Government wants need to update Constitution analyzed

The Estonian Constitution in a commented edition, published by the University of Tartu. (PM/Scanpix)
10/6/2016 3:09 PM
Category: News

A new commented edition of the Estonian Constitution will be published next year on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the 1992 vote that adopted it. The government said on Thursday that it expected an analysis of the necessity to update it.

Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas (Reform) said at the government’s press conference on Thursday that the analysis would mainly cover practical changes that had happened since the Constitution was adopted in 1992.

Estonia was now a member of the European Union, which made certain changes necessary. The same applied to the Constitution’s provisions regarding national defense, as Estonia was now a member of NATO and collective defense principles applied. “We need to be sure that our Constitution corresponds to the reality of the 21st century,” Rõivas said.

Asked by a journalist whether the need to change the Constitution included the direct election of the President of the Republic, Rõivas said that this was an entirely different debate. Instead, the prime minister suggested to review of the election process rather than to completely change its principles.

The currently ongoing administrative reform will drastically reduce the number of municipalities, which will affect the electoral college, should calling it be necessary again. “If we take administrative reform into account, then the next electoral college could consist of more members of the Riigikogu than representatives of local government councils,” Rõivas said.

The third commented edition of the Estonian Constitution is presided over by Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise. Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas said that the analysis of the necessity to change the Constitution would need to be done by academics, and needed to be independent.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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