11 Riigikogu committees elect new chairs
Following Kaja Kallas' (Reform) second government taking office last week, new chairs and deputy chairs have been elected to 11 Riigikogu committees.
The work of the Riigikogu is carried out by a number of standing committees that deal with legislative matters in their respective fields of specialization.
An 11th standing committee — the European Union Affairs Committee — was established upon Estonia's accession to the EU in 2004.
Under the new Reform-Isamaa-SDE coalition agreement, the Reform Party was allotted the chairs of the Cultural Affairs Committee, the Economic Affairs Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Junior coalition partners Isamaa and the Social Democratic Party (SDE), meanwhile, each received four chairs, with the European Union Affairs Committee, the Environment Committee, the Rural Affairs Committee and the Rural Affairs Committee going to Isamaa and Constitutional Committee, National Defense Committee, Social Affairs Committee and Legal Affairs Committee going to the Social Democrats.
Previously held by Reform, Raivo Tamm (Isamaa) was elected chair and Anti Poolamets (EKRE) deputy chair of the European Union Affairs Committee.
Also previously held by Reform, Andres Metsoja (Isamaa) was elected chair and Merry Aart (EKRE) deputy chair of the Environment Committee.
The Rural Affairs Committee, previously chaired by Center, elected Sven Sester (Isamaa) and Tarmo Tamm (Center) as chair and vice chair.
The Economic Affairs Committee, meanwhile, re-elected Kristen Michal (Reform) as chair and Rene Kokk (EKRE) as deputy chair.
Eduard Odinets (SDE) was elected chair and Jaak Valge (EKRE) deputy chair of the Constitutional Affairs committee, while Helmen Kütt (SDE) was elected chair and Siret Kotka (Center) deputy chair of the Social Affairs Committee.
Marko Mihkelson (Reform) will continue serving as chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, with Enn Eesmaa (Center) elected deputy chair.
The Legal Affairs Committee held an extraordinary vote on Friday, electing Heljo Pikhof (SDE) chair and Marek Jürgenson (Center) deputy chair of the committee.
Elections for chair and deputy chair of the National Defense Committee are slated to take place Tuesday.
Toomas Kivimägi (Reform) and Kert Kingo (EKRE) will chair the Security Authorities Surveillance Select Committee, which is described by the Riigikogu as a select committee that exercises supervision over authorities of executive power on matters relating to the activities of security authorities and surveillance agencies.
Mart Helme (EKRE) and Kalle Laanet (Reform), meanwhile, will chair the Anti-Corruption Select Committee, which exercises supervision over the implementation of anti-corruption measures.
Tõnis Mölder (Center) and Jaak Juske (SDE) will chair the State Budget Control Select Committee, which is charged with monitoring that state budget funds and state assets are used economically, expediently and lawfully.
The Study Committee on the Development of Estonian Language Instruction also got new leaders, with Jürgen Ligi (Reform) elected chair and Mihhail Stalnuhhin (Center) deputy chair of the committee.
After Kallas' second government took office last Monday, several Riigikogu committees held extraordinary sessions. The Board of the Riigikogu approved a number of committee composition changes last week.
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Editor: Kristina Kersa