Under the law, the Civic Chamber is made up of 40 people approved by the President and 85 representatives of the regional Civic Chambers (including Crimea and Sevastopol), and 43 representatives of national public groups, associations and other non-commercial organisations, selected via an internet voting procedure. The Civic Chamber has 168 members in total. Work is currently underway on a draft law on Sevastopol’s Civic Chamber, and once this law is passed, a representative from Sevastopol will also be elected to the Russian Federation Civic Chamber.
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Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon friends and colleagues.
Let me start by congratulating you on the Council’s new membership. I want to thank Yevgeny Velikhov and the newly elected president of the Civic Chamber. I want to thank Mr Velikhov for all his work and wish his newly elected successor in this post success.
As you know, the Civic Chamber’s members were chosen using new procedures this time. The members now include not just candidates proposed by Russia’s president, but also members selected in an on-line vote. There was a lot of debate about this procedure, but I think it nonetheless proved its worth as a means of direct voting and direct democracy. I hope very much that the representatives chosen from trade unions and professional associations will have a big and positive impact on the work of the Civic Chamber, which has been functioning for 9 years now.
As before, I think your participation in the Federal Assembly’s work will make a needed contribution, especially as regards the so-called ‘zero reading’ of draft laws of particular importance for society.
These are not the only areas. There are many other tasks too, which the Civic Chamber can use its authority and expertise to help resolve. This concerns establishing public councils within ministries and agencies and direct participation in these councils’ work, so as to have an albeit indirect and mediated, but nonetheless real influence on decisions or on their preparation, to be more precise.
In short, there are many tasks. As they say in such cases, life is complicated and never short of variety. I hope greatly that the Civic Chamber will make a big and visible contribution to our society’s life, help develop the democratic process, and most important, contribute to preparing thoroughly considered decisions that can then be taken and implemented in the various areas of our life.
I will end these remarks here. I would like to hear your views and exchange a few thoughts with you on how we will organise our work together.