TALLINN - The Estonian parliament's Constitutional Committee has rejected the opposition Green faction's proposal to set up a special committee for energy issues.
The shared view of the meeting was that there is no need for an ad hoc committee, the chairman of the panel, Vaino Linde from the ruling Reform Party, told BNS.
In Linde's words, the initiators of the bill did not give any convincing explanations why such a panel should be set up and why this should be considered at an extraordinary session of parliament. The standing Economy Committee is fully competent to deal with the issues the bill proposes to delegate to the ad hoc committee, he stated.
Speaking about the shortcomings of the bill, Linde also pointed out that the Greens wish to launch the committee in a way that is contrary to the parliament's house rules and procedures: according to the proposed legislation, committee meetings would be open, there would be no voting and decisions would be made by consensus. "As I see it, this is a fairly expensive promotional gimmick of the Greens," he said.
Explaining the necessity of forming the 12-member ad hoc committee, the Greens said the implementation of energy policy has failed. In their words, the government has still not managed to begin updating energy action plans and therefore it is up to an extraordinary session of parliament to give the government a deadline for updating its programs.
A parliamentary ad hoc committee is needed to ensure the thoroughness, objectivity and transparency of the vital fuel and energy strategies, the Greens argue.
An extraordinary session of parliament is set to begin at 11 a.m. on Aug. 13. After some initial doubt, it seems as if all the major parties will be in attendance. In the unlikely event that the first reading of the bills on the agenda is completed, a second session will take place at 4 p.m. on the same day.