Vladimir Putin has delivered a speech at the St. Petersburg Council of Legislators. Russia’s President urged the deputies to devote meticulous attention to lawmaking and, above all, to be heedful of the public’s aspirations. As Putin pointed out, “Undoubtedly, everybody wants to look respectable and take decisions which will be manna from heaven. However, you cannot count on a miracle; this is not the case. Decision-making must be informed, reality-based, reflecting our capabilities and popular demands. In addition, one must meet ordinary people as often as possible and talk to them to be aware of their needs”. Duma’s Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, Co-Chairman of the Council of Legislators, also commented on the quality of legislation. “The previous session of the Council revolved around the laws which had been shelved for two or three years. They cannot be enacted, as we lack the appropriate regulatory framework. In this context, we have agreed with the Government on the necessity to report on draft bylaws before the third hearing. This should further enhance the quality of decision-making and accelerate the implementation. On discussing the issue with the Russian government, the relevant adjustments were suggested to the government of the Russian Federation as well as amendments were made to the State Duma’s bylaws,” said Volodin.
Commenting on the situation to the Rethinking Russia think tank, Mikhail Remizov, President of the National Strategy Institute, pointed to the uniqueness of the format and, in essence, the unprecedented character of the interaction platform.
– The Council of Legislators is vital to integrate regional agendas proposed by local policymakers and administration, into the federal one. In a sense, the Council of Legislators can be compared with the Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly as the regional political elite are actively involved in both cases. However, it is the Council of Legislators that oversees and manages the establishment of an interregional agenda. Take, for example, the initiative to pass tougher laws to control the flows of foreign citizens. It was launched by the Head of the Legislative Assembly of the Tver Oblast. It has already been enacted as a ban on the registration of a large number of citizens with a limited space.
Thus, we see a remarkable example of interaction between the legislative and executive branches at different levels, with the head of state directly engaging in the dialogue.