Estonia: The Riigikogu amended the Place Names Act

NordenBladet — Today, the Riigikogu passed the Act under which, in the future, local governments will resolve extra-judicial place name disputes instead of the Place Names Board. The Board will give its weighted positions in name disputes where necessary.

The Act on Amendments to the Place Names Act (186 SE), initiated by the Government, also provides more clearly for the status of place name to preclude cases where a name is intended to give a named feature a legal status, that is, to change the regime of the rights and obligations of the named feature. The names of the persons who have acted against the establishment of the Republic of Estonia, the maintenance of constitutional order or the restoration of Estonia’s independence may no longer be established as commemorative names, that is, place names established in the memory or honour of persons. In the event of a conflict, the names authority will have to change the place name.

Amendments are also made to the procedure for the establishment of the Place Names Board. In the future, the Minister of Public Administration will establish the statutes of the Place Names Board, and the number of the members of the Place Name Board will no longer be determined at the level of Act. At present, the Board may have 11-15 members.

In the future, the Land Board who was the authorised processor of the register up to now will maintain the place names register instead of the Ministry of Finance. The functions of the authorised processor of the register are assigned to the information technology centre of the Ministry of the Environment. On the basis of that, in the future, the Minister of the Environment will also establish the statutes of the register.

During the debate, Eerik-Niiles Kross took the floor on behalf of the Estonian Reform Party Faction.

76 members of the Riigikogu were in favour of passing the Act and there was one abstention.


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