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  • Videos | Video recordings of presidential speeches and public messages, interviews and other events
    state visits official visits and working visits made by the President to other countries Decorations Recipients of Estonian state decorations Proposals for bestowing decorations Press Releases Press releases from the Office of the President Statements Statements by the President of the Republic including joint statements issued by the President of the Republic the President of the Riigikogu and the Prime Minister Interviews Articles President Ilves in the Estonian and foreign media Bibliography The President s speeches articles and interviews published in print also overviews of the President s public activities and publications about him Videos Video recordings of presidential speeches and public messages interviews and other events Photo album Photo albums arranged by event Declaration of Independence Adopted by the Estonian Provincial Assembly s council of elders on 24 February 1918 The Constitution The Constitution of the Republic of Estonia adopted on 28 June 1992 Symbols The Estonian flag coat of arms and national anthem and legal acts on state insignia Estonia Links to other government institutions the citizen s portal and Estonian Public Broadcasting Heads of State Heads of state from 1918 through the years of occupation until restoration of independence Keywords Speeches Interviews Conferences Visits ALL VIDEOS Select

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  • Photo album | Photo albums arranged by event
    Proposals for bestowing decorations Press Releases Press releases from the Office of the President Statements Statements by the President of the Republic including joint statements issued by the President of the Republic the President of the Riigikogu and the Prime Minister Interviews Articles President Ilves in the Estonian and foreign media Bibliography The President s speeches articles and interviews published in print also overviews of the President s public activities and publications about him Videos Video recordings of presidential speeches and public messages interviews and other events Photo album Photo albums arranged by event Declaration of Independence Adopted by the Estonian Provincial Assembly s council of elders on 24 February 1918 The Constitution The Constitution of the Republic of Estonia adopted on 28 June 1992 Symbols The Estonian flag coat of arms and national anthem and legal acts on state insignia Estonia Links to other government institutions the citizen s portal and Estonian Public Broadcasting Heads of State Heads of state from 1918 through the years of occupation until restoration of independence Keywords Events Visits Domestic Visits Foreign Guests Select time 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 03 12 2015 26 11 2015 Timber Structure of

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  • Declaration of Independence
    37 MANIFESTO To All The Peoples of Estonia Never in the course of centuries have the Estonian people lost their ardent desire for Independence From generation to generation Estonians have kept alive the secret hope that in spite of enslavement and oppression by other nations the time will come in Estonia when all splinters at both end will burst forth into flames and when Kalev will come home to bring his children happiness Now this time has arrived An unprecedented struggle of nations has destroyed the rotten foundations of the Russian Tsarist Empire All over the Sarmatian plains ruinous anarchy is spreading threatening to overwhelm in its wake all peoples living within the borders of the former Russian Empire From the West the victorious armies of Germany are approaching in order to claim their share of Russia s legacy and above all to take possession of the coastal territories of the Baltic Sea In this fateful hour the Estonian National Council as the legal representative of our land and people has in unanimous agreement with Estonian democratic political parties and organizations and by virtue of the right of self determination of peoples found it necessary to take the following decisive steps to shape the destiny of Estonian land and people ESTONIA within her historical and ethnic boundaries is declared as of today an INDEPENDENT DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC The independent Republic of Estonia shall include Harjumaa Läänemaa Järvamaa Virumaa with the city of Narva and its surroundings Tartumaa Võrumaa Viljandimaa and Pärnumaa with the Baltic islands of Saaremaa Hiiumaa Muhumaa and others where the Estonians have settled for ages in large majorities Final determination of the boundaries of the Republic in the areas bordering on Latvia and Russia will be carried out by plebiscite after the conclusion of the present World War In the aforementioned areas the only supreme and organizing authority is the democratically supported Estonian Salvation Committee created by the Estonian National Council The Republic of Estonia wishes to maintain absolute political neutrality towards all neighbouring states and peoples and expects that they will equally respond with complete neutrality Estonian military forces shall be reduced to the extent necessary to maintain internal order Estonian soldiers serving in the Russian military forces will be called home and demobilized Until the Estonian Constituent Assembly elected by general direct secret and proportional elections will convene and determine the constitutional structure of the country all executive and legislative authority will remain vested in the Estonian National Council and in the Estonian Provisional Government created by it whose activities must be guided by the following principles 1 All citizens of the Republic of Estonia irrespective of their religion ethnic origin and political views shall enjoy equal protection under the law and courts of justice of the Republic 2 All ethnic minorities the Russians Germans Swedes Jews and others residing within the borders of the republic shall be guaranteed the right to their cultural autonomy 3 All civic freedoms such at the freedom of expression of

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  • Constitution of the Republic of Estonia
