The Closing Conference of the project on “Protection of the Rights of Entrepreneurs in the Russian Federation from Corrupt Practices” took place on 11 December 2015 in Moscow, Russian Federation and was attended by more than 125 participants representing the office of the Federal Ombudsman for the Protection of Entrepreneurs Rights, Regional Ombudspersons for Protection of Entrepreneurs Rights, Business Associations, Legal Associations and representatives of the EU Delegation.
The Closing Conference was an opportunity for Regional Business Ombudspersons to assess impact of project activities at the regional level; to take stock on the status of the Recommendations of experts discussed at various project activities and present potential follow-up project.
The Closing Conference was opened by Boris Titov, Federal Business Ombudsman of the Russian Federation. He praised the work of done within the Project as it successfully contributed to sharing good practices and the experience from other countries by taking into account the circumstances in the Russian Federation. He specifically praised the activities addressed to Regional Business Ombudspersons and pro bono lawyers. He noted that experts reports effectively contributed to shape his position vis-à-vis other public authorities. As an example he mentioned the exchange of views with General Prosecutor Yury Chaika on interim measures on detention conditions in Yekaterinburg on 28 October 2015.
Council of Europe was represented by Jan Kleijssen, Director of Information Society and Action against Crime, DG-I who reiterated the importance the Council of Europe attaches to the fight against corruption and affirmed the success of the project in the actual strengthening of the Federal Business Ombudsman institution, thus contribution to the improved situation with the protection of entrepreneurs rights against corrupt practices. He particularly praised the ownership of project activities and results shown by beneficiaries and confirmed that a second project phase was under preparation.
European Union Delegation was represented by Luis Portero, Head of Economics and Trade section. He reminded participants that the project was co-financed within EU-Russian Partnership established in 2010 aiming to sponsor reforms and raising competitiveness. He expressed satisfaction on the results of the project. For him, it was “key to maintain contacts” while there is neither competition nor disagreement on the field. As a conclusion, he quoted Ban Ki Moon to underline that corruption is an attempt to human rights.
Konstantin Nikitin, Acting Deputy Head of the State Economic Regulation Department of the Ministry of Economic Development underlined the necessity to mobilise business communities in the effort to strengthen the fight against corruption. The project has contributed to this goal and effectively supported the joint working group established between business communities and public authorities.