4.2 Administration and governance
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The basic principles governing the social security system in Lithuania are defined in the Constitution of the Republic. In the social protection system and its regulatory framework social security of youth is not distinguished separately. The governance approach to social inclusion is rights-based. The legislation concerning social protection can be divided into the specific areas by the functions of assistance provided: low income, sickness and maternity, health care and risks at work, family/children, disability, old age, unemployment function, and miscellaneous area. Social benefits and health care services depend on the social status of a person. The social guarantees granted are the same to all citizens.
In 2021, an Action plan for the implementation of the Youth Guarantees Initiative (uptaded from 2023-02-04) was adopted, the goal of which is youth inclusion: to ensure that all persons aged 15-29 who are not working, not studying or not participating in training receive an offer to work, continue learning (including professional training in the form of an apprenticeship), practice or an internship. During the implementation of the Plan, services are provided to inactive young persons and unemployed persons aged 16-29 (hereinafter - young unemployed). Career counseling services can be provided to persons aged 14-29.
The Ministry of Social Security and Labour is the main institution implementing the social security and labour policy, the institution coordinating the implementation of the plan. The Ministry of Social Security and Labour determines and implements policies regarding social support and social insurance, prepares drafts of legal acts and adopts legal acts within its competency. The Ministry of Health Care of the Republic of Lithuania determines medical care policies, prepares drafts of legal acts and adopts legal acts within its competency. The Board of Compulsory Medical Insurance, an administrative unit within the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, and the National Patients' Fund are the main institutions in charge of compulsory medical insurance. The Ministry of Social Security and Labour specifies objectives of the State Social Insurance Fund and is in charge of activities of the Lithuanian Labour Exchange. The State Social Insurance Fund is administered and its budget is implemented by the State Social Insurance Fund Board (SODRA). The State Social Insurance Fund performs the following functions: collects social insurance contributions; registers insurers and insured persons; pays social insurance pensions, sickness and maternity, accident at work and occupational disease insurance benefits. The Lithuanian Labour Exchange is an establishment under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour which, in conjunction with subordinate local labour exchanges, implements the labour market and employment support policy.The Lithuanian Labour Exchange performs the following basic functions: registers jobseekers; acts as an intermediary in job search; implements active labour market policy measures.
The role of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and social partners in increasing youth social inclusion constitutes a key factor determining the design and implementation of policy to reduce poverty and social exclusion in Lithuania. The principle of the involvement of non-governmental organisations and their opportunities to participate in the policy process has been entrenched in all documents and strategies on the reduction of poverty and social exclusion. Most stakeholders addressing issues of poverty do not differentiate between rural and urban areas. Several stakeholders could be mentioned in this context: The United Nations Development Programme prapares various studies (using both quantitative and qualitative research methodology); Among NGO’s, National portal on Poverty issues “skurdas.lt” can be mentioned, where studies, of both quantitative and qualitative research, actions, initiatives and information can be found. Lithuanian Social Research Centre conducts studies on many social issues including youth, labour market, social exclusion, migration and rural development among others. Almost all political parties declare that they stand for better life of people in rural areas.
Agency for Youth Affairs: 1) identifies inactive young people and monitors their number; 2) implements primary intervention measures for inactive young people; 3) provides services for promoting activity in voluntary activities for unemployed and inactive young people; 4) develops a system of timely and effective work with young people, aiming for their greater integration; 5) when implementing the youth guarantee initiative and other programs promoting youth employment, ensures the provision of youth practical skills development services.
The Employment Service: 1) Develops the availability of professional guidance services; 2) provides professional guidance services; 3) implements primary intervention measures for young unemployed people; 4) implements active labor market policy measures.
The Center for Informal Education of Lithuanian Studentsdevelops the availability of vocational guidance services. The participation of this institution is not mandatory here, but it is recommended in the plan.
Social policy concerning youth social exclusion is developed in consultation with the EU, national and municipal, governmental and non-governmental actors. The consultations are designed to create, encourage and strengthen various forms of cooperation between actors. The consultations take place through a network of youth organizations, business and civil society representatives. The consultations with LiJOT representatives are taken in meetings on drafting and preparation of legal documents. The open system TAIS (Legal Acts Information System) includes possibilities to monitor the whole process of legislation adoption. Regional youth affairs councils are also included into policy consultations. Municipality youth affairs coordinators are included in consultations as well as Youth Guarantee coordinators in each of the 60 municipalities. The tool with the information acout each youth centre in municipalities has been created in order have on-hand information and to make consultations more effective. The EU Structured Dialogue between policy-makers, young people and their representatives is seen as a promising tool for listening to young people. The following preparatory work is carried out in order to gain adequate understanding of the actual needs of young people: consultations with and collecting information from municipal councils for youth affairs, coordinators for youth affairs, regional youth councils and youth organisations (organisations working with youth), employees of municipality administration, representatives of non-governmental organisations, communities, and other stakeholders (experts, entrepreneurs etc.).
Policy monitoring and evaluation
Indicators for monitoring the social inclusion of young people are set in the plan, the criteria for evaluating the measures of the Youth Guarantees Initiative implementation action plan for 2023-2029 years and their meanings are approved. Agency for Youth Affairs is responsible for identifying inactive young people and ensuring that the number of inactive young people is monitored. The executors of the Plan's measures (Youth Affairs Agency, Employment Service and Center for non-formal education of Lithuanian students) during the implementation period of the Plan annually until January 15th and July 15th provide the Ministry of Social Security and Labor with information on how the measures provided for in the Plan are implemented.