    mind without supervision or to ensure the administration of a criminal procedure 35 Everyone has the right to leave Estonia This right may be restricted in the cases and pursuant to procedure provided by law to ensure the administration of court or pre trial procedure or to execute a court judgment 36 No Estonian citizen shall be expelled from Estonia or prevented from settling in Estonia No Estonian citizen shall be extradited to a foreign state except under conditions prescribed by an international treaty and pursuant to procedure provided by such treaty and by law Extradition shall be decided by the Government of the Republic Everyone who is under an extradition order has the right to contest the extradition in an Estonian court Every Estonian has the right to settle in Estonia 37 Everyone has the right to education Education is compulsory for school age children to the extent specified by law and shall be free of charge in state and local government general education schools In order to make education accessible the state and local governments shall maintain the requisite number of educational institutions Other educational institutions including private schools may also be established and maintained pursuant to law Parents shall have the final decision in the choice of education for their children Everyone has the right to receive instruction in Estonian The language of instruction in national minority educational institutions shall be chosen by the educational institution The provision of education shall be supervised by the state 38 Science and art and their instruction are free Universities and research institutions are autonomous within the restrictions prescribed by law 39 An author has the inalienable right to his or her work The state shall protect the rights of the author 40 Everyone has freedom of conscience religion and thought Everyone may freely belong to churches and religious societies There is no state church Everyone has the freedom to exercise his or her religion both alone and in community with others in public or in private unless this is detrimental to public order health or morals 41 Everyone has the right to remain faithful to his or her opinions and beliefs No one shall be compelled to change them Beliefs shall not excuse a violation of the law No one shall bear legal liability because of his or her beliefs 42 State agencies local governments and their officials shall not gather or store information about the beliefs of an Estonian citizen against the citizen s free will 43 Everyone has the right to confidentiality of messages sent or received by him or her by post telegraph telephone or other commonly used means Exceptions may be made by court authorisation to combat a criminal offence or to ascertain the truth in a criminal procedure in the cases and pursuant to procedure provided by law 44 Everyone has the right to freely obtain information disseminated for public use All state agencies local governments and their officials have a duty to provide information about their activities pursuant to procedure provided by law to an Estonian citizen at his or her request except information the disclosure of which is prohibited by law and information intended exclusively for internal use An Estonian citizen has the right to access information about himself or herself held in state agencies and local governments and in state and local government archives pursuant to procedure provided by law This right may be restricted pursuant to law to protect the rights and freedoms of others or the confidentiality of a child s filiation and in the interests of combating a criminal offence apprehending a criminal offender or ascertaining the truth in a criminal procedure Citizens of foreign states and stateless persons who are in Estonia have the rights specified in paragraphs two and three of this section equally with Estonian citizens unless otherwise provided by law 45 Everyone has the right to freely disseminate ideas opinions beliefs and other information by word print picture or other means This right may be restricted by law to protect public order morals and the rights and freedoms health honour and good name of others This right may also be restricted by law for state and local government public servants to protect a state or business secret or information received in confidence which has become known to them by reason of their office and the family and private life of others as well as in the interests of justice There is no censorship 46 Everyone has the right to address state agencies local governments and their officials with memoranda and petitions The procedure for responding shall be provided by law 47 Everyone has the right without prior permission to assemble peacefully and to conduct meetings This right may be restricted in the cases and pursuant to procedure provided by law to ensure national security public order morals traffic safety and the safety of participants in a meeting or to prevent the spread of an infectious disease 48 Everyone has the right to form non profit associations Only Estonian citizens may belong to political parties The establishment of organisations and unions which possess weapons are militarily organised or perform military exercises requires prior permission for which the conditions and procedure of issuance shall be provided by law Organisations unions and political parties whose aims or activities are directed at changing the constitutional order of Estonia by force or are otherwise in conflict with the law providing for criminal liability are prohibited Only a court may terminate or suspend the activities of or fine an organisation union or political party for a violation of the law 49 Everyone has the right to preserve his or her national identity 50 National minorities have the right in the interests of national culture to establish self governing agencies under conditions and pursuant to procedure provided by the National Minorities Cultural Autonomy Act 51 Everyone has the right to address state agencies local governments and their officials in Estonian and to receive responses in Estonian In localities where at least one half of the permanent residents belong to a national