Expert opinion


In most countries, the leading political forces, united in parties and blocs, engage in a very active international life independently or with help of specialized funds or other public institutions, and thus largely determine conditions not only for themselves, but for the world as a whole. Off the top of my head: let us focus on neighbouring China, where the leading political party - the Communist Party of China - conducts their international activities on every continent round-the-clock. In the CPC, many hundreds of masters of party diplomacy do that on a professional basis (not to mention the parliamentary corps of the RPC and their traditional Ministry of Foreign Affairs diplomatic service, which also enforces the decisions of the CPC Central Committee). This point could be challenged due to Chinese case being rather unique and based on the country’s political system, with its official core as CPC. But next to China is Japan, which has a completely different political culture and is part of the leading Western states’ unit – G7. There, party diplomacy is also taken earnestly, especially within the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan. For the record, the United Russia party (UR), which the author is much honored to represent in the international arena, maintains long-term partnerships with both aforementioned parties. What is more, there are a lot of permanently functioning international platforms for inter-party discussions, with the leading one (in terms of overall coverage of parliamentary parties) being the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP), headquartered in Seoul. UR, by the way, has been represented there for more than 10 years at the level of the Standing Committee (the key body of the ICAPP structure). Overall, the party of parliamentary majority in Russia has stable mutually beneficial ties with more than fifty parliamentary parties of Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America (parties of the US and Canada do not practice broad international inter-party contacts, limiting to ties within the Anglo-Saxon realm). Even from such a short description it is clear that it is difficult to maintain diverse connections in the global world without modern information technology. We came to a similar conclusion a few years ago and proposed back in October 2017, within the framework of a large multinational inter-party assembly in Moscow, to create, by joint efforts, a digital platform to improve the efficiency of international interactions with our partners and between them in bilateral and multilateral formats. The idea received support from most of the four hundred participants of the October forum, but the actions became possible only in current year - 2020. And the reason that accelerated this difficult process of mastering the digital space for the party diplomacy purposes, as well as for many other spheres, was the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, exactly three years later, the International Commission of the United Russia presents the first version of such a global cross-party Internet platform. Its working title is “International Interparty Internet Platform” (IIIP). To begin with, it will “speak” in Russian, English and Chinese, and the first significant event held with the IIIP will be the inter-party forum “SCO+”, planned by the United Russia within the framework of the Russian chairmanship of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in October 21-23 this year. The author hopes to write a separate material about this forum in the upcoming days, and as what for now, I would like to emphasize that IIIP begins its global operation on a trial basis since October 1, 2020 at the address: In the United Russia, we view the international inter-party platform as a common space for the work of all our partners, and are ready for its joint promotion and development. I would especially like to draw your attention to the fact that within the IIIP framework, it is planned to organize the work of the “Expert Club”, a place for discussions on the most pressing and important topics for the world nowadays and its foreseeable future. For its part, the United Russia International Commission presents a group of prominent experts by the end of October, and expresses hope for participation of the foreign colleagues in the joint constructive work. The IIIP will also get its own news feed, involving information messages from the sites of partner parties. We hope that after a while we will create a community of authors running individual blogs in the languages of the first cross-party international platform. In the near future, the platform may acquire its own virtual multilingual EXPOCENTRE. The latter, I hope, will be interesting and useful also to the business circles of the countries we represent. For bilateral and multilateral online contacts (both in private and open modes), it is envisaged to create a special platform segment - “Meeting Point”. There are other ideas that the inventors of the IIIP hope to test in the near future. The platform itself and most of the events on its basis will be available to any Internet user. Welcome!
 Chairman of the International Commission of the Presidium of the General Council