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About

Civic Chamber of the Russian

The Russian Chamber was formed in three stages, in line with the Russian federal law ‘On the Russian Chamber’, № 32, of  April 4, 2005. In the first stage, following consultations with NGOs and other associations, President Putin appointed to the Chamber 42 Russian citizens who had performed special services to the state and society. After confirming in writing their agreement to work in the Chamber, the 42 were approved by a presidential decree.

A group of representatives of the 42 organised a call for applications from national Russian NGOs for their representatives to become members of the Chamber. On 15 November 2005, the 42 original members of the Chamber elected to it 42 representatives from 42 national Russian NGOs via preferential voting.

In the third stage, the members of the Council (now 84) chose 42 representatives from regional and inter-regional organisations. The members of the Chamber formed 7 initiative groups (one per federal okrug [district] of Russia), which initiated the process for preparing meetings in constituent entities of the Russian Federation and conferences in its federal districts. Each federal district conference put forward a list of candidates, from which 6 per district were provisionally elected.

The Chamber’s formation was fully completed on December 23, 2005.

The Chamber’s first plenary session took place on January 22, 2006 in the Kremlin’s Saint George’s Hall, and was attended by President Putin. During it, the Chamber is Council and Rresident were elected, and the Vice-Presidents of the Chamber and the Chamber’s Rules of Procedure were confirmed.

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The Russian Public Chamber has 126 elected members. Three-quarters (94) of them are men; a quarter (32) are women. 60% of the members are over 50, 40% are between 30 and 50, and 3 are under 30.

All the members of the Chamber have completed, or are completing, higher education. They include 23 PhDs (almost a sixth of the total and 37 PhD) (almost a quarter of the total). 21 of the members have the academic title of reader or professor, and 8 of the members are corresponding members or academicians of the Russian Academy of Sciences or the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences.

In terms of their principal occupation, 22 of the Chamber’s members are academics, 16 are political scientists or economic analysts, 15 work in the arts and culture, 14 are lawyers, 12 are journalists or literary figures, 8 are religious leaders, 7 are entrepreneurs, 5 are doctors, 4 are education experts, and the remaining 23 have other occupations.

The terms of office for members of the Public Chamber runs for two years from the date of the Chamber’s first plenary session.

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Within the Chamber, 17 commissions, with sub-commissions focussing on various areas, have been set up. In addition, the Chamber’s members participate in working groups, which include experts from NGOs and other private citizens.

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In line with the Russian federal law, ‘On the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation’, № 32, of April 4, 2005, one of the Public Chamber’s functions is to facilitate coordination between the socially significant interests of citizens of Russia, NGOs, and national and local authorities, in order to resolve the most important problems of economic and social development, to ensure national security, and to defend the rights and freedoms of citizens of Russia, the Russian constitutional system, and the democratic principles of the development of civil society in Russia, through

1) involving private citizens and NGOs in the implementation of government policies;

2) putting forward and supporting civil initiatives that are of national importance for Russia and are aimed at implementing the rights, freedoms and legal interests of private citizens and NGOs;

3) holding public (or other) reviews of draft federal bills and bills of constituent entities of the Russian Federation, as well as draft regulations of Russian executive bodies and of local authorities;

4) executing public (or other forms of) control over the activities of the Russian government, federal executive bodies, executive bodies of constituent entities of the Russian Federation and local authorities, in line with current federal law;

5) drawing up recommendations for Russian government bodies on defining priorities for government support for NGOs and other associations of Russian citizens that aim to encourage civil society in Russia;

6) providing informational, methodological and other forms of support to the public chambers set up in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation.

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