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At today’s sitting, the Riigikogu passed four Acts and two Resolutions. The fundamentals of legislative drafting policy and criminal policy until 2030 were adopted as Resolutions.

The Act on Amendments to the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act and Other Acts (restructuring of the Estonian Financial Intelligence Unit into a governmental authority) (259 SE), initiated by the Government, makes the necessary amendments to the legislation, so that the Financial Intelligence Unit currently operating as a structural unit of the Police and Border Guard Board will be transferred to the area of government of the Ministry of Finance as an independent governmental authority from 1 January 2021.

The amendments concern the status of the Financial Intelligence Unit as a governmental authority and in particular the availability of the information necessary to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism and the ensuring of legal certainty upon the distribution of information to other authorities. In addition, the Act specifies the right to sign the agreements concluded before 1 January 2021 and administrative acts.

The purpose of the Act is to ensure that the Estonian Financial Intelligence Unit as a governmental authority can exchange information and cooperate with other authorities in Estonia and abroad largely on the same bases as it has been doing until now while the Financial Intelligence Unit has been a structural unit of the Police and Border Guard Board.

83 members of the Riigikogu voted for the passing of the Act.

The Act on Amendments to the Labour Dispute Resolution Act (214 SE), initiated by the Government, amends the principles for the remuneration of lay assessors of labour dispute committees.

Under the Act, the remuneration of a lay assessor is equal to the minimum hourly wage rate, which is 3.48 euro this year. At present, the remuneration of lay assessors is calculated on the basis of the Salaries of Higher state Servants Act according to which the hourly wage is 3.07 euro. In the future, the work of lay assessors of labour dispute committees in preparation for sessions will be remunerated. At present, remuneration is paid only for the time spent on attending the sessions of a labour dispute committee.

Two lay assessors must attend a session of a labour resolution committee: a representative of employees and a representative of employers. Similarly to lay judges, the purpose of lay assessors’ attendance is to view the labour dispute matter from a human rather than juridical aspect in the resolution of a labour dispute, taking into account the particularities of the views of the employees and the employers where they are of importance in the resolution of the labour dispute matter. The bases for the calculation of the remuneration paid to lay assessors have not been changed since 2013, and, under the current procedure, the remuneration paid to lay assessors is lower than the minimum hourly wage rate. This restrains employees and employers’ willingness to contribute to the work of labour dispute committees in the resolution of labour disputes.

In addition, the Act introduces amendments aiming at specification and amendment of the current procedure in the interests of legal clarity. For example, it is specified how many people can have recourse to a labour dispute committee with a joint petition, and the additional option of conducting sessions via a video bridge is provided.

85 members of the Riigikogu voted for the passing of the Act.

The Act on Amendments to the Tax Information Exchange Act (238 SE), initiated by the Government.

In order to facilitate the overcoming of the economic difficulties accompanying the emergency situation due to the coronavirus, the European Union member states have agreed by a relevant Council directive that member states can defer the beginning of the exchange of information on cross-border arrangements by six months. In view of this, the Act makes amendments to the time limits for filing the arrangements, while no substantial amendments are made. The exchange of information concerns cross-border arrangements that enable aggressive tax-planning and the concealment of the beneficial owner of assets or complicate the exchange of bank account information. Under the current law, providers of tax advice, banks and taxpayers would have to begin to communicate the information on the arrangements to tax authorities from 31 July 2021. According to the Act, 31 January 2021 is the new deadline.

85 members of the Riigikogu voted for the passing of the Act.

The Act on Amendments to the Public Holidays and Days of National Importance Act and the Estonian Flag Act (277 SE) (consolidated Bills 131 SE, 132 SE and 172 SE) includes the Children’s Day, celebrated on 1 June, in the list of days of national importance. The Children’s Day and the Grandparents’ Day, which is already now celebrated as a day of national importance on the second Sunday of September are included in the list of flag days.

Three Bills were consolidated in the course of the proceedings: the Bill on Amendments to the Public Holidays and Days of National Importance Act (131 SE), initiated by Liina Kersna, Annely Akkermann, Andres Sutt, Mart Võrklaev, Signe Kivi, Signe Riisalo, Andrus Seeme, Toomas Kivimägi, Vilja Toomast, Jüri Jaanson, Yoko Alender and Kaja Kallas, the Bill on Amendments to the Public Holidays and Days of National Importance Act and the Estonian Flag Act (132 SE), initiated by the Social Democratic Party Faction, and the Bill on Amendments to the Public Holidays and Days of National Importance Act and the Estonian Flag Act (172 SE), initiated by the Government.

83 members of the Riigikogu voted for the passing of the Act.

The Riigikogu also passed two Resolutions

Under the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Approval of the Fundamentals of Legislative Drafting Policy until 2030” (53 OE), submitted by the Government, the long-term vision of the Estonian legislative drafting policy and the principles of good legislative drafting are agreed upon. In the future, they will serve as the basis in proceedings on Bills, the development of legal language, and the organisation of cooperation and development. The explicit formulation and enforcement of legal policy objectives is also important to stakeholders and society more broadly in order to ensure foreseeability and openness of legal policy.

During the debate, Toomas Kivimägi (Reform Party) and Paul Puustusmaa (Estonian Conservative People’s Party) took the floor.

78 members of the Riigikogu were in favour of passing the Resolution.

The Resolution of the Riigikogu “Approval of the Fundamentals of Criminal Policy until 2030” (52 OE), submitted by the Government.

The fundamentals of criminal policy have been drafted due to the need to increase security in society and to make the criminal justice system more citizen-centred. The main goal of criminal policy approved by the Riigikogu is to increase the efficiency of the criminal justice system, to prevent offences committed by young people and due to addictions and mental health disorders and to enhance the penal policy. Criminal policy includes the prevention of offences, and treating offenders so that the security of society and the rights and needs of victims would be ensured and the rehabilitation of offenders would be supported.

Kert Kingo (Estonian Conservative People’s Party) took the floor during the debate.

73 members of the Riigikogu were in favour of passing the Resolution.

Members of the press,

In view of the COVID-19 virus disease outbreak, the Chancellery of the Riigikogu is taking the necessary precautionary measures. Members of the press are asked to wear face masks and maintain social distance from interviewees where possible when visiting Toompea Castle.

Thank you for your understanding.

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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