TALLINN - The constitutional committee of the Estonian parliament discussed a bill seeking to amend the Aliens Act, Higher Education Act, and Study Allowances and Study Loans Act and decided to sent the draft legislation to first reading in the Riigikogu.
Chairman of the committee Paul Puustusmaa said that the bill concerns many important areas, which is why it warrants thorough discussion in the parliament, spokespeople for the Riigikogu said. Puustusmaa noted that interest groups have submitted numerous proposals to the bill.
"We will definitely hear them all out after first reading of the bill," he said, adding that the constitutional committee will also seek the opinion of other relevant committees on the matter.
Deputy chairman of the committee Lauri Laanemets said that the government-proposed bill has not been drafted in accordance with good legislative practice.
"As the bill has not passed a round of approvals and the explanatory memorandum thereto is inadequate, the opposition is not in favor of concluding first reading of the bill," he said.
The bill was introduced to the committee by Minister of the Interior Mart Helme who explained that the bill concerns student mobility and labor migration from third states. The bill primarily seeks to organize the regulation of working in Estonia, considering developments in the economy and on the labor market. It also concerns the issuing of long-term visas, applying for a residence permit for study purpose and aliens taking up residence in Estonia after they have completed their studies.
The constitutional committee decided to sent the bill to first reading in the Riigikogu at a plenary session to be held on Oct. 21 and proposed to set Nov. 20 as deadline for motions to amend.