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“Protection of the Rights of Entrepreneurs in the Russian Federation from Corrupt Practices” (PRECOP RF)

 


The Russian authorities have expressed concern that corruption and bureaucratic pressure on business is one of the main causes which hinders national economic growth and development in the country. It has also been recognized that raiding practices are carried out with the participation of bureaucratic structures or individual officials interested in gaining control of a business. Through the joint project on the “Protection of the Entrepreneurs Rights in the Russian Federation from Corrupt Practices” - PRECOP RF - the European Union (EU) and the Council of Europe (CoE) in cooperation with the Business Ombudsman’s Office in the Russian Federation and other stakeholder institutions aims to facilitate and contribute to the implementation of mechanisms to prevent corrupt practices affecting the business sector in the Russian Federation. Specifically, the project will strengthen the capacity of the Business Ombudsman institutions and other authorities involved in protecting the rights of entrepreneurs in the Russian Federation from corrupt practices.
The project on “Protection of the Rights of Entrepreneurs in the Russian Federation from Corrupt Practices” is a joint action of the European Union and the Council of Europe. The project is implemented by the Council of Europe and has a foreseen length of 36 months starting from January 2013. The total amount of the budget is 1.3 million EUR jointly contributed by the EU Delegation in the Russian Federation and the Council of Europe.

Following are the expected results:
1) Institutions of regional and public Ombudsmen are informed about the role, objectives and competencies of the Ombudsman for the Protection of Entrepreneurs’ Rights under the President of the Russian Federation and international standards and practices of comparable institutions
2) Overview of good practices in CoE member-states and proposals for protecting whistle-blowers in the area of corruption are available
3) Proposals are available to strengthen measures to prevent the misuse of public authorities corporate in conflicts, eliminating competition and forced takeovers
4) Practice of pro bono legal assistance in the protection of the rights of entrepreneurs is expanded
5) Proposals are available on resolving systemic problems of entrepreneurship for the Experts’ Council under the Ombudsman for the Protection of Entrepreneurs’ Rights under the President of the Russian Federation
6) Awareness of the business community is raised with regard to the risks of infringement of entrepreneurial rights and possible methods for their protection
7) ECtHR-case law relevant to entrepreneurs rights and related corrupt practices is made available and disseminated


NEWS...


Coming up soon:

Training for regional ombudsmen and their staff on “Basics of the functioning of the business ombudsmen offices and anti-corruption concepts”
(Moscow, Russian Federation, 24-25 September 2014)

The first training event for regional business ombudsmen and their staff based on a handbook developed specifically for this purpose within the PRECOP RF project will take place in Moscow on 24-25 September 2014.
The aim of the training is to ensure a common approach and procedures to the organization and the functioning of the regional business ombudsmen in the Russian Federation. The training will aim to enhance the performance and set standards for performance of the offices of Business Ombudsmen and of their staff members and experts and will contribute to the better understanding of the national and international anti-corruption standards.
The first training will bring together representatives of the Office of the Federal Business Ombudsman; representatives of the offices of Regional Business Ombudsmen; public ombudsmen; and representatives of the Centre for Public Procedures “Business against Corruption”.
A series of five additional training events will take place in the next nine months to ensure that at least 1 member of staff from each of more than 60 regional offices has attended the training.


Activities in the past:

Workshops on “International and Russian principles and practices of pro bono work”.
(Yekaterinburg, Moscow, Russian Federation, 4 and 6 June 2014)

In June 2014 the PRECOP project organized two workshops on “International and Russian principles and practices of pro bono work”. For this purpose a comparative analysis of the “International and Russian Principles and practices of pro bono work” was drafted by two Council of Europe consultants. The technical paper presents an overview of the currents situation in the Russian Federation regarding the provision of pro bono services, and in addition provides examples of regulation of pro bono in five Council of Europe member states.

The 1st workshop which took place on 4 June at the Atrium Palace Hotel in Yekaterinburg, brought together representatives of the offices of the Federal Business Ombudsman, the Regional Ombudsmen, law firms and other stakeholders who discussed the findings of the comparative analysis and shared their experience of provision of pro bono support in the Russian Federation.

The 2nd workshop  targeted a similar group of participants but from other regions of the Russian Federation and it took place in Moscow on the 6th of June 2014. It was expected that the two workshops resulted with a set of recommendations and next steps which would lead to the improvement of the situation regarding the provision of pro bono services to the Business Ombudsman institutions in the Russian Federation.


Workshop on “Practices of protection of whistle-blowers in the area of corruption in Council of Europe member-states”
(Moscow, Russian Federation, 17 April 2014)

A workshop on “Practice of protection of whistle-blowers in the area of corruption in the Council of Europe member-states took place in Moscow on 17 April 2014. The aim of the workshop was to discuss the current practices of protection of whistle-blowers in other Council of Europe member states in comparison with the practices in the Russian Federation. The participants also discussed the potential solutions for improvements in the Russian Federation.


