5.3 Youth representation bodies
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Lithuanian Pupil‘s Parliament (LMP)
Lithuanian Pupil‘s Parliament (LMP) was established since 1999 and it had been active for seven terms. It is registered as NGO and consists of 95 secondary school students from all over Lithuania. To become member of this parliament a school students must participate in democratic elections, which have two stages. The first stage takes place at the secondary school, the second - in the municipality. The number of members elected in each municipality depend on the size of the municipality.
Lithuanian Pupil‘s Parliament consists of 6 committees: Human Rights, Culture, Health, Foreign Affairs, Education and Social Affairs. All individual members can choose which committee they want to work at according to their skills and competences. Each committee has a chair who is responsible for coordinating in the work carried out by the committee. All members also belong to their regional group. These groups cover 10 regions Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipeda, Panevezys, Utena, Alytus, Siauliai, Taurage, Marijampole). Region group members ensure communication between all members and encourage youth of their region to get involved in the civic activities. Each region also has a chair that belongs to the Board. LMP Board consists of the chairman and two deputies, the regional presidents. LMP also has three working groups: Public Relations, Psychoactive substance use prevention and control and Child Welfare Working Group. These Groups examine specific issues and areas are not as extensive as the committees. The work of the LMP is overseen by the Ethics and Procedures Commission. Lithuanian Pupil‘s Parliament represents students' interests; initiates draft laws, amendments and submit them to the Seimas; respond to public issues; adopts resolutions; cooperates with other organizations and institutions in Lithuania and abroad; reports to city and municipality school students. The LMP is supported by the Lithuanian Parliament, the Ministry of Education, the Central Election Commission and the European Law Students' Association Lithuanian National Group (ELSA-Lithuania).
The EU Youth Parliament in Lithuania
European Youth Parliament (EYP) encourages young people independent thinking and encourages the public to actively participate in public life. EYP consists of 37 European countries, national committees, involving thousands of young people volunteering incentives. European Youth Parliament started activities in Lithuania in the beginning of 2013.
European Youth Parliament (EYP) is one of the largest European institutional platforms, whose activities are focused on the political debate, intercultural encounters, political awareness and the exchange of ideas among young people from all over Europe. Youth Parliament (EYP) encourage young people independent thinking and encourages the public to actively participate in public life. EYP Lithuania mission is to encourage young people's awareness, an interest in Lithuania, European policy and prevailing social problems; to provide an opportunity for young people to express their views; to develop their personal abilities; to promote inter-cultural, between religious, ideological and practical exchange.
The Lithuanian Youth Council (usually referred to as LiJOT) is the biggest non-governmental, non-profit umbrella structure for Lithuanian national youth organizations and regional unions of youth organizations. Currently LiJOT has 62 members (non-governmental youth organizations) and represents more than 200 000 young people in Lithuania. LiJOT is an organization representing the interests of youth and framing youth policy, the Government’s partner forming the constitution of the Council of Youth Affairs. LiJOT is a full member of the European Youth Forum.
The Agency of International Youth Co-operation is a public non-profit institution established in February 1999 by the Department of Youth Affairs (in those days – the State Council of Youth Affairs) as well as LiJOT. The main aim of the agency is to ensure the development of international youth cooperation and successful participation of Lithuanian youth in European Union programs for young people. The main purpose of the Agency of International Youth Co-operation is to ensure due and efficient participation of the Lithuanian youth in the European Union program “Youth in Action” (2007 – 2013) through financial grants for project implementation and quality improvement of projects implemented.
Lithuanian National Union of Students (LSS)
LSS is independent and non-governmental organization that was founded in 1992. This organization was created by country’s most active students’ representatives. LSS represents the rights of Lithuanian students and unites higher education institutions’ student unions from all over the country. LSS represents and defends Lithuanian students’ interests on the highest level. In order to fulfill this mission LSS organizes events and actions both on national and international levels. These actions are taken in order to draw society’s attention to current problems, create and improve the education system, promote an intercultural partnership between students and whole academic community and improve society’s views on students. LSS broadens and strengthens the contacts with governmental institutions, national and international youth and student organizations as well as other organizations and education institutions.
LSS members are student representative organizations. These organizations are managed by representatives chosen by students. LSS Council which is responsible for outlying the main LSS activities is formed from these representatives. Student representative organizations also delegate representatives to the highest LSS management structure – Conference. The Conference elects LSS president every two years and also evaluates president and his/her bureau work annually.
Lithuanian National Union of Students is an active member of the European Students Union (ESU), the Nordic Union of Students (NOM), the Knowledge Economy Forum (KEF) and founder of the Student Union of the Baltic States. LSS also cooperates with the Youth Affairs Department of Social Security and Labour ministry, governmental institutions responsible for education politics and other organizations. LSS is an association funded by members’ fees, support received from individuals, charities and charitable donations (donated) in accordance to provisions in Law on Charity and Support Funds as well as donations from non-governmental organizations, international public organizations (associations) and other legally obtained funds.
Lithuanian School Students’ Union (LMS) is a voluntary, non-profit association, uniting Lithuanian school students’ councils. LMS represents secondary school students by forming Education and Youth policies, educating school students with urgent issues, joining them in common activities by cooperating with governmental and non-governmental institutions, creating a community for schools and their students. LMS is the main platform of education and youth policy development and implementation for school students, cooperating with government, society, business and education sectors. LMS aims to encourage school students’ initiative and collaboration. LMS represents school students by forming an impact of Youth and an Education policy as well by collaborating with governmental and non-governmental institutions; The organization unites school students to solve common problems and collects, analyzes and promotes school student councils guidelines in Lithuania as well as develops international relations between school students and organizes meetings, debates and conferences on relevant topics for students. The organization was founded at the Lithuanian School Student Conference in 1996. On 13-14th of December 1998, at the 2nd Lithuanian School Student Conference it was decided to register the organization in the Ministry of Justice of Lithuania by changing its name to the Lithuanian School Student Union (Lietuvos moksleivių sąjunga or LMS). On 18th of May 1999, the Lithuanian School Student Union got its official status as a non-profit organization. In 2012 – 2016 organization aims to create an umbrella structure for Lithuania secondary school students autonomies, cities/district students councils and students councils information centers. Lithuania secondary school students union consists of the President, Board, Revision Commission and the President Office. Union unites not only secondary school students councils but also volunteers.
Other bodies in Lithuania that are most active and important assemblies of youth representation are full or observer members of LiJOT.