The Riigikogu passed seven Acts and a Resolution:
The Employment Contracts Act (299 SE), initiated by the Government, which regulates the relationships between employers and employees which are created on the basis of an employment contract, was passed with 54 votes in favour (27 votes against). The Act establishes the rules regulating new employment contracts: the entering into, changing and termination of employment contracts, as well as the rights and obligations of the parties. The principles of the Law of Obligations Act apply to employment contracts. In addition to employment contract rules, the Act integrates the regulation of working and rest time, holiday, wages and proprietary liability, which regulates individual employment relationships and is provided by special Acts in the legislation in force. The general entry into force of the Act is scheduled on 1 July 2009, but sections which mainly involve financial burden for the state budget enter into force on 1 January 2010, in exception to the time of the general entry into force.
The Act on Amendments to Acts regulating Legal Protection of Industrial Property and Associated Acts (281 SE), initiated by the Government, which guarantees the performance by Estonia of the international obligations assumed under the Agreement for the Mutual Safeguarding of Secrecy of Inventions relating to Defence and for which Applications for Patents have been made, was passed with 85 votes in favour. It also creates the framework regulation of the use of patented inventions for national non-commercial purposes. The Act enhances the purposefulness of the provisions concerning the field of industrial property.
The Act on Amendments to the Social Welfare Act, the Social Benefits for Disabled Persons Act and Associated Acts (370 SE), initiated by the Government, which resolves the issues concerning the essence and organisation of special welfare services for persons with special psychological needs which are financed from the state budget, was passed with 80 votes in favour. The Act makes the regulation concerning the provision of special welfare service more comprehensible for the persons receiving the service and the service providers.
The Act on Amendments to the Electricity Market Act (311 SE), initiated by the Government, which provides the opportunity to support in payment of connection charges the individuals whose residence according to the population register is in a low density region and lacks electricity supply, was passed with 79 votes in favour.
The Act on Amendments to the Aviation Act and the Weapons Act (316 SE), initiated by the Government, which establishes the legal basis for appointing armed cabin crew members in aircraft in order to ensure security on board of aircraft, was passed with 79 votes in favour. It also regulates the procedure of the obligation to notify of armed cabin crew members. A new chapter is added to the Aviation Act which provides the creation of an information system of supervision over air safety. The specified information system is a database in which the data relating to aviation activities are processed with the objective of providing the Civil Aviation Administration with the data required on the basis of Acts and other legislation and necessary for exercise of state supervision. The Civil Aviation Administration is the chief processor of teh information system of supervision over air safety.
The Act on Approval of Protocols to the North Atlantic Treaty on the Accession of the Republic of Albania and the Republic of Croatia (379 SE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 59 votes in favour (2 abstentions). The accession of Albania and Croatia to NATO was agreed in principle at the NATO Bucharest Summit on 3 and 4 April 2008. In order that the Secretary General of NATO can extend a formal accession invitation to these states, the current NATO member states must approve the protocols to the North Atlantic Treaty on the accession of Albania and Croatia. This is the sixth enlargement of NATO. NATO has 26 member states at present.
The Act on Making a Declaration of Recognition of the Competence of the International Investigation Committee on the basis of Article 90, paragraph 2 (a) of Protocol I of 8 June 1977 Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (362 SE), initiated by the Government, by which Estonia recognises the competence of the investigation committee, was passed with 52 votes in favour. This grants the right to Estonia to turn to the investigation committee in the event of an armed conflict and ask for an investigation to be carried out.
The Resolution of the Riigikogu “Extension of the Time Limit of the Use of the Estonian Defence Forces in Performance of International Duties of the Estonian State in Iraq” (394 OE), initiated by the Government, was passed with 45 votes in favour (30 votes against, 1 abstention). It provides the extension of the time limit of the use of the Estonian Defence Forces, as provided in the Resolution of the Riigikogu of 7 May 2003, with up to 37 members of the Defence Forces in the membership of multinational armed forces under the International Security Assistance Mission in Iraq, led by the United States of America and the international coalition forces, until 31 December 2009 in the event of the request of the Republic of Iraq and entry into a status of forces agreement or accession to an agreement or adoption of a corresponding United Nations Security Council resolution.
The Riigikogu concluded the second reading of four Bills:
the Bill on Amendments to the Public Transport Act and Associated Acts ( (364 SE), initiated by the Government;
the Bill on Amendments to the Language Act and Other Acts arising from Implementation of Levels of Language Proficiency Defined in Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (325 SE), initiated by the Government;
the Bill on Amendments to the Courts Act (326 SE), initiated by the Government;
the Bill on Amendments to the Population and Housing Census Act (354 SE), initiated by the Government; the Estonian Centre Party Faction moved to suspend the second reading of the Bill. The motion was not supported; 21 in favour, 38 against;
The second reading of one Bill was suspended:
the Maintenance of Law and Order Bill (49 SE), initiated by the Government.
The Riigikogu concluded the first reading of three Bills:
the Bill on Amendments to the Labour Market Services and Benefits Act and Associated Acts (399 SE), initiated by the Government;
the Bill on Amendments to the Penal Code and the Taxation Act (360 SE), initiated by the Government;
the Bill on Ratification of the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (361 SE), initiated by the Government;
At Question Time, the Minister of Education and Research Tõnis Lukas answered the question about research and development, submitted by Marek Strandberg, and the question about vocational education, submitted by Mai Treial. The Minister of the Environment Jaanus Tamkivi answered the question about nature conservation reform, submitted by Aleksei Lotman, and the question about the management and protection of coastal areas, submitted by Maret Merisaar.
The sitting ended at 6.14 p.m.
The Riigikogu Press Service
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