Workshop on “Strengthening Integrity and Rule of Law measures to prevent misuse of public authority in corporate conflicts, eliminating competition and forced takeovers”
(Moscow, Russian Federation, 14-15 April 2014)

The workshop was organized as part of the activities undertaken within Expected Result 3 of the project on “Protection of Entrepreneurs Rights in the Russian Federation from Corrupt Practices”. The aim of the workshop was to discuss the integrity and rule of law measures in CoE member-states, including the Russian Federation, and other international experience to prevent the misuse of public authorities in: corporate conflicts; eliminating competition; forced takeovers; For this purpose two international and one Russian expert jointly prepared a comparative analysis covering fifteen types of misuse of public authority.
The participants in the workshop  discussed the findings of the comparative analysis as well as discussed proposals for strengthening of integrity and rule of law measures to prevent the misuse of public authority in corporate conflicts, elimination of competition and forced takeovers.


Study visit to the European Court of Human Rights
(Strasbourg, France, 11-12 February 2014)

The project on “Protection of Entrepreneurs Rights in the Russian Federation from Corrupt practices” organised a study visit to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) for lawyers providing pro-bono support to the Federal Ombudsman for the protection of Entrepreneurs Rights in the Russian Federation. The study visit took place on 11-12 February 2014 and aimed to provide the participants with information on the ECtHR case law relevant to the area of protection of the rights of entrepreneurs and help them familiarise with the Court procedures and the steps for reviewing applications by the ECtHR. In this regard the participants participated in a Public Hearing at the European Court of Human Rights on 12 February 2014.

Photo Gallery


Workshop on the "Powers, competencies and practices of Business Ombudsman Institutions"
(Moscow, Russian Federation, 17 December 2013)

A workshop on the “Powers, competencies and practices of Business Ombudsman Institutions” took place on 17 December 2013 in Moscow. The aim of the workshop was to discuss the findings of a comparative analysis of powers competencies and practices of Business Ombudsman Institution in Council of Europe member-states and other international practice compared to the practices and experience in the Russian Federation. Two Council of Europe consultants one international and one from the Russian Federation, presented their findings and engaged in a discussion with the participants in the workshop. As a results a number of recommendations were identified, which will serve as a basis to develop and further strengthen the role of the Business Ombudsman Institution in the Russian Federation.

Photo Gallery


Study visit to the Council of Europe by the personnel of the Federal Ombudsman for the Protection of Entrepreneurs Rights in the Russian Federation
(Strasbourg, France, 6 December 2013)

Upon a request by the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for the Protection of Entrepreneurs Rights in the Russian Federation, the PRECOP facilitated a study visit of the personnel of the Federal Business Ombudsman to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on 6 December 2013.
The aim of this study visit was to provide to the participants first-hand information on the cooperation activities of Council of Europe with the Russian Federation. Following are some of the topics that were discussed during the study visit:
Council of Europe Priorities in the Cooperation with the Russian Federation in 2013/2014- Directorate General of Programmes (DGPROG);
Specific Council of Europe methodologies for evaluation of the efforts against corruption by member states - GRECO;
European Court of Human Rights case law against corruption and whistle-blower protection;
Council of Europe Modus Operandi in the implementation of projects in CoE member States and overview of the activities of the Economic Crime Cooperation Unit (ECCU);
Presentation of CDCJ activities in relation to whistle-blower protection; and
Activities of the Venice Commission in relation to Ombudsman Institutions.


Presentation of PRECOP RF to Journalists on a Study Visit to the Council of Europe
(Strasbourg, France, 20 November 2013)

Within the framework of the Media Neighborhood Project BBC Media Action carried out a Study Tour for Russian Journalists to Strasbourg to provide them with an informed insight on the role of the European Parliament in the process of formulation and implementation of EU’s Policy to Russia. The participants also visited the Council of Europe on 20 November 2013. The focus of the meetings at the CoE was on its activities supported by the European Commission and on relation with Russia. In relation to the above the Economic Crime and Cooperation Unit of the CoE made a presentation of the EU/COE Joint project on the “Protection of Entrepreneurs Rights in the Russian Federation from Corrupt Practices - PRECOP RF” to the group of Russian journalists.


Launching Conference
(Moscow, Russian Federation, 15 October 2013)

The “Launching Conference” of the project on “Protection of the Rights of Entrepreneurs in the Russian Federation from Corrupt Practices” took place on 15 October 2013 in Moscow, Russian Federation. The event was opened by  Mr Vygaudas Usackas, Ambassador, Head of the EU Delegation to Russia, Mr Ivan Koedjikov Head of the Action against Crime Department, Council of Europe and Mr Boris Titov Federal Ombudsman for the Protection of Entrepreneurs' Rights in the Russian Federation.

The launching conference was organized in cooperation with the main partner from the Russian Federation, the Federal Ombudsman for the Protection of Entreprenuers Rights who hosted the event at their office premises. Over 100 participants representing the office of the Federal Ombudsman for the Protection of Entrepreneurs Rights, representatives of the Regional Ombudsman for Protection of Entrepreneurs Rights, Business Associations, Legal Associations, representatives of the EU Delegation and of diplomatic missions from other EU member states attended this event.

The event provided a venue for discussion of the Council of Europe instruments against corruption, the activities foreseen under the project and the training needs for regional ombudsmen.

Agenda


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PROJECT DOCUMENTATION & DELIVERIES

Project Summary
  English/Russian
Description of Action (DoA)
Technical Papers

WORKPLAN/SCHEDULE

Workplan

REPORT / REFERENCES

Inception Report
  English / Russian

PHOTO GALLERY

2013

CONTACTS

PRECOP-Project

PRECOP website in Russian

PRECOP website in Russian