Estonia

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Question Value
Legal provisions for mandatory referendums at national level
  • Yes
Legal provisions for optional referendums at national level
  • Yes
Legal provisions for citizens' initiatives at national level
    Legal provisions for agenda initiatives at national level
    • Yes
    Legal provisions for recall at national level
    • No
    Legal provisions for direct democracy at the regional level
    • No
    Legal provisions for direct democracy at the local level
    • Optional referendum
    • Citizens' initiative
    Legal basis for direct democracy at the national level
    • Constitutional
    • Specific laws/legislation
    Legal basis for administrative requirements at the national level
    • Specific laws/legislation
    Who administers direct democracy mechanisms at the national level?
    • Independent electoral commission
    First referendum/initiative held
    • 1923
    Has there been a national referendum since 1980?
    • Yes

    Question Value
    Issues in relation to which referendums are mandatory at the national level
    • Constitutional amendments
    Issues in relation to which referendums are optional at the national level
    • Any issue of national importance, except those excluded
    Issues excluded from being the subject of referendums at the national level
    • Adoption of international treaties
    • Transfer of authority to international bodies
    • Taxes and public expenditure commitments
    • Declaration or termination of a state of emergency; national defence
    Issues of sub-national referendums regulated at the national level
    • Devolution
    • Creation/merger/abolition of sub-national territories
    Who can initiate an optional referendum at the national level?
    • President
    • Legislative majority
    • Legislative minority
    • Also factions, committees of parliament.
    Who drafts the referendum question?
    • Mandatory referendum - Independent electoral commission
    • Optional referendum - Independent electoral commission
    Who decides on the final form of the ballot text?
    • Mandatory referendum - Independent electoral commission
    • Optional referendum - Independent electoral commission
    Quorum requirements for a referendum to be valid
    • Not specified by legislation
    Requirements for a referendum to pass
    • Mandatory referendum - simple majority
    • Optional referendum - simple majority
    Are referendum results binding?
    • Mandatory referendum - always
    • Optional referendum - always

    Question Value
    Issues that can be proposed by citizens using the initiative process at the national level
    • Agenda initiatives - legislative proposals
    Issues excluded from being the subject of an initiative at the national level
    • Not specified by legislation
    Who may propose the registration of an initiative?
    • Agenda initiative - a number of individuals
    Materials to accompany an application for registration
    • General explanation of the purpose
    • Electronic list of petitioners
    Who determines the title of an initiative?
      What disqualifies a proposed title of an initiative?
        Who is responsible for checking the legality of initiatives?
          At which stage legality check is conducted?
            Who decides the final ballot text when the initiative is put to a vote?
              When does voting take place once an initiative is qualified for ballot?

                Question Value
                Which individuals/positions may be subject to the recall?
                  What are the grounds for recall?
                    What restrictions are there in relation to the time period in which an individual or position can be recalled?
                      When is the recall put to the vote?
                        When does the election to replace an individual who has been recalled take place?
                          Can an individual who is the subject of a recall stand on the ballot for his/her own replacement?

                            Question Value
                            How many signatures are required to start the formal decision making stage of a direct democracy mechanism?
                            • Agenda Initiative - fixed number
                            What is the deadline for collecting required number of signatures?
                            • Agenda Initiative - signatures are collected before submission
                            Restrictions in relation to the individuals who can sign the proposal
                            • See quote
                            Where can proposals be signed?
                            • Electronically
                            What information must signatories provide when signing the proposal?
                            • Identity or voting card number
                            • Personal details
                            Restrictions in relation to signature collection
                            • Not applicable, signatures are submitted online
                            What forms of checks are undertaken to verify signatures?
                            • Not specified by legislation
                            Who checks the signatures?
                            • Not specified by legislation