Justice chancellor: EU 'plastic tax' does not contravene constitution

Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise
Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise says the European Union's so-called plastic tax, and its implementation in Estonia, should be the subject of Riigikogu debate, adding it does not infringe on the Estonian constitution as Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) MP Jaak Madison had claimed in a letter to Madise in late July.

Madison also said that the EU's joint €750-billion coronavirus loan may infringe on Estonia's constitution, which Madise says is also a Riigikogu matter. 

Madison noted that the plastic tax could be a violation of the constitution's first section, which states Estonia is an independent and sovereign democratic republic wherein supreme political authority is vested in the people. 

Ülle Madise however finds that both the EU plastic tax and the loan should be discusssed at Riigikogu level before coming into force, but added that there are no issues from a constitutional perspective. She also said that the state budget obligations arising from both measures are not particularly large, and that, based on analysis commissioned by the State Chancellery (Riigikantselei), the recovery package is not in conflict with EU treaties either. 

The so-called plastic tax is in fact more a new component of the new contribution to EU coffers.

Under its terms, EU Member States would pay an additional 80 cents per kilogram of unused plastic to the EU budget, after the amendment enters into force.  

Estonia could also obtain a special discount; the cost to Estonia would be about €8 million per annum, she said. 

In accordance with the constitution, the Riigikogu must form its position on any decisions which may result in long-term financial obligations to the state in any case, she said. 

The Riigikogu Rules of Procedure Act also allows for this. 


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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