Estonia: The Riigikogu legalised holding plenary sittings by remote attendance

NordenBladet — At its today’s sitting, the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) amended the Riigikogu Rules of Procedure and Internal Rules Act. In the future, it will also be possible to hold the plenary sittings so that the members of the Riigikogu do not have to be physically present in the room where the sitting takes place, and they can participate with the help of electronic means.

Holding of a sitting by remote attendance is decided by the Board of the Riigikogu if there are strong reasons for it. The President of the Riigikogu notifies the members of the Riigikogu of holding such a sitting through the media at least three days before the date on which the sitting is to take place. The time for giving notice may be shorter if there are strong reasons for it.

Pursuant to the Act on Amendments to the Riigikogu Rules of Procedure and Internal Rules Act (176 SE), initiated by the Constitutional Committee, a sitting may be held by remote attendance if the members of the Riigikogu are ensured the opportunity to follow the sitting and carry out the proceedings of the sitting from a remote location. This means that it has to be possible to submit Bills, present reports, ask oral questions, make comments, protest and vote at the sitting. There also has to be a possibility of reporting of impediments to performing such activities.  If there are impediments that do not allow conducting a sitting by remote attendance, the chair of the sitting suspends the sitting until such impediments are removed.

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


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