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Estonia: Bill organising the Railways Act passed the second reading in the Riigikogu

NordenBladet — The Bill that passed the second reading will amend the Railways Act by including provisions arising from directives and by specifying domestic provisions, besides changing the text and structure of the current Act.

According to the explanatory memorandum to the Railways Bill (201 SE), initiated by the Government, the current Railways Act has been amended for more than 30 times since its adoption in 2003, which has made the text of the Act difficult to read, and therefore it is reasonable to issue a new consolidated text of the Act.

The Bill provides for a reduction in the state fee if an application for an act in the railway traffic register is submitted through the electronic service information system of the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority. At the same time, the Act will also be amended by including additional fees for example for reviewing applications for changes to the operating licences for the technical maintenance and repair of railway vehicles and the construction of railway vehicles.

In order to disambiguate the issues relating to the building rights and the right of use of railway civil engineering works, the Bill will amend the Building Code and specify the requirements for railway civil engineering works. At the same time, the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority will be designated as the competent authority to issue the design criteria for railway civil engineering works.

The EU directives transposed by the Bill are legal acts of the technical pillar of the Fourth Railway Package, which aims to complete the creation of a single European railway market. The goal of this package is to revitalise the rail sector and make it more competitive vis-à-vis other modes of transport. The technical pillar is designed to boost the competitiveness of the railway sector by significantly reducing costs and administrative burden for railway undertakings wishing to operate across Europe. For that, it will be possible to apply for licences through the EU Agency for Railways in the future.

The Riigikogu did not support a draft Resolution

The Riigikogu did not support the Draft Resolution of the Riigikogu “Making a Proposal to the Government of the Republic to Form a COVID-19 Analysis Committee of Experts” (220 OE), initiated by the Reform Party. It was intended to propose to form a committee to analyse how the COVID-19 virus epidemic that hit Estonia in spring 2020 had been countered.

41 members of the Riigikogu voted in favour of the passage of the Resolution and 25 voted against. The support of at least 51 members of the Riigikogu was needed to pass the Resolution.

Indrek Saar (Social Democratic Party) took the floor during the debate.


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EstoniaParliament of Estonia

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