minority everyone has the right to also receive responses from state agencies local governments and their officials in the language of the national minority 52 The official language of state agencies and local governments shall be Estonian In localities where the language of the majority of the residents is not Estonian local governments may to the extent and pursuant to procedure provided by law use the language of the majority of the permanent residents of the locality as an internal working language The use of foreign languages including the languages of national minorities in state agencies and in court and pre trial procedure shall be provided by law 53 Everyone has a duty to preserve the human and natural environment and to compensate for damage caused to the environment by him or her The procedure for compensation shall be provided by law 54 An Estonian citizen has a duty to be loyal to the constitutional order and to defend the independence of Estonia If no other means are available every Estonian citizen has the right to initiate resistance against a forcible change of the constitutional order 55 Citizens of foreign states and stateless persons who are in Estonia have a duty to observe the constitutional order of Estonia Chapter III The People 56 The supreme power of state shall be exercised by the people through citizens with the right to vote 1 by electing the Riigikogu 2 through a referendum 57 An Estonian citizen who has attained eighteen years of age has the right to vote An Estonian citizen who has been divested of his or her legal capacity by a court does not have the right to vote 58 Participation in voting may be restricted by law for Estonian citizens who have been convicted by a court and are serving sentences in penal institutions Chapter IV The Riigikogu 59 Legislative power is vested in the Riigikogu 60 The Riigikogu shall be comprised of one hundred and one members Members of the Riigikogu shall be elected in free elections on the principle of proportionality Elections shall be general uniform and direct Voting shall be secret Every Estonian citizen who has attained twenty one years of age and has the right to vote may be a candidate for the Riigikogu Regular elections to the Riigikogu shall be held on the first Sunday in March of the fourth year following the preceding Riigikogu election year Extraordinary elections to the Riigikogu shall be held in the cases prescribed in 89 97 105 and 119 of the Constitution not earlier than twenty and not later than forty days after the elections are declared The procedure for the election of the Riigikogu shall be provided by the Riigikogu Election Act 61 The authority of the members of the Riigikogu shall commence on the day the results of the elections are announced The authority of the members of the preceding Riigikogu shall terminate on the same day Before assuming his or her duties a member of the Riigikogu shall take an oath of office to remain loyal to the Republic of Estonia and to its constitutional order 62 A member of the Riigikogu shall not be bound by his or her mandate or be bear legal liability for votes cast or political statements made by him or her in the Riigikogu or in any of its bodies 63 A member of the Riigikogu shall not hold any other state office A member of the Riigikogu is exempt from the duty to serve in the Armed Forces during his or her term of office 64 The authority of a member of the Riigikogu shall be suspended upon his or her appointment as a member of the Government of the Republic and shall be restored upon release from his or her duties as a member of the Government The authority of a member of the Riigikogu shall terminate prematurely 1 upon his or her assumption of another state office 2 upon the entry into force of a conviction by a court against him or her 3 upon his or her resignation pursuant to procedure provided by law 4 if the Supreme Court decides that he or she is incapable of performing his or her duties for an extended period 5 upon his or her death Upon the suspension or premature termination of the authority of a member of the Riigikogu he or she shall be replaced by an alternate member pursuant to procedure provided by law An alternate member has all the rights and duties of a member of the Riigikogu The authority of an alternate member shall terminate upon the restoration of the authority of the member of the Riigikogu 65 The Riigikogu shall 1 pass laws and resolutions 2 decide on the holding of a referendum 3 elect the President of the Republic pursuant to 79 of the Constitution 4 ratify and denounce international treaties in accordance with 121 of the Constitution 5 authorise the candidate for Prime Minister to form the Government of the Republic 6 pass the state budget and approve the report on its implementation 7 on the proposal of the President of the Republic appoint to office the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court the Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Estonia the Auditor General the Chancellor of Justice and the Commander or Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces 8 on the proposal of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court appoint to office justices of the Supreme Court 9 appoint members of the Board of the Bank of Estonia 10 on the proposal of the Government decide on borrowing by the state and on the assumption of other proprietary obligations by the state 11 present statements declarations and appeals to the people of Estonia other states and international organisations 12 establish state awards and military and diplomatic ranks 13 decide on the expression of no confidence in the Government of the Republic the Prime Minister or individual ministers 14 declare a state of emergency in the state pursuant to 129 of the Constitution 15 on the proposal of the President of the Republic declare a state of war and order mobilisation and demobilisation 16 resolve other national issues which the Constitution does not vest in the President of the Republic the Government of the Republic other state bodies or local governments 66 The first session of the new membership of the Riigikogu shall be held within ten days after the announcement of the results of the elections to the Riigikogu