Estonia: The Riigikogu discussed the use of the Defence Forces in a maritime security mission

NordenBladet — Two drafts passed the first reading

The Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu “Use of the Defence Forces in the Fulfilment of the International Commitments of the Estonian State in Operation ‘Sentinel’ of the International Maritime Security Construct” (211 OE), initiated by the Government, will allow to contribute with up to five servicemen to operation “Sentinel”.

In summer 2019, the United States of America launched an initiative to establish the International Maritime Security Construct IMSC, which aims to ensure the freedom of navigation and security of vessels in the Strait of Hormuz and to promote a rule-based international order. In order to achieve this, IMSC has launched the operation Sentinel in the Strait of Hormuz region.

Estonia’s priority is international relations based on international law and rules, including the ensuring of freedom of navigation. By participating in the operation, Estonia will make its contribution to increasing stability and security in the Middle East region. In autumn 2020, Estonia will contribute with a staff officer at the operation headquarters in Bahrain. By participating in operation Sentinel, Estonia will continue excellent bilateral cooperation in international missions with its strategic partners, the United States of America and the United Kingdom.

The expenses of the participation in the operation will be covered from the budget of the area of government of the Ministry of Defence.

The amendment proposed by the Bill on Amendments to the Local Government Organisation Act (212 SE), initiated by the Constitutional Committee, concerns people who are members of a municipal council and are employed on the basis of an employment contract in an administrative agency of the same rural municipality or city. In the future, suspension of the authority of member of the council will be applied to such people, instead of termination of authority. The proposed amendment does not concern officials.

The initiation of the Bill was motivated by a relevant application of the Chancellor of Justice for the Supreme Court to adopt a position. The Supreme Court had found that the restrictions in place for employees employed under an employment contract at municipal administrative agencies were not necessary and excessively restricted their right to stand as candidates. Consequently, the committee also deems it necessary to ease the restriction and supports suspension of the authority instead of termination of the authority.

The Act is planned to enter into force on 17 October when the decision of the Supreme Court will also enter into force. As of this date, it will no longer be possible to prematurely terminate the authority of the council members who are employees of municipal administrative agencies.


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