Eesti in brief - 2012-06-14

  • 2012-06-13

The Estonian Riigukogu approved last week law amendments that create the basis for voluntary sea rescuers to participate in police activities in search and rescue work, reports Postimees Online. According to the amendments that come into force on Sept. 1, the voluntary sea rescuers can participate in search and rescue operations according to the amount of training they have had either together with a police official or independently at the request of the police. While participating in the activities of the police, they are representatives of the state power whose legal orders are obligatory for fulfilling. Another change the parliament approved was giving the Police and Border Guard rights to check passenger lists of ships departing from Estonia. So far the lists of passengers on board ships departing from Estonia are compiled of people who have passed check-in, whose identification takes place only randomly when they board ships. Thus people who have registered might fail to actually go on board a ship, or they can give their ticket to someone else.

The Estonian government approved on June 7 the European third economic and monetary union stability, coordination and management agreement ratification law, that demands budget balances by the states, reports Public Broadcasting. The law was sent to the parliament. The states that have joined the agreement are required to have a balanced budget or a budget with a surplus. The aim is considered fulfilled if the state fulfills its mid-length period budgetary aim based on the stability and growth pact, which is not weaker than the budget’s structural deficit of 0.5 percent of GDP. States can deviate from this rule temporarily only in exceptional circumstances. The agreement was signed at the March 2 European Council meeting and will come in force on Jan. 1, 2013. Estonia has set an aim of achieving budgetary surplus by 2014.

On June 8 at the 2012 IT Conference of the World Customs Organization (WCO) in Tallinn, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that in today’s world, information and communication technology is no longer a separate sector, but rather a component of all parts of life in society, reports LETA. When talking about cyber security, the Foreign Minister said that companies and governments must know how to protect themselves from potential threats. “However, this means that we need trust and co-operation among nations,” said Paet. The foreign minister recognized the work of the Estonian National Cyber Defense League and said that cooperation between Estonia’s public and private sectors in this area could set an example for everyone. “Openness is essential, therefore we must actively promote secure and trustworthy solutions that are beneficial to all parties,” he added. More than 450 participants from approximately 100 countries convened for the Conference, which took place on June 6-8.