New cabinet holds first meeting on Thursday ({{commentsTotal}})

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (center) led the first meeting of Estonia's 49th cabinet on Thursday. Nov. 24, 2016.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (center) led the first meeting of Estonia's 49th cabinet on Thursday. Nov. 24, 2016. Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

The first meeting of the newly sworn-in government led by Prime Minister Jüri Ratas held its first meeting at Stenbock House on Thursday morning, which largely focused on the cabinet's organization of work.

State Secretary Heiki Loot provided an overview of the government's organization of work to the newly sworn-in ministers which touched on how a minister's work as a member of the government is organized, correspondence with the Riigikogu as well as participation in the EU's decision-mmaking process. Loot also provided an overview of the procedures for substituting ministers.

As the organization of work was discussed, Prime Minister Ratas stressed that collegiality was one of the primary principles of the newly sworn-in government and that decisions would made exclusively by consensus.

The prime minister also confirmed the procedures for substituting ministers. Ratas' first substitute is Minister of Health and Labour Jevgeni Ossinovski and second substitute is Minister of Defence Margus Tsahkna. The order of substitution is dictated according to the size of the coalition partners' parliamentary groups.

Prime Minister Ratas also decided on the ministers' powers in directing their respective ministries as well as the ministers' respective areas of responsibility. Compared to previous cabinets, the Minister of Entrepreneurship's portfolio has expanded to include the information and communication technology field, due to which the name of the position has been changed to Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology. The remaining ministers' names remain unchanged.

Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla