The Government of the Republic approved a draft Act, specifying the procedure for the imposition of and compliance with national defence duties in order to ensure the performance of national defence duties during a heightened state of defence readiness, mobilisation, demobilisation, or wartime.
At present, the Government of the Republic has established a list of duties regarding means of transport, although the currently valid Act fails to describe in sufficient detail the procedure for imposing those duties.
According to Minister of Defence Jüri Luik, Estonia’s initial independent defence capability is reliant upon the inclusion of the population and requires a contribution from everyone, including undertakings.
“National defence duties are imposed and fulfilled for the purpose of organising national defence. Participation in national defence may mean mobilisation into the Defence Forces, as well as readiness to support national defence activities with one's property, services and work,” said Luik.
National defence duties may be implemented in preparation for military action, the organisation of mobilisation, the redistribution of state assets and provision of support for the completion of national defence assignments.
The bases for the imposition of duties are the needs of the state during wartime, for example, technical equipment, food, fuel and certain services.
With the amendment of the Act, the Defence Resources Board, a commander of a structural unit of the Defence Forces or authorised representative or commission from a respective ministry shall have the right, when necessary, to control the state of assets.
The amendment of the Act will also specify the procedure for delivering the decision on the imposition of or compliance with duties, in order that the duties could be quickly and flexibly implemented.
When developing a system for duties, the ability to ensure the capability of consistent functioning of providers of vital services will be taken into consideration. A list of assets will be added into the Act, which are absolutely necessary for the provision of vital services and which may not be forcibly encumbered. These are assets that will be absolutely necessary in order to ensure the consistent functioning of a service during a crisis situation.
During the preparation of the draft Act, representative organisations of local governments and business were consulted, in addition to the Defence Forces and the Defence Resources Board.
Additional information: press[at]kaitseministeerium[dot]ee