Estonia

II - Changes to the Budgetary Process

Budgetary process   
II.1
Describe the main characteristics of the budgetary process (cycle, actors, instruments, etc.) in Estonia.

“Pursuant to [§ 115 of] the Constitution, 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. The procedure of drawing up, adoption and implementation of the state budget has been established by the State Budget Act. The legislative proceeding of the draft state budget by the Riigikogu is conducted pursuant to the State Budget Act and the Riigikogu Rules of Procedure and Internal Rules Act. (…)

The draft state budget is deliberated by the Riigikogu at three readings. At the first reading, the Minister of Finance makes a report on general principles of the draft state budget and gives an overview of the condition of the Estonian economy and the main objectives of the Government of the Republic.”[1]

After the close of the first reading, members, standing committees and factions of the Riigikogu may submit motions to amend; the motions must conform to § 20 of the State Budget Act which requires that the amendments which have the effect of decreasing estimated revenue or increasing or reallocating expenditure be appended with financial calculations which demonstrate the sources of revenue necessary to cover the expenditure. “The Finance Committee considers the motions to amend and introduces the accepted amendments into the draft budget. The Government of the Republic also gives its opinion about the motions to amend.

At the second reading, deliberation of the provisions takes place. After the close of the second reading and at the third reading of the draft state budget, only factions and standing committees of the Riigikogu may submit motions to amend.

The state budget shall be passed by a majority of votes in favour (…). The adopted state budget shall enter into force at the beginning of the budgetary year. If the Riigikogu has not passed the state budget within two months after the beginning of the budgetary year, the President of the Republic shall declare extraordinary elections to the Riigikogu”[2] (according to § 119 of the Constitution).

General change         
II.2
How has the budgetary process changed since the beginning of the financial/Eurozone crisis?

No changes.

Institutional change         
II.3
What institutional changes are brought about by the changes in the budgetary process, e.g. relating to competences of parliament, government, the judiciary and independent advisory bodies?

No changes.

Change of time-line
II.4
How has the time-line of the budgetary cycle changed as a result of the implementation of Euro-crisis law?

No changes.

Miscellaneous
II.5
What other information is relevant with regard to Estonia and changes to the budgetary process?

Not applicable.           

[1] Passing the State Budget, available at: http://www.riigikogu.ee/index.php?id=35271&highlight=budget.

[2] Passing the State Budget, available at: http://www.riigikogu.ee/index.php?id=35271&highlight=budget.