New Parliamentary Forum – What, Why, for Whom, and What Next?
The back column of the Riigikogu Toimetised editor-in-chief Aare Kasemets (Riigikogu Chancellery) and managing editor Ülo Siivelt (Estonian Law Centre, Tartu) sums up the issues related to the concept of the publication, its first issue and future plans. When searching for the concept of the Riigikogu Toimetised, the Estonian information market, parliamentary publications in other countries, etc., were analysed. Eventually, a framework arising from the constitutional tasks of the Riigikogu was designed, which has no international counterparts. As the Estonian society and thus the possible readership of the Estonian-language part of the Riigikogu Toimetised is relatively small, it was not practical to create a publication that would focus narrowly only on law or politics.
Editors emphasise that the legislative activity of the parliament affects all the major subsystems of the society. As legal regulation is only one of the many alongside the cultural, economic and administrative regulations, the governing of the state through legislation is in the ideal case a field of interdisciplinary cooperation which in the modern world should not be left only at the discretion of politicians and lawyers. Legal systems are one of the last strongholds where the effects of the new electronic media and of the increasingly globalising political and economic life are finally starting to be felt. These trends won’t leave uninfluenced the content and form of the work of the parliament as a body representing citizens. All this needs to be discussed and therefore there will hopefully be no lack of supply of electronic contributions to the Riigikogu Toimetised – especially if the forum offered by the publication will also include representatives of universities, business and non-profit associations, as well as representatives of other parliaments.
As President of the Riigikogu Toomas Savi and Secretary General Heiki Sibul stressed in their introductory articles – we are creating together a tradition of the first parliamentary academic publication in Estonia. The editors will try to foster the spirit of cooperation in this work.
The following issue of the Riigikogu Toimetised may appear either as only an Internet version or both as an Internet and printed version at the latest in September this year. The content of the second issue will be made up of presentations delivered in the Riigikogu, surveys, as well as articles and studies contributed by the representatives of citizens associations. We also welcome contributions of articles and short surveys from experts abroad.
Information and research services of parliaments of other countries, representatives of the Council of Europe and the European Parliament, and representatives of foreign embassies to Estonia can enter the Riigikogu Toimetised through the English language summary on the cover page. Texts in this publication are not protected by copyright and all interested parties can translate and use them without any restrictions by following the good practice of referring to the source.
Editors believe that the Riigikogu Toimetised could become a forum to discuss in the international context the possibilities how to make the Estonian society more humane, just, wealthy and sustainable. Suggestions for this would reach as reasoned proposals, after passing parliamentary and public debate, to the working table of the members of the Government and from there to the future state budget programmes.