A dialogue on dialogues: Outlook for global civil society cooperation

Amid global instability, political and economic restrictions, an increasingly important role is being played by formats of international contacts that improve mutual understanding and strengthen trust. The work of such cooperation platforms and the possibilities for their integration have been discussed by the participants in the discussion on Dialogue of Civil Dialogues at the 11th Gaidar Forum at the Russian Presidential Academy.

The discussion was attended by representatives of major international communication platforms, European diplomats and academics from world universities deeply involved in global cooperation. The experts noted that these new forms of international dialogue form the basis for expanding cooperation between state institutions, business and civil societies.

Vladimir Dmitriyev, Co-Chairman of the Russian-Italian Forum-Dialogue, Vice President of Russia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, specifically emphasized that international cooperation platforms help overcome the consequences of political tension. “Last year, during Vladimir Putin’s visit of to Italy, it was decided to resume the Russian-Italian Forum-Dialogue. Until 2014, it was rather a side product of the activity that our leaders showed at international meetings. Of course, we were fully involved in all the dialogues. But after 2014, a decrease in activity in the international arena gave us a chance to demonstrate our interest and dedication to the development of comprehensive relations. Now it is our activity that is pushing the leaders of our countries to communicate more actively,” the speaker said.

Italian Ambassador to Russia Pasquale Terracciano said the global-level dialogue between civil societies is an “anchor” of international relations. And young people should act as the “sail” in these relations, he added. “The European Union calls for the expansion and development of people-to-people ties and for active interaction with Russian civil society. The government could help us a lot – to create the best conditions for this. We could develop international exchanges between students. But it stumbles on the visa requirements. So much for suspicions and fears that someone would steal someone else's ideas and thoughts. We must encourage Russians to come to Europe and other parts of the world,” the diplomat said.

Counsellor for Science and Technologies to the French Embassy in Russia, Dr. Abdo Malac, spoke about the importance of international cooperation in science and research, noting that this could be a catalyst for the global development of an innovative economy. He said technology entrepreneurs and scientists from Russia and France exchange experience within the framework of the Trianon Dialogue. “This kind of cooperation is a way for us to gain access to valuable and useful research projects in Russia. Such contacts can be an important part of our dialogue. Strengthening cooperation will benefit everyone. This work needs to be carried out in a balanced manner – not encourage Russian brain drain to France, but maintain cooperation between scientists,” Dr. Malac said.

The discussion was also attended by Austrian Ambassador Johannes Eigner; Deputy Ambassador of the Netherlands Dominique Kuhling; Raffaele Marchetti, Vice Rector, Guido Carli Free International University of Social Studies (LUISS), Italy; and Nadine Tournois, Dean, IAE Nice Graduate School of Management, University of Nice Sophia Antipolis. The discussion was moderated by Igor Bartsits, Director of the Institute of Public Administration and Civil Service, RANEPA.


The 11th Gaidar Forum, Russia and the World: Challenges of the New Decade, held at the Presidential Academy on January 15 and 16, 2020, focuses on discussing national and global development goals and finding practical answers to the most pressing challenges of our time. The forum is attended by Cabinet ministers of the Russian Federation, members of the Federal Assembly, governors of Russian regions, major international experts, and representatives of foreign states.

11th Gaidar Forum Organizers:

The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA); The Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy (Gaidar Institute); The Association of Innovative Regions of Russia (AIRR).

Forum partners:

General partners: Gazprom, Gazprombank. Strategic partners: Coca-Cola, Mastercard, Russian Railways, Pharmstandard group, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi, Novartis Group, MSD, ACIG Group, EF Education First. Partners: Prosveshcheniye Group, EY, Huawei, RVC, Russian Agricultural Bank.

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