On 16 January, St Petersburg University hosted a round table discussion of new laws and regulations adopted during the first 100-days of Alexander Beglov, Acting Governor of St Petersburg.

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The results of regulatory work were presented by Ekaterina Aksenova, Chairman of the Legal Committee of the Administration of St Petersburg. She reminded that 69 of the draft laws for St Petersburg and 210 resolutions and government orders have been signed since October 2018. More than a third of all regulatory acts regulate the social sphere.

Besides the social component, the regulatory acts adopted are aimed at implementing the objectives of the May decree of the President of Russia and creating a basis for the further strategic development of the city. 'In a short period of time a legal foundation has been formed, which will allow further legislation in developing areas,' said Ekaterina Aksenova. According to her, one of the main principles voiced by the Acting Governor in the first days of his work is the legal impeccability of the documents adopted.

St Petersburg should become the legal capital, a template for legislative work.

Ekaterina Aksenova, Chairman of the Legal Committee of the Administration of St Petersburg

The participants noted the importance of a strategic approach in management. Representatives of the scientific community emphasised the high level of performance of the government bodies.

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According to Elena Anokhina, Associate Professor in the Department of Management and Planning of Social and Economic Processes at St Petersburg University, a large number of important documents on the strategy of social and economic development of the city until 2035 and the extension of the current General Plan until 2021 have been produced within three months. Thus, St Petersburg is gradually regaining its leadership in strategic planning due to its expertise and scientific and managerial potential. Currently, the city has initiated the formation of a regional Strategic Management Standard.

Olga Bezrukova, Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology of Youth and Youth Policy at St Petersburg University, noted that recently the social orientation of the budget of St Petersburg increased: new measures of social support were adopted, and the possibilities of using maternity capital expanded.

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The expert suggested that further work should focus on family and child support areas. She welcomed the introduction of Father's Day in St Petersburg and the development of new child protection measures. She called for the development of support to families, young parents, and children in difficult circumstances.

According to Dmitrii Petrov, Associate Professor in the Department of Commercial Law at St Petersburg University and Doctor of Law, the most important area of work for the Government of St Petersburg and the Legislative Assembly should be the creation of a favourable business climate. The first steps have already been taken: the City Development Strategy identifies priorities for business as well. Another important document, according to the expert, is the St Petersburg government order ‘On the approval of the key indicators of competition in economic sectors of St Petersburg’. The expert believes that the next step should be the identification of areas requiring the development of competition and detailed road maps for the implementation of key strategic areas.

According to Ekaterina Dmitrikova, Associate Professor in the Department of Administrative and Financial Law at St Petersburg University, the measures on improving control and supervision activities will also contribute to the development of entrepreneurship.

The transition to a risk-based approach will reduce the burden on business and redistribute the resources of control and supervision bodies. In other words, the regulations adopted allow law-abiding businesses to feel more comfortable and secure.

Ekaterina Dmitrikova, Associate Professor in the Department of Administrative and Financial Law at St Petersburg University

The participants also discussed changes in migration policy and labour legislation. There was a general consensus that many pressing issues for the city have finally been addressed, and this is the main result of the first 100 days of the new administration of St Petersburg.

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Sergei Belov, Dean of the Faculty of Law at St Petersburg University, noted that it is very significant that the new head of St Petersburg is ready to involve the expert community in the work of the city government. St Petersburg University not only conducts research that could help in developing solutions for government agencies, but also has expertise that could be implemented on a city scale in St Petersburg. First of all, it is about transparency: anyone from the University can suggest changes and amendments to any local act of the University. All proposals are carefully examined, reviewed and posted on the Virtual Reception webpage. Special attention is paid to making sure that the acts are clear to those to whom they are addressed. St Petersburg University also has unique experience of the successful introduction of separate waste collecting, which not only improves the environment, but also results in significant cost savings. As a federal expert institution, St Petersburg University is actively involved in monitoring the practice of implementing regulatory acts and providing feedback. It allows the assessment of the progress towards the targets, set by the law adopted and how this law is implemented. ‘All significant laws should be discussed by experts and specialists, and the proposals of the roundtable participants are to be taken into account in future work,’ added Ekaterina Aksenova.