JRL HOME - RSS - FB - Tw - Support

Civil Initiatives Committee a Cross Between Public Movement, Think Tank — Gontmakher
Interfax - 4.9.12 - JRL 2012-66

MOSCOW. April 9 (Interfax) - The Civil Initiatives Committee is an independent think tank that will lobby various ideas, including those connected with political reform, said Yevgeny Gontmakher, a member of the Committee and of the Contemporary Development Institute's executive board. Map of Russia

"Of course, our committee will deal with political issues and with the political and judiciary systems. This being so, we will be active players on the political scene as professionals who can propose a constructive agenda," he told Interfax on Monday.

"I hope a network structure will be created and we will have likeminded people in the regions. We are committed professionals who want to play a role in shaping a choice of ideas and models, so people will be able to decide on their own what they want to do about Russia," Gontmakher said.

The circle of likeminded people on the Committee will be actively promoting their initiatives, he said. "We will lobby and promote ideas, not just deliver reports. They want to get reports implemented and we will work strenuously to get this done," he added.

The Committee is a cross between a public movement and a think tank, he went on to say. It will not have a legal status, as it is neither a foundation, nor a political party. It is a mix of a public movement and a think tank, working on behalf of professionals and with their participation. We do not act on Putin's or Medvedev's behalf," Gontmakher said.

Regarding competition and polemics with other prominent think tanks, competition is possible with communities that are not orientated to radical political reform, he said.

"There are think tanks sharing positions which we reject," he continued "In our opinion, for instance, political reform must be more thorough. There are think tanks under United Russia's control, which think the opposite. In this sense, we are in a state of competition with them," he said.

The Committee is comprised of representatives of various think tanks. "Igor Yurgens (the head of the Contemporary Development Institute) and I have joined the Committee as private individuals. Relations with other think tanks could be those of cooperation, and if competition is involved it can only be intellectual. There are people on our committee who also participate in the Open Government. Dmitriyev, the chief of the Strategic Projects Center, is a member of the Committee, as well," he said.

An author of the idea to set up the Committee, ex-finance minister Alexei Kudrin, earlier said that the Civil Initiative Committee has an emphatically non-party format and aims to facilitate the development of civil society through cooperation with professionals in various political forces.

"We are prepared to cooperate on concrete problems with concrete professionals. We think it has a non-party format, and we want to cooperate with specialists from any party, including the governing party," Kudrin said.

Keywords: Russia, Economy - <