NCFD: year of anticipated maturity
By Yekaterina Ageyeva, the head of the Mashuk Expert Club, the head of the chair of state, municipal administration and law at the RANEPA North Caucasian Institute
A year ago, the Russian Ministry of North Caucasus Affairs was formed and the new Russian Plenipotentiary Presidential Envoy, Lieutenant General Sergey Melikov, was appointed in the North Caucasian Federal District. Yekaterina Ageyeva, the head of the Mashuk Expert Club, the head of the chair of state, municipal administration and law at the RANEPA North Caucasian Institute, rounds up the year under the supervision of Melikov.
May 12 is the anniversary of Sergey Melikov's appointment as the plenipotentiary presidential envoy to the NCFD. The plenipotentiary envoy gave an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta, in which he outlined the key problems the North Caucasus was facing in the stated period, and named the priorities and prospects for the future. The head of the federal district paid attention to general and specialized issues, from the organizational structure of the authorities of the NCFD to work with youth.
First of all, Sergey Melikov made a positive assessment for the year-old governing hierarchy, where the Russian Ministry of North Caucasus Affairs engaged in purely economic issues, with the envoy's office, in collaboration with Vice Prime Minister Alexander Khloponin in charge of the territory, focusing on the political element. In 12 months, such a governance model demonstrated endurance and efficiency, as seen in the indicators of development of the region in different sectors.
'A year ago, in my opinion, we managed to establish very intensive collaboration, and today it appears that we ensure a common synergetic effect, each working in their own sector, without impeding others,' the envoy noted.
Concerning facts, the republics of the NCFD have been demonstrating quite impressive indicators, even in the context of the changing financial and political conditions. The development of interregional integration realized in the last months encourages recovery. The district has developed and realized the main approaches to industrial development, where interregional interaction is one of the key factors: industries created in each of the regions piece together into common technological chains, convenient in terms of logistics and fruitful for investors.
It is the conspicuous consolidation of civic society, which has been especially seen in the North Caucasus' support for the return of Crimea to Russia, combating of external ideological and extremist threats, and the unprecedented unification of the multinational population of the NCFD during the celebrations of the 70th Anniversary of the Great Victory. 'A society united by a common value basis can force out any radical ideologies, fight propaganda effects. To a great extent, I base my current work on the conclusions,' the envoy emphasized.
An indisputable and irrefutable achievement of the district is the radical change of the situation around public security. According to Sergey Melikov, the law-enforcement bodies have generally succeeded in dispersing and killing the leaders of the underground militants, depriving them of sustainable external support. As a result, the topic of the activity of terrorists has left the front pages of newspapers.
Special attention is paid to work with youth. Simultaneously, the positive startups initiated by ex-envoy Alexander Khloponin continue. This, first of all, includes the multifaceted and resultative operation of the Mashuk Youth Forum, which will be held for the sixth time this year. In Sergey Melikov's words, it may boast the level of organization and the quality of an educational program comparable with the largest youth platforms of the country. It is broad and substantial voluntary work, the active participation of young people in the grandiose events of the 70th Anniversary of the Great Victory and many other activities.
One of the notable events in the life of the NCFD of the past year is the presentation for the 2000th Anniversary of Derbent. As the envoy emphasized, the celebrations will be held according to schedule. 'The authorities of the country are set to organize the anniversary at a truly federal level, taking into account the uniqueness of Derbent as a cultural treasure chest, and we will accomplish it,' Sergey Melikov concluded the interview.
However, he outlined the goal as a more strategic event than a mere festival. Russia's oldest city is one of the richest in terms of heritage and should be beautified according to its status. Derbent should be turned into a tourism center attractive to Russians and visitors from other countries. Such a systemic approach of the plenipotentiary envoy to accomplishing the outstanding goals cannot be left without commendation.
Noting the topical problems in the region, Melikov touched upon the socio-economic lagging of the regions behind the average Russian indicators. The unemployment level in some republics remains very high, social services have extremely poor access. There is a reason for intensive work and efforts in prevention of ideological threats, especially among young people. The inefficiency of some elements of the system remains a serious problem, they are still closed, clan-based and corrupt. The fight against abuse of power and the slog for improval of transparency and efficiency of state structures in the regions and municipalities has become a key task.
What can be said in general about the achievements of the previous year? Paradoxically, they can hardly be called a roundup. The principled approach of the envoy to the structural problems of the district is quite clear. Modernization of different aspects of life at different stages is not a reason for wishful thinking, it is an uninterrupted process. That is the maturity of the NCFD authorities expected by the president from the new plenipotentiary envoy. It is efficient and dynamic work without any room for slacking or boasting. The previous year was quite demonstrative in that respect.