The views of European housing finance experts

The experts who supported the third set of ideas for the organisation of housing finance policy in Russia were German legal and financial specialists (representatives of the Association of Mortgage Banks) and their Russian colleagues from the legal and banking professions. They characterised themselves as representatives of the European model of housing finance (see ECBC, 2008: 52), which provided a paradigmatic alternative to the views shared by Gosstroy.

Position within the policy sub-system

While the IUE worked with Gosstroy, the European mortgage finance specialists cooperated with the State Duma and specifically its deputies with connections to the corporate interests of Russia's medium-size banks. Using European ideas, the banks aimed to raise greater volumes of funding for their mortgage operations. In the Duma, these experts worked with the Committee for Property, Privatisation and Economic Activity, the Committee for Credit Organisations and Financial Markets and the Commission for Mortgage Lending. Among Duma deputies who shared the European ideas were Ivan Grachev, Anatoliy Aksakov and a number of their advisors (Aksakov, 2009a, b; Mezhdunarodnaya, 2000). These actors were connected to the Association of Regional Banks of Russia (Assotsiatsiya, 2009). The legislators and advisors associated with this group from the late 1990s had participated in the development of a number of major legislative acts regulating the Russian banking system, including the Law on Mortgage Securities (Russian finance expert, 2009; Russian banker, 2009; International finance expert, 2009).

Due to the connections these specialists had to the parliament, they could not be classified as 'outsiders' to the policy process. They therefore represented what policy literature (e.g. Sabatier and Weible, 2007) would term a different 'advocacy coalition' within the housing policy sub-system. They had, however, at their disposal lesser resources compared to Gosstroy and its advisors. Moreover, German financial and legal experts and their Russian colleagues began to be involved in the policy of housing finance only from 1997. The beginning of this involvement was related to developments in an adjacent policy domain: the elaboration of the Russian Civil Code, in which the European experts participated from the early 1990s (International finance expert, 2009).

German and Dutch legal advisors worked with a group of Russian civil law experts including such prominent representatives of Russian legal academia as Professors A.L. Makovsky and Ya.A. Sukhanov (Makovskiy, 2008; Medvedev et al., 2007; Makovskiy, 2006). This collaboration was supported by the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation (IRZ, 2008). Once the first two parts of the Code were adopted, their provisions had to be elaborated by specialised laws, one of which was the Law on Mortgages. Thus, German legal and financial experts entered the issue area of housing finance in the second half of the 1990s.

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