The first session of the Riigikogu shall be convened by the President of the Republic 67 Regular sessions of the Riigikogu shall take place from the second Monday of January to the third Thursday of June and from the second Monday of September to the third Thursday of December 68 Extraordinary sessions of the Riigikogu shall be convened by the Chairman of the Riigikogu on the proposal of the President of the Republic the Government of the Republic or not less than one fifth of the membership of the Riigikogu 69 The Riigikogu shall elect from among its members the Chairman of the Riigikogu and two Deputy Chairmen who shall manage the work of the Riigikogu pursuant to the Riigikogu Procedure Act and the Riigikogu Administration Act 70 The quorum for the Riigikogu shall be provided by the Riigikogu Procedure Act In an extraordinary session the Riigikogu shall have a quorum if more than one half of the membership of the Riigikogu are present 71 The Riigikogu shall form committees Members of the Riigikogu have the right to form factions The procedure for the formation of committees and factions and their rights shall be provided by the Riigikogu Procedure Act 72 Sessions of the Riigikogu shall be public unless the Riigikogu by a two thirds majority decides otherwise Voting in the Riigikogu shall be open Voting by secret ballot shall be held in the cases prescribed by the Constitution or by the Riigikogu Procedure Act only in the election or appointment of officials 73 Legislation of the Riigikogu shall be passed by a majority of votes in favour unless otherwise prescribed by the Constitution 74 A member of the Riigikogu has the right to make inquiries to the Government of the Republic and its members to the Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Estonia the President of the Bank of Estonia the Auditor General the Chancellor of Justice and the Commander or Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces The inquiries shall be answered at a session of the Riigikogu within twenty session days 75 The remuneration of members of the Riigikogu and restrictions on the receipt of other employment income shall be provided by law which may be amended for the next membership of the Riigikogu 76 A member of the Riigikogu enjoys immunity Criminal charges may be brought against him or her only on the proposal of the Chancellor of Justice and with the consent of the majority of the membership of the Riigikogu Chapter V The President of the Republic 77 The President of the Republic is the head of state of Estonia 78 The President of the Republic shall 1 represent the Republic of Estonia in international relations 2 appoint and recall diplomatic agents of the Republic of Estonia on the proposal of the Government of the Republic and receive the credentials of diplomatic agents accredited to Estonia 3 declare regular elections to the Riigikogu and pursuant to 89 97 105 and 119 of the Constitution extraordinary elections to the Riigikogu 4 convene the new membership of the Riigikogu pursuant to 66 of the Constitution and open its first session 5 propose to the Chairman of the Riigikogu to convene an extra ordinary session of the Riigikogu pursuant to 68 of the Constitution 6 proclaim laws pursuant to 105 and 107 of the Constitution and sign instruments of ratification 7 issue decrees pursuant to 109 and 110 of the Constitution 8 initiate amendment of the Constitution 9 designate the candidate for Prime Minister pursuant to 89 of the Constitution 10 appoint to and release from office members of the Government pursuant to 89 90 and 92 of the Constitution 11 make proposals to the Riigikogu for appointments to the offices of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Estonia Auditor General Chancellor of Justice and Commander or Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces 12 on the proposal of the Board of the Bank of Estonia appoint to office the President of the Bank of Estonia 13 on the proposal of the Supreme Court appoint judges 14 on the proposal of the Government of the Republic and the Commander of the Armed Forces appoint to and release from office the leadership of the armed forces 15 confer state awards and military and diplomatic ranks 16 be the supreme commander of the national defence of Estonia 17 make proposals to the Riigikogu to declare a state of war to order mobilization and demobilization and pursuant to 129 of the Constitution to declare a state of emergency 18 declare in the case of aggression against Estonia a state of war order mobilization and appoint the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces pursuant to 128 of the Constitution 19 by way of clemency release or grant commutation to convicts at their request 20 initiate the bringing of criminal charges against the Chancellor of Justice pursuant to 145 of the Constitution 79 The President of the Republic shall be elected by the Riigikogu or in the case provided by paragraph four of this section by an electoral body The right to nominate a candidate for President of the Republic rests with not less than one fifth of the membership of the Riigikogu An Estonian citizen by birth who has attained forty years of age may be nominated as a candidate for President of the Republic The President of the Republic shall be elected by secret ballot Each member of the Riigikogu shall have one vote A candidate in favour of whom a two thirds majority of the membership of the Riigikogu votes shall be considered elected If no candidate receives the required majority a new round of voting shall be held on the next day Before the second round of voting a new nomination of candidates shall be held If no candidate receives the required majority in the second round of voting a third round of voting shall be held on the same day between the two candidates who receive the greatest number of votes in the second round If the President of the Republic is still not elected in the third round of voting the Chairman of the Riigikogu shall within one month convene an electoral body to elect the President of the Republic The electoral body shall be comprised of members of the Riigikogu and representatives of the local government councils Each local government council shall elect at least one representative