The Federation Council ended the autumn session, having considered 103 issue at the final meeting

The Federation Council ended the autumn session, having considered 103 issue at the final meeting

MOSCOW, December 25. The Federation Council ended the autumn session. In the last session, the senators discussed 103 question and approved about 90 laws. During the session they reviewed more than 300 legislative acts.

Air operation in Syria

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The Federation Council gave its consent to the Russian President to use Russian armed forces in Syria

Perhaps, the main event of the autumn session of the Federation Council occurred already at the first meeting on 30 September: the house authorized the President to use the armed forces abroad after the application of the official Syrian authorities. The discussion was held behind closed doors with participation of the head of the presidential administration Sergei Ivanov. Later, the speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko told that senators asked many questions about the upcoming military operation and have received assurances that it will exclusively air.

The fight against international terrorism

During the session the issues of combating international terrorism was held in the workplan senators almost more than actual legislative activities. One result of these efforts was the appeal to world parliaments and international organizations, adopted at the plenary meeting on 18 November. The members of the Federation Council called on foreign partners “in the political sphere to eliminate double standards, dividing terrorists into “good” and “bad”, to demonstrate the international community’s ability to overcome their differences in the face of a common threat”. As an example, such Association they led the anti-Hitler coalition, which was comprised of state “different political systems”.

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Russian parliamentarians urged to declare terrorism a crime without term of limitation

Two days later, the senators and deputies held a joint meeting at which they urged to declare terrorism a crime without Statute of limitation and hard to prosecute terrorists and their supporters in all Nations of the world. In a joint statement, Russian lawmakers also called for tougher criminal responsibility for terrorist crimes in Russia. According to Matvienko, members of both houses of Parliament are already working on amendments to the legislation. “When they are developed, we will definitely inform about the content of these proposals,” she said, stressing that the impending proposals “any “emergency” will not be, any contradiction of the Constitution, the rule of law”.

Parliamentary diplomacy

Sanctions against Russian parliamentarians have made adjustments to travel schedules of members of the Federation Council on international activities. Even before the start of the autumn session, the U.S. government gave the head of the Federation Council visa restrictions, which did not allow her to participate in the conference of the inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in new York and in the meeting of women parliamentarians. In protest, the Russian delegation refused to travel to the United States.

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Pushkov: Russia will miss the January session of PACE, if there are no prospects of lifting the sanctions

However, communication of the Russian Parliament with foreign colleagues at the site of the IPU took place. In October in Geneva at the 133rd session of the organization went an unprecedented large delegation of the Russian Federation, composed of speakers of both chambers of the Federal Assembly. During the session of the IPU Assembly, on the proposal of Russia the head of the organization saber Chowdhury made a statement about the inadmissibility of the use of visa sanctions to parliamentarians participating in international forums. According to him, “MPs could not agree to the use of political sanctions against members of Parliament, duly appointed by their parliaments to take part in international events”. He also reiterated “commitment to the principle and policy of the assemblies provided for in the statutes of the IPU, only in those countries where invited all IPU members and observers, and if their representatives are convinced that they will be given required to participate.”

However, the sanctions the Russian delegation at the IPU is not limited. The senators made a proposal to make Russian a working language in the organization and to hold its spring session in 2017 of the Russian Federation. In addition, the head of the Federation Council Committee on international Affairs Konstantin Kosachev was elected to the Executive Committee of the Eurasian geopolitical group and, according to the Charter of the organization, will take the post of Vice President of the IPU. In this capacity, he will be approved at the next meeting, to be held in spring 2016 in Zambia.

Budget, financial discipline and the ECHR

In the deteriorating economic situation in the country and a scarce budget, the senators took a lot of effort to provide additional funds to support regional budgets. As noted, summing up the session, speaker of the Federation Council, many of the proposals of members of the house “were incorporated in the final version of the main financial document”. “In particular, increased by 170 billion rubles (from 140 to 310 billion) of budget credits the amount of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation. This decision has greatly facilitated the planning process of regional budgets,” she said.

At the same time the senators have reinforced financial discipline both for themselves and for regional and municipal parliamentarians. Vice-speaker of the Federation Council Yuri Vorobyov became the co-author of the law providing for early retirement of Federal and regional parliamentarians who have not provided before April 1 of the Declaration on incomes and property. The head of the Federation Council Committee on constitutional legislation and state construction Andrey Klishas proposed to distribute property restrictions applicable to Federal officials and parliamentarians, municipal Council members. According to the Senator, innovation “and focused on the fight against corruption”. “People need to understand how the authorities dispose of economic resources in a difficult economic situation,” he said.

Klishas was a sponsor of one of the resonant document of the law, which allows the Constitutional court (CC) of the Russian Federation to recognize the enforceability of decisions of international courts in protecting human rights, including the European court of human rights (ECHR). According to the Senator, this law is not aimed at ignoring the decisions of the ECHR, but rather on their implementation. The MP explained that so far Federal authorities decide whether the requirements of the ECHR with the Constitution of the Russian Federation. “After the adoption of our law, the Executive authorities will not be able to resolve this issue, but will need to apply to the constitutional court with the inquiry on the subject of whether there is a contradiction of the Constitution or not, and whether the court sees the possibility for implementation of this decision”, – said Klishas.

Plans for the future

Summing up the autumn session of 2015, the Federation Council speaker Valentina Matviyenko said that “ending session was very intense, which is natural, given the difficult international situation and economic and financial”. Next year, said Matvienko, the senators have to “coordinate the work of the Board of legislators” and asked colleagues “to maximize the potential of the Council of legislators to promote the interests of regions”. The main political event of the coming year, she said the elections of deputies of the State Duma. “For our chamber, of course, especially significant is the return of the election of deputies in single member constituencies, which will strengthen regional representation in the State Duma”, – said the head of the Federation Council.

In addition, during the spring session, the senators will be engaged in the implementation of the approved on Friday a plan for implementing the President’s address to the Federal Assembly. “Scheduled a large number of round tables, parliamentary hearings and other events on topical issues in the political, economic, social, cultural development of both the country and regions”, said Matviyenko, stressing that the decision facing the country requires parliamentarians primarily practical actions, including monitoring of law enforcement practice. “Our chamber considers it necessary to strengthen control activities, which we intend to do next year”, – concluded the head of the Federation Council.

The next meeting of the Council of Federation, the opening of the spring session, will take place on 27 January 2016.

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The results of the state Duma for the autumn session 2015