A parliament of professionals
Taking part in the work of the Riigikogu demands increasing professionalism on the part of all deputies, and as a result the work-related organization and legal regulation of the position of member of parliament inevitably require updating.
For this purpose, a non-partisan work group was formed at the end of 2003, at the initiative of then Vice-President of the Riigikogu, Rein Lang, in order to discuss MPs’ legal status, obligations and prerogatives – issues that are necessary for representatives to be able to perform their duties freely, professionally and independently. Over more than a year and a half of activity, the working conditions of the parliaments of European Union states were reviewed, and numerous issues related to our parliament were discussed, ranging from the involvement of alternate members to opportunities for hiring assistants. Representatives from all parties offered additions and suggestions to the Riigikogu’s current procedures for work-related organization. Insofar as a consensual solution could not be found to all of the questions under discussion, neither did the joint committee reach its goal – the introduction of a draft law on the status of MP. Presumably the new Riigikogu elected in March 2007 will return to the same topic.