to the electoral body who must be an Estonian citizen The Riigikogu shall present the two candidates who receive the greatest number of votes in the Riigikogu to the electoral body as candidates for President The right to nominate a candidate for President also rests with not less than twenty one members of the electoral body The electoral body shall elect the President of the Republic by a majority of the voting electoral body members If no candidate is elected in the first round a second round of voting shall be held on the same day between the two candidates who receive the greatest number of votes The specific procedure for the election of the President of the Republic shall be provided by the President of the Republic Election Act 80 The President of the Republic shall be elected for a term of five years No one shall be elected to the office of President of the Republic for more than two consecutive terms The regular election of the President of the Republic shall be held not earlier than sixty and not later than ten days before the end of the term of office of the President of the Republic 81 The President of the Republic shall assume office by swearing the following oath of office to the people of Estonia before the Riigikogu In assuming the office of President of the Republic I given name and surname solemnly swear to steadfastly defend the Constitution and the laws of the Republic of Estonia to exercise the power entrusted to me in a just and impartial manner and to faithfully perform my duties with all of my abilities and to the best of my under standing for the benefit of the people of Estonia and the Republic of Estonia 82 The powers of the President of the Republic shall terminate upon 1 his or her resignation from office 2 the entry into force of a conviction by a court against him or her 3 his or her death 4 the assumption of office of the new President of the Republic 83 If the President of the Republic is incapable of performing his or her duties for an extended period as decided by the Supreme Court or if he or she is temporarily unable to perform them as in the cases specified by law or if his or her powers have terminated prematurely then his or her duties shall temporarily transfer to the Chairman of the Riigikogu During the time that the Chairman of the Riigikogu is performing the duties of the President of the Republic his or her authority as a member of the Riigikogu shall be suspended The Chairman of the Riigikogu acting as President of the Republic does not have the right without the consent of the Supreme Court to declare extraordinary elections to the Riigikogu or to refuse to proclaim laws If the President of the Republic is unable to perform his or her official duties for longer than three consecutive months or if his or her powers terminate prematurely the Riigikogu shall elect a new President of the Republic within fourteen days pursuant to 79 of the Constitution 84 Upon assuming office the authority and duties of the President of the Republic in all elected and appointed offices shall terminate and he or she shall suspend his or her membership in political parties for the duration of his or her term of office 85 Criminal charges may be brought against the President of the Republic only on the proposal of the Chancellor of Justice and with the consent of the majority of the membership of the Riigikogu Chapter VI The Government of the Republic 86 Executive power is vested in the Government of the Republic 87 The Government of the Republic shall 1 execute the domestic and foreign policies of the state 2 direct and co ordinate the activities of government agencies 3 administer the implementation of laws resolutions of the Riigikogu and legislation of the President of the Republic 4 introduce bills and submit international treaties to the Riigikogu for ratification and denunciation 5 prepare the draft of the state budget and submit it to the Riigikogu administer the implementation of the state budget and present a report on the implementation of the state budget to the Riigikogu 6 issue regulations and orders on the basis of and for the implementation of law 7 manage relations with other states 8 declare an emergency situation throughout the state or in a part thereof in the case of a natural disaster or a catastrophe or to prevent the spread of an infectious disease 9 perform other duties which the Constitution and the laws vest in the Government of the Republic 88 The Government of the Republic shall be comprised of the Prime Minister and ministers 89 The President of the Republic shall within fourteen days after the resignation of the Government of the Republic designate a candidate for Prime Minister to whom the President of the Republic shall assign the task of forming a new government The candidate for Prime Minister shall within fourteen days after receiving the task of forming a new government present the bases for the formation of the forthcoming government to the Riigikogu after which the Riigikogu shall decide without debate and by an open vote whether to authorise the candidate for Prime Minister to form a government The candidate for Prime Minister who is authorised by the Riigikogu to form a government shall within seven days present the membership of the government to the President of the Republic who shall appoint the government to office within three days If the candidate for Prime Minister designated by the President of the Republic does not receive a majority of votes in favour from the Riigikogu or is unable or declines to form a government the President of the Republic has the right to present a second candidate for Prime Minister within seven days If the President of the Republic does not present a second candidate for Prime Minister within seven days or declines to do so or if the second candidate is unable to obtain authority from the Riigikogu under the conditions and time restraints in paragraphs two and three of this section or is unable or declines to form a government then the right to nominate a candidate for Prime Minister shall transfer to the Riigikogu The Riigikogu shall nominate a candidate for Prime Minister who shall present the membership of a government to the President of the Republic If the membership