Structure of the Riigikogu

  • Associations

    Through associations, the MPs can draw attention to specific issues, or support or protect the interests of a narrower field. Associations can be formed on the basis of free will and, in principle, without restrictions. The chairman of an association must submit a notice to the Board of the Riigikogu, setting out the name of the association, the objectives of its activities and the names of the MPs or the factions who belong to the association.

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  • Board

    The Board consists of the President of the Riigikogu and the First and the Second Vice-President. It is elected by the MPs at the first sitting of the Plenary Assembly for a term of one year. After that, regular elections of the Board are held at the last sitting of the plenary working week before one year has passed since the previous regular election of the Board. The Board represents the Riigikogu in both domestic and foreign relations and chairs the sittings of the Plenary Assembly.

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  • Plenary assembly

    The Riigikogu has 101 members. The authority of a Member of the Riigikogu commences on the day of the announcement of the election results. All the MPs take the oath of office. The working year of the Plenary Assembly is divided into the Spring and the Autumn Session, which in turn are divided into working cycles. During one cycle, plenary sittings take place on three consecutive weeks. The fourth week is reserved for other duties of the MPs.

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  • Factions

    The factions are associations that are freely formed on the basis of the political convictions of the MPs. The factions develop their political opinions and engage in parliamentary debate. At least five MPs from the same party may form a faction. Each MP may belong to one faction only. During the term of the Riigikogu, MPs may leave their faction but may not join another.

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  • Committees

    • There are 11 standing committees in the Riigikogu. Each standing committee develops Bills in its field of expertise and exercises control over the activities of the executive power within this field. The standing committees are: Constitutional Committee, Cultural Affairs Committee, Economic Affairs Committee, European Union Affairs Committee, Environment Committee, Finance Committee, Foreign Affairs Committee, Legal Affairs Committee, National Defence Committee, Rural Affairs Committee, and Social Affairs Committee.

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    • The Riigikogu forms select committees in order to perform functions arising from Acts or international agreements. Problem committees or committees of investigation are formed to focus more closely on important issues that need to be solved. These committees do not discuss Bills and their working period may be shorter than that of the Riigikogu, with the exception of the select committees.

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  • Foreign delegations

    In order to organise international relations, the Riigikogu forms delegations of its members. The authority of the delegations lasts for four years, i.e. as long as the authority of the Riigikogu. Draft resolutions for forming delegations are issued by the Foreign Affairs Committee, to whom delegations will present a report on their activities at least once a year. The members and the alternate members of a delegation, if necessary, are appointed by a Resolution of the Riigikogu.

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  • Parliamentary groups

    Parliamentary groups help the MPs communicate with other national parliaments, carry out Estonia's foreign policy, and promote our country around the world. The first parliamentary groups after Estonia had regained its independence were founded in 1993. A parliamentary group is established at the initiative of an MP and the number of its members is not limited.

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