Govt needs open discussion of existing processes - Medvedev.

MOSCOW, March 18 (Itar-Tass) — Russian president-elect Dmitry Medvedev said he was a supporter of public discussion in the society over the whole range of existing problems.

"I remain a supporter of open discussion - the government needs neither compliments, nor praise-giving on the part of the experts, but an open, full-fledged, public discussion of existing process," Medvedev said at a seminar at the Institute of Modern Development on Tuesday.

"So it was during the work on the national projects, hopefully, it will continue," he added.

"A civil society should have opportunities to control the implementation of welfare policy, and such discussions are one of the forms of this work," he went on to say.

The Institute of Modern Development was set up on the basis of the center for developing information society. Medvedev expressed the hope that this experts' floor would keep its high quality of research and continue to work out effective recommendations for executive bodies.

"We're conducting the first full-fledged event in a different capacity here: hopefully, the center will continue its traditions," Medvedev said.

Medvedev, in the capacity of first deputy prime minister a month ago, accepted the proposal to head the institute's council of trustees.

"I'm hoping the expert examinations which have been profound, comprehensive and powerful, will keep in your subsequent work," he added.

The president-elect reminded that the center for developing information society worked on national projects, too. He extended the hope that the expert community, involved in that work, would help the newly established institute.

"I'm counting on responsible and public discussion of problems," Medvedev said underlining that expert examinations were particularly important in the social sphere, education and health care.

The president-elect, at the Tuesday seminar, proposed to discuss pressing global processes taking place in the world, and their influence upon Russia.

For his part, chairman of the board of the Institute of Modern Development Igor Yurgens told reporters that the participants in the seminar would also consider the situation in the financial sphere.

"We'll analyze what is happening in the United States, how it will affect Europe and what it implies for Russia, which has a chance of becoming an exchange and financial center of Europe," he explained.

Yurgens said the institute's objective is to "work out new ideas and answers to the challenges which the Russian society is facing both inside the country and aboard."

"We'll try to function as an open center, where various points of view may collide, but, on the other hand, part of the discussion may be held behind closed doors, yet the final recommendations will always be available to the public," Yurgens underlined.

He said taking part in the Institute's work would be several hundred experts, in particular from the Russian Academy of Sciences, research centers and public organizations.

"We cannot always tackle the whole range of problems with our own resources; so leading foreign analysts will be invited to participate in the center's work," Yurgens added.