of a government is not presented to the President of the Republic within fourteen days after the transfer to the Riigikogu of the right to nominate a candidate for Prime Minister the President of the Republic shall declare extraordinary elections to the Riigikogu 90 Changes to the appointed membership of the Government of the Republic shall be made by the President of the Republic on the proposal of the Prime Minister 91 The Government shall assume office by taking an oath of office before the Riigikogu 92 The Government of the Republic shall resign upon 1 the convention of the new membership of the Riigikogu 2 the resignation or death of the Prime Minister 3 the expression of no confidence in the Government of the Republic or the Prime Minister by the Riigikogu The President of the Republic shall release the Government of the Republic from office upon the assumption of office of the new Government 93 The Prime Minister shall represent the Government of the Republic and shall direct its activities The Prime Minister shall appoint two ministers who have the right to substitute for the Prime Minister during his or her absence The procedure for substitution shall be specified by the Prime Minister 94 Corresponding ministries shall be established pursuant to law for the administration of the areas of government A minister shall direct a ministry shall manage issues within its area of government shall issue regulations and directives on the basis and for the implementation of law and shall perform other duties assigned to him or her on the bases of and pursuant to procedure provided by law If a minister is temporarily unable to perform the duties of his or her office due to illness or other hindrances the Prime Minister shall transfer the duties of the minister to another minister for this time The President of the Republic may on the proposal of the Prime Minister appoint ministers to office who do not direct ministries 95 The State Chancellery directed by the State Secretary is within the Government of the Republic The State Secretary shall be appointed to and released from office by the Prime Minister The State Secretary shall participate in sessions of the Government with the right to speak The State Secretary as the director of the State Chancellery has the same rights which are granted by law to a minister in directing a ministry 96 Sessions of the Government of the Republic shall be closed unless the Government decides otherwise The Government shall make its decisions on the proposal of the Prime Minister or the appropriate minister Government regulations shall have force if they bear the signatures of the Prime Minister the appropriate minister and the State Secretary 97 The Riigikogu may express no confidence in the Government of the Republic the Prime Minister or a minister by a resolution in favour of which a majority of the membership of the Riigikogu votes An expression of no confidence may be initiated by not less than one fifth of the membership of the Riigikogu by the presentation of a written motion at a session of the Riigikogu An expression of no confidence may be decided not earlier than on the second day after its initiation unless the Government requires a more expeditious decision If no confidence is expressed in the Government or the Prime Minister the President of the Republic may on the proposal of the Government and within three days declare extraordinary elections to the Riigikogu If no confidence is expressed in a minister the Chairman of the Riigikogu shall notify the President of the Republic who shall release the minister from office An expression of no confidence on the same ground may be initiated not earlier than three months after the previous vote of no confidence 98 The Government of the Republic may bind the passage of a bill it introduces to the Riigikogu to the issue of confidence Voting shall not take place earlier than on the second day after the bill is bound to the issue of confidence If the Riigikogu does not pass the bill the Government shall resign 99 Members of the Government of the Republic shall not hold any other state office nor belong to the management board or supervisory board of a commercial enterprise 100 Members of the Government of the Republic may participate in sessions of the Riigikogu and of its committees with the right to speak 101 Criminal charges may be brought against a member of the Government of the Republic only on the proposal of the Chancellor of Justice and with the consent of the majority of the membership of the Riigikogu The authority of a member of the Government shall terminate upon the entry into force of a conviction by a court against him or her Chapter VII Legislation 102 Laws shall be passed in accordance with the Constitution 103 The following have the right to initiate laws 1 a member of the Riigikogu 2 a faction of the Riigikogu 3 a committee of the Riigikogu 4 the Government of the Republic 5 the President of the Republic for amendment of the Constitution The Riigikogu has the right on the basis of a resolution made by a majority of its membership to propose to the Government of the Republic to initiate a bill desired by the Riigikogu 104 The procedure for the passage of laws shall be provided by the Riigikogu Procedure Act The following laws may be passed and amended only by a majority of the membership of the Riigikogu 1 Citizenship Act 2 Riigikogu Election Act 3 President of the Republic Election Act 4 Local Government Election Act 5 Referendum Act 6 Riigikogu Procedure Act and Riigikogu Administration Act 7 Remuneration of the President of the Republic and Members of the Riigikogu Act 8 Government of the Republic Act 9 Institution of Court Proceedings against the President of the Republic and Members of the Government Act 10 National Minorities Cultural Autonomy Act 11 State Budget Act 12 Bank of Estonia Act 13 State Audit Office Act 14 Courts Administration Act and court procedure Acts 15 Acts pertaining to foreign and domestic borrowing and to proprietary obligations of the state 16 State of Emergency Act 17 Peace Time National Defence Act and War Time National Defence Act 105 The Riigikogu has the right to submit a bill or other national issue to a referendum The decision of the people