Statement of the VI All-Russia civil forum

    In 2018 a new political stage began in Russia. Our country has come to this stage with a whole set of chronic problems in many areas. These include low economic growth, ineffective management, the isolationist foreign policy, pressure on civil society activists and independent NPOs, the militarization of society and restrictions tendencies in almost all areas of life. There is a danger that we may be stuck in a period of socio-economic stagnation freezing key systemic problems. The first steps of the authorities after the elections do not give confidence that these problems will be solved.

    The citizens of our country once again face the “eternal questions” of the Russian society: Can I influence the situation and how? Does something depend on me now? Can I grow and succeed in my city and my country? Can I be happy here and now?

    We, the participants of the VI All-Russia civil forum , volunteers, employees and donators of thousands of public organizations and civil projects, managers and business owners, public employees  - we are caring citizens who have different political views and work in different areas, share the following principles:

    Each of us influences the situation. You choose by yourself how exactly to act, but it must be remembered that inactivity is also an influence. Our choice is a conscious impact, active and effective, based on constitutional rights and freedoms, cooperation and coordination of the citizens’ efforts. We are inspired by the accumulated positive experience of civil society.

    A lot of things depend on us. Without our participation no one will make the elections in Russia free and fair, courts won’t be open and independent, and schools won’t be the space for development and happiness for children. No one will cope with fires and environmental disasters, no one will create a modern digital economy, no one will stop torture in the police and places of detention and no one will save the lives of those who can be saved. Without our active and professional participation these and many other problems cannot be solved.

    What makes sense of our life? According to the results of the survey there are more happy people among those who constantly and seriously work for the good of the society.

    What are we going to do?

    We will continue to call things like they are. Lack of adequate feedback can cost the country too much. We are not satisfied with the today’s illusion where everyone pretends. We overcame this. To grow you should learn how to recognize existing problems. Without this it is impossible to move forward. And without moving forward a lag is inevitable.

    We call to refuse confrontational politics here in Russia and abroad. A modern free country cannot be closed from the world. It is impossible to develop and be competitive without ties with other countries. The institutions of civil society in Russia are ready to do everything to establish an equal dialogue with other countries as well as with all constructive movements within the country.

    We propose to change the criteria for assessing decisions. The life of people is determined not only by the scale of the allocated and spent funds. The most important criteria for the government and society should be social capital, quality of life and the level of happiness in Russia.

    We will continue to insist on legislative revision restricting the rights of citizens. The level of restrictions in the public sphere in Russia is too high, elective legislation restrains political competition, a number of criminal and administrative norms are vague and incomprehensible which provokes punitive enthusiasm. Instead we all need rules that increase trust in society and increase personal citizenship.

    We focus on the involvement of new members in the activities of civil associations. The scale of civil engagement becomes more important for overcoming systemic problems.

    We will provide information and methodological assistance to civil associations, share local and international practices and experiences and assist in their expansion.

    We will continue to create and support platforms for dialogue between civil associations, expert communities, business and government institutions. We call for dialogue, mutual support and continuous professional development all participants of civil projects - charitable and human rights, expert and educational ones as well as those who are not yet involved in such projects.

    We appeal to all fellow citizens to show solidarity in such important for the whole society actions as: protection of human rights and freedoms, humanization of society, development of local communities, fight with corruption, support of charitable and public organizations and independent media. These topics are important for everyone.

    It will not be easy to get out of the crisis. But we are ready for the marathon. And it is our responsibility to overcome it.

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