Finding out more about the environment for independent giving in Russia, showing support for Russian donors and the Russian Donors Forum, and working out how European foundations can best work with Russian donors were the three key objectives of the European Foundation Centre Governing Council’s ‘Mission to Moscow’ in mid-October. It seems to have been successful on all counts.
The two-day mission consisted largely of meetings with government ministers and corporate leaders. With acceptance as part of Europe an openly expressed desire, both groups seemed keen to benefit from whatever the Europeans might offer. ‘It would be very interesting to analyse European laws on foundations and tax and see what is useful for the Russian system,’ said Deputy Minister of Education Viktor Bolotov at a meeting at Interros Holding Company HQ. ‘Russia has new laws that are not working,’ he candidly admitted. Their programme for modernizing Russian education could benefit from foreign expertise – ‘not copying but trying to take something positive’. He hoped the meetings with the EFC would become regular and would lead to joint activities.