Mechanisms of Formation of Strategic Priorities of Social and Economic Development at the Federal Level

In the present-day state management practice, the role of strategic planning in which setting of priorities and development objectives is an important component – otherwise efficiency of the state system is impossible – is growing.

However, the review of the legislation of the Russian Federation has shown that none of the documents includes a precise definition of such notions as “strategic priorities” or “priorities of the social and economic development”. Priorities were formulated simultaneously in different documents. They may not be specified altogether in the documents of strategic planning, but at the same time may exist without bias from the point of people, representatives of business and state and municipal authorities.

Formation of the above priorities takes place under the effect of exogenous and endogenous factors.

Exogenous factors behind formation of strategic priorities are represented by the specifics of development of global markets of primary products and commodities, global economic trends, demographic dynamics of the world’s different regions, climate changes and foreign policy relations. In particular, they include the following: policies pursued by foreign countries; hostilities; dynamics of prices on export goods (primarily oil) in the global market; scientific and technological progress and emergence of new technologies; natural and man-made disasters; human migration; sanctions (both declared and concealed ones); international agreements and other.

Endogenous factors behind formation of strategic priorities include changes in trends and a regular pattern of development of economic sectors and social sphere, population and natural and technological systems inside the country, including changes in the attitude of households, public authorities and business to some or other issues of social and economic development. Endogenous factors can be formed from the “above” (orders of the President and resolutions of the Government) and from the “below”, that is, stem from regional authorities, business and people.

In development of the list of priorities in different documents of strategical planning, it is effective to form priorities within simple matrixes made up on the basis of estimates of exogenous and endogenous factors. They permit to systemize priorities and avoid overlapping and inconsistencies. Such an approach is actively used abroad. The EU’s strategy till 2020 and strategies of its member-states formulate, for example, the following three complementary priorities: “intelligent growth” (economic development based on knowledge and innovations), “stable growth” (promotion of resource-saving, environmentally-friendly and competitive economy) and “inclusive growth” (facilitation of employment of the population provided that social and territorial unity is maintained), as well as goals in the following five lines: employment, research and innovations, ecology and power-engineering, education and poverty fighting.

The important specifics of the EU’s strategic planning documents consists in a lack of “sectorial” linking of priorities for the first-level documents; objectives and priorities are interlinked and vital to all the areas of economic development. It is to be noted that such issues as national security, defense and preservation of cultural identity are not listed among priorities. Strategic priorities are aimed at integration of the EU member-states and upgrading without taking into account exogenous factors of development.

At the same time, in regulatory acts of the Russian Federation detailed information is not given on the guidelines for formulation of strategic priorities of the social and economic development in preparation of documents on definition of objectives and accounting thereof in other documents of strategic planning. Interrelation of such documents is ensured not only by control over fulfilment of general requirements on the part of the Government and the Accounts Chamber, but also the quality of development of individual documents.

It seems logical to specify development priorities in the strategy of social and economic development of the Russian Federation. No less important is determination of concrete measurable objectives in compliance with those priorities, as well as further detailing thereof in sectorial sections of the strategy and documents on planning and programming, primarily, in government programs as the main instruments of implementation of the state policy in respect of which responsible executive agencies are assigned from among executive authorities.

Vladimir Klimanov – Doctor of Economics, Head of the Department of State Regulation of the Economy, School of Public Policy, RANEPA