Community Forum of Active Citizens 2018-11-02 18:10:00 Moscow The President spoke at the Fourth Community Forum of Active Citizens. This year the forum focused on the development strategy of the country and civil society. The forum has been held by the Civic Chamber since 2015, offering a venue for exchanging views and developing solutions between civil society, business, and the authorities. * * * The President’s speech at the plenary session of the Fourth Community Forum of Active Citizens President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends. I am very happy to see all of you and to have the opportunity to welcome all of you and thank you for your work. This is a very good tradition – and it has indeed become a tradition – that we always meet on the eve of our holiday, National Unity Day, a holiday that has many positive implications. This implies that at all times (even before Minin and Pozharsky) it was clear and became obvious in this dramatic period of our history that the power of the people is inexhaustible. What we now call civil society is a great internal creative force. If combined with the efforts of the state, it creates incredible opportunities for national development. Your current forum is devoted to the analysis and prospects of implementing national projects that have been adopted by the Government in the wake of the Address to the Federal Assembly and the Presidential Executive Order this year. I consider this extremely important. It is important because it can and should pool our efforts in making a breakthrough in Russia’s development. I have just had the opportunity and pleasure to hear about some of the projects and the people that have created them. What can I say? These are sincere, inherently beautiful and wonderful people that are enthralled by their projects and get others interested in them. They are really helping people, helping to organise remarkable efforts and achieve wonderful results. I would like to assure you that we will also do everything we can to support your efforts. Let me recall that in the past six years we have allocated an impressive 30 billion rubles for the activities of NGOs. This year we will also earmark 8 billion, the same for next year, and no less in 2020. On the whole, I hope very much that this work will be expanded, and will include both small towns and rural areas. Starting this year, we will allot funds for NGO volunteers in rural areas, which is very important and in very high demand as well. I have just had the opportunity to learn about one project like this for the countryside. Friends, I know that after this meeting, the winners of the contest My Project for My Country will receive their awards. I would like to congratulate the winners and wish all of you success in your wonderful and noble work that our country and our people need so much. I wish you all the best. Thank you very much.