Riigikogu - Parliament of Estonia

Riigikogu is the single-chamber parliament of Estonia, with the main task of fulfilling the function of establishing normative acts. The second important task of the Riigikogu is the approving of annual state budget. Although state budget is approved as a law in Estonia, the approval of the state budget is not an action of performing legislative power because the state budget may not include any legal provisions.

Riigikogu has 101 members. Members of the Riigikogu are elected via free elections. The voting for the elections is secret. Elections of the Riigikogu take place every four years on the first Sunday of March.

A member of Riigikogu has a free mandate, meaning that a member of the Riigikogu is a representative of the entire nation. Fundamentally, a member of the Riigikogu is not a representative of a specific region (election region) or group of electors of Estonia. He/she must consider his/her actions from the viewpoint of the interests of the nation in the wider sense. A member of the Riigikogu cannot be given legally binding instructions for activities. He/she is free in his/her decisions and can direct his/her actions according to his/her best discretion. On the other hand, this does not mean that a member of the Riigikogu has no responsibility before the electors at all. The nation gives its assessment to the activities of the member of the Riigikogu at the next elections. A member of the Riigikogu cannot hold any other state position. A member of the Riigikogu is excused from the duty to serve in the Defence Forces for the time of active member powers.

Planned sessions of the Riigikogu 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.

Main source: Constitution of the Republic of Estonia: commented edition (Tallinn 2002)

Compiled by: Chancellery of the Riigikogu