Mr Medvedev said in particular in his message:
“The decision to hold such an important forum in our country is a sign of Russian civil society’s maturity and its increasing role in resolving the most important state issues. This meeting provides a good opportunity for exchanging positive experience and discussing new initiatives and the key issues facing democracy’s development.
Regular dialogue and close practical cooperation with colleagues from abroad also lead to new joint projects that benefit people in both Russia and Europe. This kind of fruitful work together is becoming not just a fine tradition but also a sign of our times.
I am sure that your experience and your closeness to people’s problems and hopes will do much to enrich public life in our countries, and the recommendations you produce will find their practical application.”
The Congress is taking place on December 4–7 in Penza, a major industrial and cultural centre 600 km southeast of Moscow. A total of 250 delegates from 20 European countries are taking part in its work.