The constitutional powers of the President in defining the basic domestic policy guidelines follow from the President's status as the head of state, who ensures the concerted functioning and interaction of all bodies of state power. The legal framework of this presidential prerogative is conditioned by the fact that basic policy guidelines must be in compliance with the Constitution and federal laws.
Under the Constitution, the President is not empowered to determine the full range of short-, middle- and long-term objectives and targets of domestic policy, but only its basic guidelines. They are to be implemented both by the President himself and by the governmental bodies of the Russian Federation within the bounds of their authority. The extent to which the President may give direct orders on implementing his domestic policy guidelines is indissolubly linked with the principle of the separation and independence of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of power.
The President's right to give direct orders on implementing domestic policy is most fully realized in his relations with the Government. The President has the authority to determine the composition of the Government and the procedures adhered to in its work. As the head of state, the Commander in Chief and the Chairman of the Security Council, the President has the right to preside over meetings of the Government and to give orders to the Government and to federal bodies of executive power in charge of defense, security, domestic and foreign policy, preventing emergency situations and providing disaster relief. The President shall also present annual messages on the budget to the Government.
The implementation of the basic domestic policy guidelines set by the President is much more complicated and multilayered as it pertains to the Federal Assembly. Like the Government, the parliament plays an active part in defining the basic domestic policy guidelines: It adopts federal laws, resolutions, statements and declarations.
The President's fundamental positions on domestic policy issues are expressed in his written decisions regarding draft federal constitutional laws and draft federal laws, as well as his letters explaining the reasons for rejecting draft federal laws. The President may veto legislation passed by the chambers of the Federal Assembly. To override a presidential veto the chambers must reconsider the legislation and approve it by a majority specified by law.
Within the bounds of the authority granted to the head of state by the Constitution and other laws, the President also shapes the basic domestic policy guidelines by issuing legal regulations and through organizational and regulatory activity, such as issuing decrees and executive orders. The President's position on basic state policy guidelines is laid out in a key document, the Address to the Federal Assembly. The Constitution stipulates that the President shall present annual statements to the Federal Assembly on the situation in the country and on the basic directions of state policy.
Since 1994 the President has annually addressed members of the Federation Council and deputies of the State Duma, presenting his assessment of the situation in various spheres of public life and formulating his views on fundamental aspects of state policy. The priorities outlined in the address are important guidelines for the Federal Assembly and the Government. The President's position on issues of domestic policy is taken into account by both the parliament and the Government in planning law-making activities, and by lawmakers in determining their positions on draft legislation. The President's assessments and priorities as formulated in his address significantly affect public opinion on key aspects of domestic policy. According to existing practice, the President formulates basic domestic policy guidelines not only in decrees and addresses, but in other public appearances as well. These texts are available on the President's official web site.
To help the President exercise his constitutional authority in defining domestic policy, the State Council, a permanent advisory body, has been established.