Joint Meeting of Dialogue Quartet

26 November 2020

November 26th, at the initiative of the Russian-Italian Forum, the leaders and experts of "dialogue" formats of interaction between Russia and Germany, France, Austria and Italy attended a joint meeting. The overarching topic of the event was "Recovery for Development" and participants spoke about their experience of public interaction during a pandemic and made concrete suggestions about how to expand cooperation on ecological, cultural and educational, as well as business matters.

The Co-chairs of the Russian-Italian Forum V.Dmitriev and E.Ferlenghi in their welcome speech underlined the importance of such meetings of civil society forums, which could become a driver of the development of relations between Russia and European countries.

The Co-chairman of the Trianon Dialogue, MGIMO Rector A.Torkunov presented his experience holding key Trianon events in 2020, which in spite of external constraints, were successful in gathering many representatives of civil society from Russia and France. The Rector also spoke about the key projects initiated by the dialogue on the climate and the environment, recalling the photo exhibition and a film festival in Paris dedicated to the Arctic and Antarctic, a French green film festival in Russia and the publication of guidelines for the management of protected areas.

A. Torkunov focused his attention on the projects realised by the Forum such as the Trianon startups meeting, the Russian-French Cleantechs conference on clean technologies, and the Russian-French youth climate dialogue. Meetings in a mixed format, such as the seminar of the Russian State Hydrometeorological University (St. Petersburg) with the Higher Normal School of Paris and the University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines were also a great success. A. Torkunov also spoke about a number of educational events and projects including the January Forum of Rectors of Humanities Universities and a number of publishing initiatives. The Trianon Dialogue offered its support for the publication of a French edition of the textbook by A.Bulatov "The Economy of Russia and CIS countries" and of a unique collection of pastels by the French geographer and polar explorer Jean Malaurie.

The Russian Co-chairman commented on the joint project of the Trianon Dialogue and WWF Russia at the Paris Peace Forum, which made it into the list of the 10 best projects of the forum, and the virtual exhibition “Ecology and New Functionality. The future of relations between man and nature”.

The French Co-Chair of the Trianon Dialogue, Ambassador Pierre Morel underlined the special role played by the Trianon Dialogue’s Coordinating Council, which participates in designing the forum’s projects. When considering the keynote projects of 2020, he singled out the competition for creative writing among schoolchildren "Dear Tomorrow!”. The 10 best projects as a result of the competition on the French and Russian sides were published on the Trianon Dialogue platform.

The Co-chair of the Sochi Dialogue Christoph Leitl spoke about the role of the Civil Society Forums in the main areas of bilateral cooperation including the economy, culture, science and sports.

During the section "Culture, Science and the Academic World", the Coordinator of the Trianon Dialogue, Vice-Rector of MGIMO A.Malgin reminded the audience about the opportunities and projects for the upcoming year. Plans have been made to involve Russian and French regions in the work of the Trianon Dialogue. One of the main initiatives will be cooperation in the area of school education; with a project being launched to publish textbooks for specialized Russian and French schools.

Within the framework of the Forum, partners of the Trianon Dialogue such as the founder and CEO of the Xatech clean technology platform Stanislas Anrion, the Head of the Green Economy program at WWF Russia Mikhail Babenko and the Artistic Co-directors of La Clé des Portes L.Berlinskaya and A.Ancel shared their insights.

The Director of the Forum M.Matveeva described in detail the activities of the Sochi Dialogue, the Secretariat of which is based at MGIMO. She reminded the audience about some successful dialogue projects such as a large-scale e-sports competition and online courses on cultural and historical topics. M.Matveeva also noted that a book presentation about victims of Nazi concentration camps, prepared with the support of the Sochi Dialogue, took place just last week at the Russian Historical Society.

The event was attended by a member of the Federation Council A.Pushkov, the Deputy Chairman (Chief Economist) of WEB.RF A.Klepach, the Head of the publishing house “Sandro Teti Editore” Sandro Teti, the Head of Greenpeace Russia S.Tsyplenkov, the Deputy Director for Science of the Center of Competencies under the auspices of UNESCO of the Saint Petersburg Mining University S. Ivanets, the Director of the Center for the Study of Russian Art of Ca'Foscari University S.Bourni and other experts of the dialogues.

The meeting came to a close with a speech by V.Dmitriev, who once again emphasized the importance of dialogues, including in the economic sphere by supporting small and medium-sized businesses.

The meeting participants thanked the Russian-Italian Dialogue for organizing and holding the forum.