1.4 Youth policy decision-making
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The structure of Lithuanian youth policy decision-making is illustrated in this scheme.
The activities of structures of youth policy in Lithuania are governed by the Law on Youth Policy Framework of the Republic of Lithuania. This law establishes the main terms of youth policy and the principles of its implementation as well as defines the areas of youth policy. An important part of the Law is related to the establishment of institutions executing and managing youth policy on the national and municipal level (see also youth policy decision-making scheme in Lithuanian Youth Policy: Legislation, Structures, Good Practices).
National Parliament and Commission for Youth and Sports Affairs control youth policy-implementing institutions. The Commission for Youth and Sports Affairs has the following tasks: 1) to be concerned about framing and implementing the state youth policy; 2) to be concerned about framing and implementing the state sports policy. It is also concerned about the rights of youth, implementation of the state youth policy, giving suggestions on the implementation of objectives and performing parliamentary control, and listening to the announcements of ministries and other state institutions (Department of Youth Affairs, Department of Physical Culture and Sports), as well as assesses the information received.
The coordination and implementation of youth policy in Lithuania is delegated to The Ministry of Social Security and Labor of the Republic of Lithuania. It supervises the implementation of the Law on Youth Policy Framework as well as the implementation of youth policy measures adopted by the EU Commission. The Family and Communities Department of the Ministry has Youth Division with the following functions relevant to youth policy: coordinate the implementation of youth policy, perform national as well as international obligations in the field of youth policy; implement the measures attributed to the division’s competence relevant to the youth policy, implemented by the European Union, the European Council; coordinate the implementation of the state (handed over to municipalities) youth rights protection function. The Department of Youth Affairs under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour implements the objectives of the state youth policy, and supervises the implementation of the Law on Youth Policy Framework. Its main functions are political, executive, and administrative. It acts as a state institution that works out and implements the state youth policy programs and measures, analyses the state of youth and youth organizations in Lithuania, coordinates the activities of the state and municipal institutions in the field of youth policy, as well as performs other activities relevant to youth, youth organizations, and organizations working with youth. The Department of Youth Affairs also implements the objectives of the state youth policy through the application of measures to enhance the motivation and possibilities for youth to acquire education, get work, and engage in active social life; take part in the solution of youth-related problems; develops non-formal education; as well as controls the socialization processes of youth.
The Law on Youth Policy Framework also governs the framing and implementing of youth policy in municipalities. A permanent municipal council for youth affairs (for the duration of the term of office) or an ad hoc municipal council for youth affairs (for the examination of specific matters) may be set up by a decision of a municipal council. A municipal council for youth affairs is set up on the principle of parity from representatives of municipal institutions and agencies as well as youth organisations. A regional youth council can delegate representatives of youth organisations to a municipal council for youth affairs. Municipal institutions frame and implement a municipal youth policy. Different committees of Municipality Council as well as departments, institutions of Municipality Administration (educational institutions, pedagogical-psychological services, jobcentres, institutions of non-formal education (music and art schools, sports centers, etc.), youth leisure centres, cultural centres, museums, libraries, etc.) frame and implement youth policy in municipalities. The coordinator of youth affairs assists the municipal institutions to frame and implementing a municipal youth policy (standard functions are approved by Order No. A1-68 of the Minister of Social Security and Labour of 4 March 2008). The coordinator of youth affairs serves as a mediator between the politicians of the municipality, officers, as well as youth. Coordinators of youth affairs supervise and initiate measures, necessary for the performance of youth policy, as well as, where necessary, carry out youth surveys. With the view of due cooperation in the field of youth affairs, they furnish the institutions and persons concerned with information on the implementation of youth policy in the municipality, cooperate with the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, Department of Youth Affairs, and other institutions, youth organisations, non-formal youth groups, as well as take part in developing cooperation with the municipalities of foreign countries in the field of youth policy
Lithuanian youth organisations have a cooperative approach to the state and the political system. The Council of Youth Affairs is a collegial advisory institution, functioning under the Department of Youth Affairs on social grounds, constituted on the basis of equal partnership from the representatives, delegated by the state institutions and the Lithuanian Youth Council (LiJOT). The task of the Council of Youth Affairs is to deal with the fundamental youth policy problems and give suggestions to the Department of Youth Affairs on the implementation of youth policy that meets the needs of youth and youth organizations. The decisions of the Council of Youth Affairs for the Department of Youth Affairs are of advisory nature only. The Council of Youth Affairs includes 12 members: 6 representatives of the state institutions and 6 representatives of youth organizations, who are delegated by the Lithuanian Youth Council (LiJOT).
The Lithuanian Youth Council (LiJOT) provides suggestions to governmental institutions which work with the problems of youth and youth organizations. LiJOT is the biggest non-governmental, non-profit umbrella structure for Lithuanian national youth organizations and regional unions of youth organizations. LiJOT has 62 members (non-governmental youth organizations) and represents more than 200 000 young people in Lithuania. LiJOT is a full member of the European Youth Forum and is coordinating EURODESK Lithuania.
The main purpose of the Agency of International Youth Co-operation is to ensure the development of international youth cooperation and the successful participation of Lithuanian youth in European Union programs for young people (through financial grants for project implementation).
The main policy themes covered by youth policy are identified taking into consideration the policy areas indicated by the EU Youth Strategy and research evidence.
The National youth policy development action plan for 2020 provides for the goals, objectives, measures, and qualitative and quantitative evaluation criteria for the implementation of the National Youth Policy.
It has the following objectives: 1.1. Ensuring better employment opportunities for young people - promoting economic and social entrepreneurship, creating favourable conditions for young people to actively participate in the labour market; 2.1. Encourage young people to take an active part in public life and develop their civic competencies; 3.1. To develop existing and create new areas favourable for youth employment and education - to provide more opportunities for young people experiencing social exclusion; 3.2. To develop meaningful, active, high-quality youth education in leisure time; 3.3. To form a positive attitude of young people towards family, motherhood, parenthood, childhood and life; 4.1. Provide the necessary support to youth and youth organizations to improve their organizational capacity, and maintain their distinctiveness and coherence; 4.2. To encourage Lithuanian youth non-governmental organizations to cooperate more actively with Lithuanian youth of the world, by joint efforts to ensure the preservation and promotion of national identity and culture; 4.3. Improve the legal framework to facilitate the activities of young people and youth organizations; 5.1. To create a structured system of information and counselling for young people in order to increase the understanding of the problems and needs of young people in the whole society; 5.2. To ensure consistent monitoring of the situation of young people, to form evidence-based and knowledge-based youth policy; 5.3. To develop cooperation between the public, private and non-governmental sectors at the local, national and international levels.
The Agency of International Youth Co-operation is a public non-profit institution established in February 1999 by The State Council for Youth Affairs (currently Department of Youth Affairs under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour) and the Lithuanian Youth Council (LiJOT). The main aim of the agency is to ensure the development of international youth cooperation and the successful participation of Lithuanian youth in European Union programmes for young people.
Policy monitoring and evaluation
Since 1999 Annual Strategic plans have been introduced and have become an instrument for overall Ministry of Social Security and Labour activity planning, preparation of new legislation, developing a strategic approach to policy development and monitoring and evaluation of policies in a systemic way.