Jaanus Karilaid, Center's whip at the Riigikogu said that the party is not ready to support the so-called whistleblower act, at the moment still at draft bill phase, as prepared by the Ministry of Justice in its current form.
"The Center Party is very critical of this bill; it has been greatly expanded. We have enough channels today through which to report violations or possible crimes. We have to think about how to proceed, Center does not agree with it as it stands at present. Discussions are continuing," he said.
Karilaid stressed that his MPs have not completely rejected the bill, but is trying to make it clearer. "He has now received the label of such a draft complaint, and if you look inside it, it will even be credible," he said.
"Nowadays, there are sufficient hotlines to report to, for instance the central criminal police, the prosecutor's office, and the Police and Border Guard Board. Integrity of a source is adequately enough guaranteed these days, and there is no persecution, plus we need to ensure that we do not encourage excessive levels of redress. We must ensure a transparent and fair atmosphere, so that there is no longer one of fear," Karilaid continued.
Center's MPs have reportedly agreed to proceed with the bill if amendments amenable both to the party and the justice ministry are taken in.
Maris Lauri (Reform) is justice minister; ministers do not sit in the Riigikogu.
The bill has passed its first Riigikogu and is scheduled to enter into force on June 1 this year.
Currently, 285 amendments have been submitted to the draft bil, most of which were tabled not by Center, but by the opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE).
The bill is based on an EU directive approved by the Estonian government in 2019, when Center was in coalition with EKRE and Isamaa.
As the deadline for transposing the Directive into Estonian law was December 17, 2021, then the European Commission, which monitors the implementation of EU law in the Member States, initiated infringement proceedings against Estonia.
Editor: Roberta Vaino