1.2 National youth law
On this page
On this page
The Law on Youth Policy Framework was approved in 2003 (with amendments in 2005 and 2018). It is a national law establishing the principles of the implementation youth policy.
The Law on Youth Policy Framework establishes principles of the implementation of youth policy, fields of the implementation of youth policy, organization and management of the implementation of youth policy. It also establishes the terms of youth organizations as well as youth organization councils. It names responsible institutions at the national level (State Council of Youth Affairs) and local level. The law establishes the role of municipal coordinators of youth affairs, councils of youth affairs and councils of youth organizations. Seeking to ensure interagency and cross-sectorial cooperation in the sphere of youth policy, the State Council of Youth Affairs was established on the basis of equal partnership while creating the youth policy structure in Lithuania. The State Council of Youth Affairs is a collegial advisory institution, functioning under the Department of Youth Affairs under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour. In designing the Law on Youth Policy Framework young people and their representatives have been consulted by the responsible public authorities. These consultations with young people concerning its implementation and revisions happen systematically.
Youth policy is a purposeful activity that addresses the problems of young people and aims to create favorable conditions for the formation of a young person's personality and his / her integration into the life of society.
The foundations of the current youth policy are enshrined in the 2003 Law on the Framework of Youth Policy. It sets out the main concepts of youth policy, defines youth policy areas and sets out the principles for implementing this policy.
Youth policy in Lithuania is implemented in accordance with the following principles:
- parity and subsidiarity , which means that state and municipal institutions and bodies and youth organizations are equally represented and decisions are taken at the level where they are most effective;
- participation and information - this means that state and municipal institutions and bodies inform young people about issues relevant to them in a form that is acceptable and accessible to them, and youth-related issues are addressed with the participation of young people;
- self-government, autonomy and volunteering - this means that young people voluntarily choose the field of activity, formulate its goals, actively participate in it and are responsible for the fulfillment of the goals; determine the methods, form, responsibility and evaluation of the implementation of the operational objectives;
- interdepartmental coordination, communication and co-operation means that state and municipal institutions and bodies communicate and co-operate with each other in resolving issues related to youth, and Lithuanian youth organizations interact and co-operate with Lithuanian and foreign youth organizations and other natural and legal persons.
The task of coordination of youth policy is assigned to the Ministry of Social Security and Labour. This ministry performs control and supervision of the implementation of the Law on Youth Policy Framework. The task of implementation of youth policy is assigned to the Department of Youth Affairs.
The The Law on Youth Policy Framework was revised and updated in 2005 and 2018. In 2005 the amendments to the Law on Youth Policy Framework were adopted providing for the reformation of the State Council of Youth Affairs to the Department of Youth Affairs under the Ministry of Social Security and Labor and formation of the Council of Youth Affairs to perform the advisory function. The Law on Local Self-Government of the Republic of Lithuania establishing that the protection of rights of children and youth has become the function of the state handed over to municipalities. This had a great effect on the development of municipal youth policy. It meant that since 2003 all municipalities had to establish the positions of coordinators of youth affairs, funded from the state budget. Main functions were provided for the coordinators of youth affairs – to assist the municipal institutions to frame and implement the municipal youth policy. In 2018 the amendments aim at improving the legal regulation of youth policy, ensuring its systematic implementation in Lithuania. The participation of young people in youth work and youth work organizations is also encouraged, thus increasing their involvement in society. The new version of the Law on the Framework of Youth Policy brought more clarity in work with young people and its forms. The requirements for the activities of open youth centers and spaces were established, and their goals were envisaged. The current law regulates the environment that is needed to ensure the proper formulation and implementation of youth policy. This was necessary in order to improve the quality of work with youth.