Government approves law making use of civilian resources in crisis easier

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EDF personnel in an inflatable raiding craft on exercise in Tallinn Bay. The Admiral Cowan is in the background. Source: EDF/Merevägi

The cabinet has signed off on legislative amendments which allow the easier access to civilian resources in defense matters.

The main task of national defense, and the National Defense Act, is to ensure the security and functioning of the state in all situations, including in times of crisis and war, BNS reports.

This requires a contribution from everyone, including the private sector, while various crisis plans are drawn up at the government office and can be communicated to the public via the media.

Defense minister Kalle Laanet (Reform) said that: "National defense tasks are based on the concept of broad-based national defense, according to which national defense is the task of all of us."

"Feedback by businesses on duties has been predominantly positive, indicating that they understand and value their clear role in restoring a normal business environment during a crisis," Laanet continued.

Assigning national defense tasks means the necessary support which must be provided to the defense forces will hit the mark.

This can include provisions for sequestering and co-opting of resources, compulsorily, by a government decision, even before the announcement of increased defense readiness and for use in, for example, additional training or international military cooperation.

A significant change is that direct costs for the use of civil resources will be reimbursed, however.

The government approved the amendments to the National Defense Act on Thursday, while the regulation of national defense duties will also be fully updated.

Other legislation to be amended as a result of the changes includes the Road Transport Act, the Public Information Act, the Traffic Act and the Taxation Act, among other acts.

The current National Defense Duties Act is to be repealed by the adoption of the draft.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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