Russian ruling party revives Strategy-2020 election programme
Elina Bilevskaya: "Strategy-2020 Returns" (Nezavisimaya Gazeta Online)
United Russia [One Russia] reviving old formats
United Russia has decided to revive the already slightly forgotten format of Strategy-2020. The plan for development of the country geared to the year 2020 served as the party of power's pre-electoral programme at the last parliamentary elections. But in the last 2 years, it has been recalled less and less. The presidential initiatives on modernization of the country came to the forefront. However, as the new federal campaign draws near, Strategy-2020 has once again become current. According to information of Nezavisimaya Gazeta, a forum of the same name is planned for 29-30 September. It will be held in a new format, and prominent scholars from the West will be invited to participate in the discussion on Russian modernization.
The new forum on "Strategy-2020" will be entitled, "Social Measure of Modernization." There had been plans to hold it already at the beginning of the summer, on the territory of the future Skolkovo innovation city. However, soon this initiative was rejected, and it was decided that the measure would be put off until better times. And now, judging by all, they are here. According to information of Nezavisimaya Gazeta, the measures will be held on 29-30 September. Just in time for the conclusion of the visit by President Dmitriy Medvedev to China. In the presence of the head of state, the presentation of the renovated Russian pavilion at the world Expo-2010 exhibition will take place on 28 September in Shanghai. There, the president will present to the world community the Russian innovators, who are already capable to entering world markets with their inventions.
So that, by holding their forum, the United Russians will in fact take up the baton from Medvedev. This time, they have decided to reject their customary formats. For the first time, the measure will take place without a plenary session. The emphasis will be placed on panel sections. There will be four of them, by analogy with the recent Yaroslavl conference. The most interesting one will be about who stands to gain from modernization.
Leading scientists and public opinion leaders from various countries of the world will come to the party forum. They will include such prominent scientific leaders as the head of the US Economic Strategy Institute Clyde Prestowitz, the president of the Centre for Geoeconomic Studies and professor of the Department of Strategic Studies at the University of Rome, Luis Jean Carlo. It is expected that First Deputy Presidential Chief of Staff Vladislav Surkov will also take part in the discussion. He heads up the work group on development of the Skolkovo innovation city. The United Russians have also sent invitations to First Vice-Premier of Government Igor Shuvalov, Rosatom Director Sergey Kiriyenko and members of the Presidential Commission on Modernization. The forum will be held at the Pashkov House.
During the last parliamentary campaign, the United Russians declared Strategy-2020 as their pre-electoral programme. Already after the elections, they held "Strategy-2020" forums several times -in April of 2008 and in the Spring of 2009. In the summer of 2009, President Medvedev created the Commission on Modernization, in the Fall he spoke out with his report, "Forward, Russia!," and the topic was developed in the presidential message. And Strategy-2020 was gradually forgotten.
But now, the decision has been made to breathe new life into it, one might say -to revive it on the eve of the new electoral campaign. And while before the forum was geared primarily towards the Russian expert community, now the stake is being placed on international participation.
The director of the Foundation for Support of the Civil Initiatives of Strategy-2020, Mikhail Remizov, told our Nezavisimaya Gazeta correspondent that the task of the new forum is to bring the discussion about modernization to a new level, to examine this process in a glob al context. In his words, the debate will be conducted around two concepts. Thus, there is the point of view that modernization may be performed most successfully wherever there is cheap manpower and low public demand. Another opinion is that the main factor of modernization is broad demand. But for that, people must have good wages. The notion that states in fact no longer wage physical wars with each other, but that rivalry has shifted to the economic level, will also be heard at the forum. Modernization is a form of economic war on the international market.
The organizers of the forum would like to involve proponents of various ideological approaches to modernization in the discussions. Diametrically opposing versions will be presented by the rector of the Russian Economic School, Sergey Guryev, by member of the board of the Institute for Contemporary Development (INSOR) Aleksandr Auzanov, and by director of the Centre for Study of Post-Industrial Society, Vladislav Inozemtsev. According to Remizov, there is an idea to turn the forum into a permanently operating platform, so as to renew and update the programme for development of the country to the year 2020.
Source: Nezavisimaya Gazeta website, Moscow, in Russian 17 Sep 10