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President Kaljulaid proclaims a second legislative package aimed at combating the spread of the virus

04.05.2020

President Kersti Kaljulaid today proclaimed an act containing amendments to the Assistant Police Officer Act and other acts, totalling 35 pieces of legislation, in order to improve efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease in the country.

“The current crisis has revealed a number of fields that require legal framework changes or adjustments for more effective crisis management with continued actions and the successful functioning of the economy despite various restrictions. We must strive together and quickly to amend primarily those acts that are vital for handling the current situation. This approach has not been adhered to,” stated President Kaljulaid when proclaiming the legislative package. President Kaljulaid noted that addition to the legislative package of acts that have no direct connection with certain acts containing anti-crisis measures removes valuable time resources from the implementation of urgent legislation, for instance, provisions for the conclusion of the academic year.

President Kaljulaid use as an example the amendment to the Aliens Act, which changes the terms and conditions of long-term work visas. “The amended terms and conditions affect already issued visas too. The legislature must develop rules for workers entering Estonia from non-member states, but lawmaking should rely on the principle of legal clarity. So, if the country has issued visas pursuant to particular terms and conditions, it is not reasonable to retroactively amend them. A confident country does not operate like this,” said President Kaljulaid.

The President of the Republic also emphasised that the amended terms and conditions would remain in force after the end of the crisis. They are permanent, the motivation for which is not clear. “This will make the difficult situation that so many companies already find themselves in even more complicated. The issue has been raised both by separate businesses and business umbrella organisations. Several industry sectors now have the crucial need to engage foreign staff, especially qualified workers and seasonal labourers from abroad, and this need must be addressed if we want to keep the economy and family income growing. Thus, applying additional foreign labour force restrictions will only increase the economic decline in Estonia and prevent the recovery of our economy and expansion of employment options,” she concluded.

The Riigikogu passed an act containing amendments to the Assistant Police Officer Act and other acts (measures aimed at preventing the spread of the SARS-Cov-2 virus causing the COVID-19 disease) on 20 April.

President Kaljulaid also proclaimed today and act of ratification of the agreement on implementation of the joint Baltic airspace monitoring network and control system entered into by the governments of the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Lithuania and the Republic of Latvia, that was passed on 22 April.

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