Estonian president decides not to promulgate bill amending Collective Agreements Act

  • 2021-09-28
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid has decided not to promulgate a bill passed in the parliament and seeking to amend the Collective Agreements Act and other related laws; the president has sent the bill back to the parliament for the latter to bring the legislation into accordance with the Constitution.

The head of state said that in her assessment, the parliament has breached the Riigikogu Rules of Procedure and Internal Rules Act during the handling of the bill, spokespeople for the Office of the President said. 

"I have decided not to promulgate the bill amending the Collective Agreements Act and other related laws due to it being incompatible with the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia. It is one of the basic principles of the functioning of our state that the powers of the state, including the process of passing laws, be executed only on the basis of the Constitution and laws that are consistent with the Constitution. With regard to the bill in question, the Riigikogu has unfortunately erred against this principle and ignored the rules stipulated by the Riigikogu Rules of Procedure and Internal Rules Act," the president said.

In her decision, the president refers to the handling of the bill in the parliament where a provision concerning the bill's entry intro effect was changed between second and third reading of the bill. 

"In order for all elected representatives to be able to contribute to lawmaking, only technical correction of bills is permitted after second reading and before the final vote. The issue of a law's entry into effect is in no way a technical matter, it is an issue that merits a substantial discussion, which members of the parliament have in this case been deprived of by the social affairs committee," she said. 

A constitutional task of the president is to conduct constitutional review and verify that laws have been passed in accordance with the procedural rules provided by the Constitution. 

If the president decides not to sign a bill into law, the draft legislation is sent back to the parliament, which can then decide whether to pass the bill once more without any amendments and send it back to be promulgated by the head of state, or start handling the bill from the beginning.

During her presidency, Kaljulaid so far has proclaimed 498 laws and decided not to promulgate six bills.