- Reset + Print

President of the Republic leaves unproclaimed the amendments to the Foreign Service Act

President of the Republic leaves unproclaimed the amendments to the Foreign Service Act © Raigo Pajula

25.06.2020

President Kersti Kaljulaid has decided today not to proclaim the amendments to the Foreign Service Act as they contradict the Constitution. The main contradiction consists of unequal treatment of spouses and partners registered pursuant to the Registered Partnership Act.

“I am leaving unproclaimed the amendments to the Foreign Service Act because they contradict the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia. I request the Riigikogu to review the amendments and ensure compliance of that act with our Constitution,” said President Kaljulaid. She explained that the Constitution is contradicted by the part of the act that regulates the social benefits for spouses of officials in foreign service. The corresponding provisions of the act passed by the Riigikogu cover only the benefits for the spouse, and not for the partner registered pursuant to the Registered Partnership Act. This contradicts the principle of equal treatment stipulated in Article 12 of the Constitution.

“Both those diplomats who married pursuant to the Family Law Act and those who registered partnerships pursuant to the Registered Partnership Act did so in accordance with the current legislation of the Republic of Estonia, and therefore all such families must be treated equally,” emphasised President Kaljulaid. In her decision to leave the amendments unproclaimed, President Kaljulaid also refers to the verdict of the Supreme Court dated 2019 in which it deemed similar unequal treatment contradictory to the Constitution in the context of the Social Tax Act.

“One of the most important tasks of the President of the Republic is to maintain compliance of our legal framework with the Constitution. By choosing not to proclaim the amendments I am not evaluating other provisions of that act because the essential aspects of the foreign service reform are not constitutional issues,” she concluded.

Communication Department
Phone: 631 6229
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.