the administrative-territorial reform of 2017, the number of local authorities decreased significantly. Consequently, the number of representatives of municipal councils in the electoral body will also decrease significantly according to the current Act.

The Bill aimed to preserve the current ratio between members of the Riigikogu and members of the electoral body in the electoral body. Under the President of the Republic Election Act passed in 1996, more than 2/3 of the members of the electoral body were representatives of municipal councils. After the administrative-territorial reform of 2017, representatives of municipal councils account for slightly more than half of the members of the electoral body.

Neither the Constitution nor the President of the Republic Election Act set out what the principle for determining the ratio between representatives of the Riigikogu and municipalities and cities should be.

During the debate, Henn Põlluaas (Estonian Conservative People’s Party) took the floor.

The lead committee moved to reject the Bill at the first reading. 63 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the motion and 18 voted against. Thus, the motion was supported and the Bill was dropped from the legislative proceedings of the Riigikogu.

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
Merilin Kruuse
Phone: +372 631 6592, +372 510 6179
E-mail: merilin.kruuse@riigikogu.ee
Questions: press@riigikogu.ee

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