The Riigikogu approved the Resolution of the Riigikogu “Approval of the Funding of the Recovery Plan for the European Union and the Council of the European Union Decision on the System of Own Resources” (353 OE), initiated by the Government. The Government had declared the passing of the Resolution to be a matter of a vote of confidence. 63 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the Resolution and 19 were against.
The Resolution of the Riigikogu approved the decision of the Council of the European Union on the system of revenue sources or own resources of the European Union (EU) and authorising the European Commission to borrow funds on behalf of the EU to fund a recovery plan. Own resources based on the quantity of non-recycled plastic packaging waste is established as a new revenue source for the EU budget.
Minister of Finance Keit Pentus-Rosimannus said that both the borrowing of funds on behalf of the EU and the implementation of the new source of revenue had been agreed upon by the heads of state and government of the EU member states in July 2020 within the framework of the compromise of the establishment of a EU’s long-term budget and recovery plan.
On its sitting on 6 May, the Government had decided to declare the passing of the Resolution submitted to the Riigikogu a matter of confidence before the second reading. The Government considers rapid adoption of the Resolution extremely important because it is not until all Member States will have completed their domestic procedures for approving the Council of the EU’s decision on own resources that the European Commission will be able to borrow funds to begin supporting the restart of the economies of the EU Member States in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
Upon the declaration of the passing of the Resolution a matter of confidence, the duties of the lead committee had terminated and the Government had drafted the documents necessary for the second reading of the draft Resolution: a new text of the draft Resolution, the list of motions to amend and the explanatory memorandum for the second reading. The Government had also reviewed the motions to amend the draft Resolution that had been submitted, and had made decisions on them.
The Faction Isamaa had submitted one motion to amend and members of the Estonian Conservative People’s Party faction had submitted 765 motions to amend. The Government had decided to refuse to incorporate the motions to amend because it considered it very important that the people and businesses in both Estonia and other Member States quickly receive additional support for the fight against COVID-19 and recovery therefrom.
The Government had not found it possible to agree to motions that would go beyond the limits of the agreement reached by the heads of state and government of the EU member states in July 2020 or did not concern the scope of regulation of the own resources decision. Proceedings on the motions to amend that are unrelated to the content of the own resources decision would cause a delay across the EU, and Estonia would hinder the launch of the recovery package in the whole Europe, including in Estonia. By the end of April, proceedings had been completed successfully in 19 Member States. The use of the funds of the EU relaunch plan is going to be launched this summer and this will require borrowing.
The explanatory memorandum notes that the EU relaunch plan has been assessed to be in compliance with the treaties by the Legal Service of the Council of the EU, the legal services of Member States as well as experts of the School of Law of the University of Tartu. The EU relaunch plan has been brought about due to extraordinary economic circumstances and extraordinary circumstances necessitate extraordinary solutions.
During the debate on the Resolution (353 OE), Erki Savisaar (Centre Party), Martin Helme (Estonian Conservative People’s Party), Aivar Sõerd (Reform Party), Paul Puustusmaa (Estonian Conservative People’s Party), Anti Poolamets (Estonian Conservative People’s Party), Riina Sikkut (Social Democratic Party), Ruuben Kaalep (Estonian Conservative People’s Party), Helir-Valdor Seeder (Isamaa), Kalle Grünthal (Estonian Conservative People’s Party), Henn Põlluaas (Estonian Conservative People’s Party), Oudekki Loone (Centre Party), Mart Helme (Estonian Conservative People’s Party) and Peeter Ernits (Estonian Conservative People’s Party) took the floor.
During the open microphone, Mart Helme and Peeter Ernits took the floor.
The sitting ended at 7.20 p.m.
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.)