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YouthWiki

EACEA National Policies Platform
Lithuania

Lithuania

5. Participation

Last update: 28 November 2023

In Lithuanian education system citizenship education is a compulsory separate subject at the secondary level. The curricula of citizenship education aims at developing political literacy, critical thinking and analytical skills, developing certain values, attitudes and behaviours (e.g. sense of national identity, respect, tolerance), encouraging active participation in society. The curricula of citizenship education comprises humanism, tolerance and acceptance of different culture (including religion, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, social background etc.) i.e. the core characteristics of contemporary EU ideas of what is to have a society of equal, supportive and mutually respectful individuals and groups; however, sometimes these ideas are not fully translated into practice.  The civic participation domain is usually measured as part young people’s involved in a range of groups and clubs (such as youth organisations and cultural or sports organisations), young people’s participation in political elections at the local, regional, national level or EU level. Research data shows that young people in Lithuania can be characterized by a higher level of participation in voluntary organizations than older people, they are also more active in civic activities that are based on e-participation and young people in Lithuania have generally stronger belief in their power to influence political processes. However, the main challenges related to youth participation in Lithuania are that Lithuanian youth is characterized by very low level of interest in politics, weak support for political community and by weaker solidarity and philanthropic attitudes than older generations.

Researchers (Dilytė, Lazutka 2023) claim that after analyzing the case of youth participation in political decision-making in Lithuania, the existing institutional structure in Lithuania provides limited opportunities for youth to participate in politics. The essential function of young people is to provide information and decision-making rights are very limited. Young people can express their opinion on political decisions directly (in polls, questionnaires, legislative or referendum initiatives, elections, etc.) or indirectly, that is, through collective actors (through consolidated youth policy analysis, making proposals, mandatory inclusion when deliberating with young people related questions) and receive feedback. Participation in politics is associated with high costs and low benefits (very limited opportunities to make decisions).

In Lithuania, the Civic Power Index is conducted every year, which also distinguishes young people between the ages of 18 and 29. Research is published here. According to the survey in 2022, civic activity increased in the youth group: 18-29 years old. age group civic activity index 2020 – 35.4 points, and in 2022 - already 43.0 points. This activation of adult youth in civic activities is also visible when compared to the pre-pandemic, 2019, civic activity index average - then 18-29 years old. in the age group, the average value of the index was equal to 34.1 points.