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EACEA National Policies Platform


5. Participation

Last update: 23 November 2020

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 (see also Ziliukaite 2013). Young people in Lithuania are generally quite prejudiced about different social groups (Roma, Muslims and homosexuals in particular) and report having almost no contacts with those groups. Young people in Lithuania have a strong national identity. Lithuanian scholars often discuss the need for increasing tolerance as being crucial for Lithuania to fulfill its social, economic and creative potential but many examples in policy and in mass media signal of a lack of consistent political will to integrate participation, tolerance and diversity in every domain of life.