shall be made by a majority of the participants in the voting A law which is passed by a referendum shall promptly be proclaimed by the President of the Republic The decision of the referendum shall be binding on all state institutions If a bill which is submitted to a referendum does not receive a majority of votes in favour the President of the Republic shall declare extraordinary elections to the Riigikogu 106 Issues regarding the budget taxation financial obligations of the state ratification and denunciation of international treaties the declaration or termination of a state of emergency or national defence shall not be submitted to a referendum The procedure for holding a referendum shall be provided by the Referendum Act 107 Laws shall be proclaimed by the President of the Republic The President of the Republic may refuse to proclaim a law passed by the Riigikogu and within fourteen days after its receipt return the law together with his or her reasoned resolution to the Riigikogu for a new debate and decision If the Riigikogu again passes the law which is returned to it by the President of the Republic unamended the President of the Republic shall proclaim the law or shall propose to the Supreme Court to declare the law unconstitutional If the Supreme Court declares the law constitutional the President of the Republic shall proclaim the law 108 A law shall enter into force on the tenth day after its publication in the Riigi Teataja unless the law itself provides otherwise 109 If the Riigikogu is unable to convene the President of the Republic may in matters of urgent state need issue decrees which have the force of law and which shall bear the counter signatures of the Chairman of the Riigikogu and the Prime Minister When the Riigikogu convenes the President of the Republic shall present the decrees to the Riigikogu which shall promptly pass a law for their confirmation or repeal 110 The Constitution the Acts set out in 104 of the Constitution laws which establish state taxes and the state budget shall not be enacted amended or repealed by a decree of the President of the Republic Chapter VIII Finance and the State Budget 111 The Bank of Estonia has the sole right to issue Estonian currency The Bank of Estonia shall regulate currency circulation and shall uphold the stability of the national currency 112 The Bank of Estonia shall act pursuant to law and shall report to the Riigikogu 113 State taxes duties fees fines and compulsory insurance payments shall be provided by law 114 The procedures for the possession use and disposal of state assets shall be provided by law 115 The Riigikogu shall pass as a law the budget of all state revenue and expenditure for each year The Government of the Republic shall submit a draft state budget to the Riigikogu not later than three months before the beginning of the budgetary year On the proposal of the Government the Riigikogu may pass a supplementary budget during the budgetary year 116 If a proposed amendment to the state budget or to its draft has the effect of decreasing estimated revenue or increasing expenditure or reallocating expenditure the proponent of the amendment shall append financial calculations to the proposed amendment which demonstrate the sources of revenue necessary to cover the expenditure The Riigikogu shall not eliminate or reduce expenditure in the state budget or in its draft which is prescribed by other laws 117 The procedures for the drafting and passage of the state budget shall be provided by law 118 The state budget passed by the Riigikogu shall enter into force at the beginning of the budgetary year If the Riigikogu does not pass the state budget by the

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  • National Symbols
    and the lowest band is white The proportions of the flag are 11 7 and its normal size is 165x105 cm The blue black white flag was first consecrated at Otepää on the 4th of June 1884 as the flag of the Estonian University Student Association During the following years the blue black white flag became a national symbol The Provisional Government of Estonia adopted a resolution on the 21st of November 1918 proclaiming the blue black white flag the state flag The Law on State Flag was adopted by the Parliament Riigikogu on the 27th of June 1922 After the forcible annexation of Estonia by the Soviet Union in June 1940 this flag was banned In 1987 88 during the days of the singing revolution or the process of regaining independence the blue black white flag was used openly as a national symbol On the 24th of February 1989 the blue black white national flag of Estonia was flown from the tower of Pikk Hermann The blue black white flag was re adopted as the state flag on the 7th of August 1990 and the Law on State Flag was passed on the 6th of April 1993 State coat of arms The Estonian coat of arms comes in two formats a large one which shows three blue lions passant gardant on a golden shield framed on each side by gilded branch of the oak tree with the stems of the branches crossing at the base of the shield The small shield is identical except for the gilded branches The design of the shield originates from the XII century when the Danish King Valdemar II presented the City of Tallinn Reval with a coat of arms similar to that of the state of Denmark showing three lions A similar motif

    Original URL path: https://president.ee/en/republic-of-estonia/symbols/index.html (2015-12-03)
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  • Estonia
