Regular sessions of the Riigikogu are held from the second Monday in January to the third Thursday in June, and from the second Monday in September to the third Thursday in December. The weekly working time of the plenary assembly of the Riigikogu is called the plenary working week. Regular sittings take place from Monday to Thursday of the plenary working week. On Fridays members of the Riigikogu work with their constituents and perform other official duties. Three consecutive plenary working weeks form the plenary working cycle. Every fourth week is meant for meeting with the constituents and carrying out the duties assigned by the Riigikogu, factions and committees, or fulfilling other tasks.
During the sessions, the Riigikogu can also hold additional sittings outside the working time, for example, for electing the President of the Republic or declaring a state of emergency.
During the breaks of the regular sessions, the President of the Riigikogu may convene extraordinary sessions on the proposal of the President of the Republic, the Government of the Republic, or at least 21 members of the Riigikogu. At both extraordinary sessions and additional sittings the Riigikogu has a quorum if more than one-half of its membership is present.
Every plenary working week there are briefings where the Prime Minister, Ministers, the President of the Bank of Estonia, Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Estonia, the Legal Chancellor, the Auditor General, and the Commander or the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces answer the questions of the members of the Riigikogu. The briefing is broadcast over TV. All draft legislation submitted for the legislative proceeding of the parliament are discussed, after preliminary work in committees and factions, at the sittings of the plenary assembly of the Riigikogu, which passes the final decision on them. Laws are adopted, high officials of the state are appointed to office, and state budget is passed only at the sittings of the plenary assembly of the Riigikogu.
Order of the sitting
Sittings of the Riigikogu take place in the Toompea Castle in the sitting chamber of the Riigikogu, and they are open to the public. Besides the members of the Riigikogu, other officials, like the President of the Republic, members of the Government, Secretary of State, Legal Chancellor and persons who have been invited to discuss certain items on the order of business, can also be present. The Secretary General or Deputy Secretary General of the Riigikogu, Adviser to the Riigikogu Board, secretary, advisers to the committees whose draft legislation are being discussed, and other persons serving the chamber are also present at the sitting.
Places for journalists are in the back gallery. The public can observe the session in the side gallery; those interested in the proceedings can enter the castle and the gallery, accompanied by an employee of the Riigikogu Chancellery. Filming and video recording, as well as TV and radio broadcasts from the sitting chamber are done only with the authorisation of the Riigikogu Board.
Each member of the Riigikogu has his/her personal workplace in the chamber.
The Riigikogu may declare its sitting to be held in camera by a two-thirds majority. The Board of the Riigikogu informs mass media through the press service of the Riigikogu Chancellery of the proceedings of the sittings held in camera.
All the speeches and comments made at the sittings of the plenary assembly of the Riigikogu are stenographed.