Riigikogu board says spring session was 'a great challenge' ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Session Hall at the Riigikogu.
Session Hall at the Riigikogu. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Riigikogu speaker Henn Põlluaas and deputy speakers Helir-Valdor Seeder and Siim Kallas said the spring session of the Riigikogu was very busy and a great challenge, while the coronavirus pandemic also left a strong mark on the parliament's work.

Põlluaas (EKRE) said the spring session was a great challenge that the parliament handled well. "The Riigikogu continued to operate uninterrupted, the committees could immediately switch to teleworking, but the plenary had to attend sittings on site. But now, we have also passed a law allowing teleworking."

The parliament speaker said that the session was characterized by cross-party cooperation. According to him, at the very beginning of the crisis, the meetings of the board and the board of elders discussed how the parliament could work during the crisis.

"We discussed what to handle, what are the most important and time-critical bills, how to process them and what steps to take. We overcame this difficult time very well," Põlluaas said.

Seeder (Isamaa) also said there has been no such session as the spring session that ended on Thursday. He emphasized that it is worth seriously considering that the parliament's role in dealing with the crisis should be greater.

"In the future, it is worth considering whether giving the executive power the right to use money in this form is the best solution. I felt that parliament should have a greater say, it is not always necessary to delegate everything to the executive power. This is the place to think," Seeder said.

Kallas (Reform) said the crisis period was a big challenge for the opposition as well. Parties cooperated, but according to Kallas, the opposition was asked why they are not critical of the government.

"But the role of the opposition is not just to overthrow the government, the role of the opposition is to doubt and criticize, and we played that role as best we could," he said.

He also saw the possibility of greater cross-party cooperation regarding bills that do not contain any worldviews but where there is still fundamental down-voting of opposition proposals.

The board of the Riigikogu was unanimous that the biggest challenge of the fall session is next year's budget.

The fall session of the Riigikogu begins on September 14.

The Board of the Riigikogu consists of the President and two Vice-Presidents. The Board coordinates the work of the Riigikogu. The Board is elected from the members of the Riigikogu for a term of one year.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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