Parliaments have (generally) three main functions:
The most important task of the Riigikogu is legislation.
Riigikogu influences the governing of the state primarily by determining the income and the expenses of the state (establishing taxes and adopting the budget).
At the same time the Riigikogu has the right to ratify and denounce international treaties and decide on the Government loans.
A member of the Riigikogu has the right to demand explanations from the Government of the Republic and its members, the Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Estonia, the President of the Bank of Estonia, the Auditor General, the Legal Chancellor and the Commander or the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces. This enables the members of the parliament to observe the activities of the executive power (government) and the abovementioned high officials of the state.
The Riigikogu elects and appoints several high officials of the state, including the President of the Republic. (If no candidate receives the required two-thirds majority, the president shall be elected by the Electoral Body which shall be comprised of the members of the Riigikogu and representatives of the local government councils. The Electoral Body shall have 374 members.)
In addition to that, the Riigikogu appoints, on the proposal of the President of the Republic, the Chairman of the National Court, the Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Estonia, the Auditor General, the Legal Chancellor and the Commander or the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces.
The Riigikogu also has the right to present statements, declarations and appeals to the people of Estonia, other states and international organisations.