    through the years of occupation until restoration of independence The state portal eesti ee is a secure Internet environment for the exchange of information with government agencies The portal provides reliable information and e services to individuals companies and officials Reset Estonia Friday 27 August 2010 11 36 Riigikogu parliament The Riigikogu is the representative assembly of the Estonian people Under Article 59 of the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia legislative power is vested in the Riigikogu In addition to passing legislation the Constitution imposes other functions on the Riigikogu adopting the state budget and enforcing budgetary compliance exercising a review of the activities of the government appointing senior state officials and representing Estonia in international organisations Government of the Republic Executive power is vested in the Government of the Republic Executive power is divided between two functions governance and administration The Government of the Republic coordinates the agencies in the executive branch and performs oversight of the agencies Judiciary Justice is solely administered in Estonia by the court system The judicial branch is separate and distinct from other powers and their respective spheres of influence National Audit Office The National Audit Office performs economic audits in the government sector and is independent in its audit functions It reports to parliament with regard to the legality and performance of the state s economic activities Chancellor of Justice The function of the Chancellor of Justice is to perform constitutional reviews The Chancellor of Justice acts as an ombudsman performing oversight of public agencies for the purpose of guaranteeing the constitutional rights and liberties of all persons Eesti Pank Eesti Pank also known as the Bank of Estonia is the central bank of the Republic of Estonia It is responsible for making monetary policy thus keeping the Estonian monetary system operational

    Original URL path: https://president.ee/en/republic-of-estonia/estonia/index.html (2015-12-03)
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  • Heads of State
    Recipients of Estonian state decorations Proposals for bestowing decorations Press Releases Press releases from the Office of the President Statements Statements by the President of the Republic including joint statements issued by the President of the Republic the President of the Riigikogu and the Prime Minister Interviews Articles President Ilves in the Estonian and foreign media Bibliography The President s speeches articles and interviews published in print also overviews of the President s public activities and publications about him Videos Video recordings of presidential speeches and public messages interviews and other events Photo album Photo albums arranged by event Declaration of Independence Adopted by the Estonian Provincial Assembly s council of elders on 24 February 1918 The Constitution The Constitution of the Republic of Estonia adopted on 28 June 1992 Symbols The Estonian flag coat of arms and national anthem and legal acts on state insignia Estonia Links to other government institutions the citizen s portal and Estonian Public Broadcasting Heads of State Heads of state from 1918 through the years of occupation until restoration of independence Estonian heads of state since 1918 and the legal grounds of their activities Toomas Hendrik Ilves 2006 Arnold Rüütel 2001 2006 Lennart Meri

    Original URL path: https://president.ee/en/republic-of-estonia/heads-of-state/index.html (2015-12-03)
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  • President Ilves in Prague: building “walls” within Europe will break our solidarity
    the Republic and Skype Estonia established a special Young IT Scientist Award 31 10 2015 President Ilves expressed his condolences to the next of kin of the Russian plane crash victims 31 10 2015 The Estonian Head of State expressed condolences to the President of Romania Reset President Ilves in Prague building walls within Europe will break our solidarity Praha Aspeni Instituut tunnustas president Ilvest aasta auhinnaga g Photos 21 10 2015 Today we see around us a fracturing of Europe perhaps even liberal democracy more broadly We are figuratively as well as literally building new walls where instead we should be enjoying the freedom so many European countries fought for so long to achieve said the President Toomas Hendrik Ilves last night in Prague on accepting the 2015 Aspen Prague Award The 2015 Aspen Prague Award is being presented to President Ilves for his outstanding contribution to democracy building and his successful and safe leadership of Estonia as part of a united Europe the award also acknowledges the Head of State for helping to maintain a strong Atlantic relationship between the countries of Europe and North America and for promoting regional cooperation between the countries of Central and Eastern Europe The crises we have faced since the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall highlight the EU s limits in working speedily together This is not to say we are unable to work together said President Ilves and he gave the unprecedented and historic consensus in response to the grave violations of international law in the Anschluss of Crimea as an example This shows that Europe can work when need be he added In his address President Ilves emphasised that conflicts in the Middle East all affect us directly The conflicts in Syria and Libya have set in motion a series of dominoes conflict refugees massive movement of peoples escaping the violence to Europe This I worry is changing the landscape of European democracies We are witnessing rising support for far right or far left political movements often fuelled by anti immigrant racist sentiments said President Ilves Short sighted populist policies exploiting the fears of ordinary people will lead us I fear back to the 1930s stated the Head of State President Ilves added that this does not mean that migration related concerns and discussions in our public domain are not to be taken seriously or into account We have painful debates where various values either become mixed or clash with our tragic historical experience and demographics Fear is often understandable because of lack of experience he added The Head of State mentioned that genuine solidarity and a significant contribution are expected of European countries towards solving the problems that the migration crisis poses We want to build walls around us to keep out refugees not realising that we are rebuilding the same walls we so desperately worked to tear down President Ilves stated According to the Head of State NATO is to turn to strong deterrence

    Original URL path: https://president.ee/en/media/press-releases/11671-president-ilves-in-prague-building-walls-within-europe-will-break-our-solidarity/index.html (2015-12-03)
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