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Estonia: The Riigikogu appointed Urmas Volens a justice of the Supreme Court

NordenBladet — At today’s plenary sitting, the Riigikogu appointed Urmas Volens a justice of the Supreme Court. He will become a member of the Supreme Court from 1 November 2020.

The explanatory memorandum to the Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu “Appointment of Urmas Volens a Justice of the Supreme Court” (222 OE), submitted by Villu Kõve, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, notes that Urmas Volens is an experienced and recognised lawyer whose professional experience in various positions at the Ministry of Justice, as a sworn advocate in law offices, and associate professor of civil process at the School of Law of the University of Tartu allow him to contribute significantly to the work of the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court and the further development of Estonian civil law.

68 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the Resolution and 19 were against. There were two abstentions.

One Bill passed the second reading:

The Bill on Amendments to the Spatial Data Act and the Apartment Ownership and Apartment Associations Act (196 SE), initiated by the Government, will harmonise the bases for the establishment of unique addresses, simplify the communication with owners of address objects and ensure better interoperability between the state information systems.

The Land Board will be given the right to establish areas that have a unique address. Under the current procedure, densely populated areas and built up areas determined by a comprehensive plan are areas requiring a unique address. Since the abovementioned areas have not been defined in legislation, local governments determine them very variedly by plans. This involves the problem that buildings may be difficult to find.

Areas requiring a unique address that can be determined on uniform bases ensure uniform address organisation in the country, and at the same time involve no additional obligations or restrictions on construction or other activities.

In addition, the communication with owners of address objects will be simplified, and the possibility to notify of changes to addresses by e-mail and, in the case of apartment buildings, through the apartment association, will be included.

With the amendments to the Apartment Ownership and Apartment Associations Act, better interoperability between the state information systems, in particular the land register and the address data information system will be ensured. When an apartment ownership is established in the land register, each apartment that is registered as an apartment ownership is also assigned a corresponding address object in the address data system.

Tarmo Kruusimäe (Isamaa) took the floor during the debate.

A Bill passed the first reading:

Under the Bill on the Ratification of the Agreements necessary for Accession to the Convention Establishing the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (229 SE), initiated by the Government, the Republic of Estonia will accede to the Convention Establishing the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, including its Protocol on Privileges and Immunities, and the Protocol of 2005 to Amend the Convention, and ratifies the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) on the accession of the Republic of Estonia to the ECMWF Convention and related terms and conditions which was signed on 3 June 2020.

The primary purposes of the Centre are the development of a capability for medium-range weather forecasting and the provision of medium-range weather forecasts to the Member States.

The ECMWF member state status will enable to obtain additional information in order to use the results of the model calculations received from the Centre to create high quality products and services meeting local needs. The available information will help implement nowcasting, introduce and implement ensemble forecasts, and increase the reliability and accuracy of forecasts of various duration. The products and services provided by the ECMWF will serve as the basis for the daily work of the Estonian Weather Service of the Environment Agency, and the accuracy of Estonian weather forecasts will depend on them.

The Bill on Amendments to the Public Holidays and Days of National Importance Act (153 SE), initiated by the Social Democratic Party Faction, was intended to amend the Public Holidays and Days of National Importance Act according to which an additional day of rest is given when a national day or a public holiday falls on a weekend.

The Constitutional Committee as the lead committee moved to reject the Bill at the first reading. 53 members of the Riigikogu were in favour of the motion and eight were against. Thus, the Bill was dropped from the legislative proceedings.

The Bill on Amendments to the Unemployment Insurance Act (199 SE), initiated by the Social Democratic Party Faction, provided for the extension of the range of persons receiving unemployment insurance benefit to employees and officials who terminate their contract of employment or service relationship on their own initiative or by agreement of the parties. The aim was to apply a waiting period of 30 calendar days on the payment of unemployment insurance benefit.

The Bill proposed an amendment according to which the rate of unemployment insurance benefit for the first 100 days of unemployment would have risen to 70 per cent of the average remuneration of the employee, and further to 50 per cent starting from the 101th day.

The Social Affairs Committee as the lead committee moved to reject the Bill at the first reading. 53 members of the Riigikogu were in favour of the motion and nine were against. Thus, the Bill was dropped from the legislative proceedings.

The Bill on Amendments to the Labour Market Services and Benefits Act and the Unemployment Insurance Act (197 SE), initiated by the Social Democratic Party Faction, was intended to amend the Labour Market Services and Benefits Act and to raise the unemployment allowance rate to at least 60 per cent of the amount of the minimum wage in the previous year. At the same time, according to the proposal, if the unemployment allowance rate were higher than unemployment insurance benefit, the benefit would be paid to the extent of the unemployment allowance.

Lauri Läänemets (Social Democratic Party) took the floor during the debate.

The Social Affairs Committee as the lead committee moved to reject the Bill at the first reading. 45 members of the Riigikogu were in favour of the motion and nine were against. Thus, the Bill was dropped from the legislative proceedings.

The motion of no confidence in the Minister of Finance Martin Helme was not supported in the Riigikogu today. 45 member of the Riigikogu were in favour of the motion of no confidence submitted by 45 members of the Reform Party Faction and the Social Democratic Party Faction. 53 voted against. The support of at least 51 members of the Riigikogu was needed to express no confidence.

During the debate, Kaja Kallas (Reform Party), Katri Raik (Social Democratic Party) and Urmas Reitelmann (Estonian Conservative People’s Party) took the floor.

The sitting ended at 8.05 p.m.

 


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