the press service of the Federation Council
The Constitution of the Russian Federation 23 years old. The date is not commemorative. But, as often happens with historical events, their value is realized the more and deeper the farther they are separated from us in time. This fully applies to the Constitution of the Russian Federation. The basic law, according to which the state, society we live all these years, was adopted in the period when the country was facing a really difficult choice. Prominent Spanish painter Salvador Dalí is a painting that he called “Premonition of civil war”. Here is the feeling in the Russian society in the second half of 1993. Tighten the stay of the country in the same condition in which it was then, it would be tantamount to playing Russian roulette.
The adoption of the Constitution of the Russian Federation drew a line under a period of civil disorder that threatens the emergence of massive and severe civil conflict, preserved the political unity and territorial integrity of Russia. The Constitution adopted the unified principles, norms, rules of life. And, more importantly, has put Russia on a path of setting out the rights and freedoms of the individual, the rule of law, democratic political system, formation of market economy, Federative statehood.
All these years Russia lives in full accordance with the Constitution. During this time much has been done. If you look at the results of the past years unbiased, then, in my opinion, they can be assessed only positively. Of course, the problems are still there. Especially in recent years. The reason for that as the international factors are the first attempts of external pressure, sanctions, propaganda war, — and our own shortcomings. However, the influence and authority of Russia in the international arena remains high, the Russian state operates stably, the Foundation of economy, social sphere and is durable.
Thus, the Basic law has undergone a serious test of reliability, the ability to ensure the sustainable management of the country in difficult conditions. And he passed this exam. We saw firsthand: the Constitution contains tools that allow the state to make political decisions, legislative acts, to implement other measures necessary to protect national interests and ensure economic and social stability.
The Constitution gave a powerful impetus to the development of parliamentarism in our country. Russia was to it difficult way. We can say that in our country it was born in agony. You know how dramatic was the fate of the Parliament in the Russian Empire. In the USSR, its role was also largely decorative.
Today, things have changed. If 23 years ago abroad, and part of our society, the word “Parliament” in relation to Russia is perceived with a fair amount of irony, that today our country has a system of legislative and representative government that meets all modern criteria in this area. No important government decision is not accepted and not performed in our country in circumvention of the Parliament. As a chamber of regions, Council of the Federation provides a direct representation of their interests at the Federal level. We strive to continuously expand the forms and methods of such representation. So, soon will enter into force drafted with the participation of our chamber a document defining the main directions and mechanisms of the new state regional policy.
To estimates, opinions, suggestions, initiatives of the parliamentarians of Russia listen to the international community. The authority and influence of the national Parliament is eloquent testimony to the fact that the 137-I Assembly of the inter-Parliamentary Union will be held next year in St. Petersburg.
Undoubtedly, this is the result of the fact that for the Russian state, Russian society, the Constitution is an effective tool of legal activities, and other issues related to the development of a truly national legal system. But its role is not exhausted. The capacity of our state, a high degree of political stability, consolidation of society is to a very large extent the result of the fact that Russia’s Constitution is an act enshrining civil consent in the country on the principles of state and society, which became the basis of civil identity of the multinational people of Russia. In a series of fastening country of values, a common historical destiny of the Russian people and their national unity, respect for the rights and freedoms of the individual, respect for the law, the worship of ancestral heritage and love of country, faith in justice and the pursuit of prosperity, a decent life for everyone. This, in my opinion, is what is called the Russian national idea. At least, the essence of this idea.
This aspect of the Basic law is becoming today of paramount importance. As noted by the President of Russia Vladimir Putin in the message to the Federal Assembly, coming in 2017 — the centenary year of the February and October revolutions. “The lessons of history, — said the head of the Russian state — we need first of all for reconciliation, to strengthen the social, political, civil harmony, which we managed to achieve”.
We parliamentarians in the legislative activities needs to fully realize the potential of the Constitution as the social contract, of the source of legal and moral ideas, rules facilitating the consolidation of peace and cooperation of all peoples and citizens of Russia, regardless of their nationality, religious affiliation, social status. We this work has not yet proceeded. Meanwhile, all necessary to maintain civil peace and harmony, prevent threats to the political, social, cultural, spiritual division of our society in the basic law there. Therefore, the task is not to seriously change something in it, and in the development and utilization of his intellectual, ideological wealth to ensure political-legal, spiritual development of Russia in the long term.
This does not mean that we have to consider the Basic law as something immutable and not subject to adjustment. It needs to respond to new phenomena, processes, and urgent needs of the society. We’re aware of that. For 23 years, the Constitution made several changes point character. Despite their importance they do not affect the political and legal nature of the institutions of state and society. And, in my opinion, the request for such profound changes will occur very soon, beyond what is called foreseeable future.
The Constitution is the founding document not only for the government but for the citizens of Russia. Ordinary people do not have to know all the laws, but the Constitution he is obliged to know, since she is his trusted compass in relations with the state, society, employment relations, in General in almost all spheres of life. That is why the knowledge of Russian citizens to the Basic law of the country should be the number one task within the formation of legal culture of society.
Voltaire belongs to the statement: “Freedom is to depend only on laws”. This is acceptable provided that these laws do not infringe, do not abolish the rights and freedoms of the individual. Our domestic laws have always been like this, we must continue to ensure the supremacy of the Constitution throughout the territory of Russia, to prevent anything that leads to a weakening of its role of guarantor of the sovereignty of the country, an instrument to defend our national interests.