Public Chamber reports on state-civil society relations

Partnership of state and society: members of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation discuss draft report on the state of civil society in 2020

16 December 2020

The main topic of the report concerns how dialogue between state and society has developed amid the challenges of the current year.

The report likewise reveals trends which have had an influence on increased civic engagement. These include amendments to the Constitution, work on updating national projects, and independent public scrutiny of voting practices.

Secretary of the Public Chamber, Lidia Mikheevareported that the chamber has tasked itself with making this year’s report compact, engaging, readable, and challenging. Meanwhile, a large number of proposals put forward during the report’s preparation warrant separate publication in the form of a special report.

“The state of civil society in 2020 can be summed up in three words: united, compassionate, and caring. We have witnessed this first hand and this has become an integral part of everyone’s lives this year,” underlined Mikheeva.

A new model of dialogue between state and society is one of the main topics of the report.

We have seen a transition to a partnership model for addressing sensitive social issues. The authorities are now not just listening, but actively inviting structures of civil society to formulate solutions, claimed Mikheeva.

Elena Topoleva, chairman of the Public Chamber’s Commission for the development of the non-profit sector and support of socially oriented CSOs (NGOs), remarked that the report addresses topics which have been at the centre of the public’s attention over the course of the year.

“We don’t shy away from sensitive topics, we engage in dialogue and we discuss them. To be sure, this leads to confrontations between opposing sides and opinions, but it also creates a genuine platform for discussion. It is right and proper that this is reflected in the report,” emphasised Topoleva.

Chairman of the Chamber’s Commission for housing and public utilities, construction, and highways, Svetlana Razvorotneva, said that it is as important as ever to monitor how decisions initiated by civil society are being implemented.

“Unfortunately many positive decisions come to nothing at the implementation stage”.

The final version of the report will be presented by the end of the year.


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