The role of the Riigikogu in the EU
In less than a year all of Estonia’s institutions and government offices must adapt to the realities of EU operation. It is clear that merely handling the amount of information coming from Brussels will severely test Estonia’s administrative capabilities.
This holds true for the Riigikogu as well. Already now we are faced with questions such as what is the role of national parliaments in the EU and what the relationship between Estonia’s legislative and executive powers will be in these conditions.
On May 8, the Riigikogu established the European Affairs Committee as a select committee. One of the assignments of this body will be to recommend changes in the Riigikogu’s rules of order and other legislative acts to take into account Estonia’s entry into the EU.
It is completely clear that the current rules of order do not totally consider our everyday needs and additional duties that are accumulating in everyday parliamentary practice.
The question raised in the last Riigikogu concerning addressing European affairs in the Riigikogu must be reflected by a change in the law. It is also evident and inevitable that by May 1, 2004 at the latest, the Riigikogu must have defined its competence and purview on EU-related issues.