5.5 National strategy to increase youth participation
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Existence of a national strategy to increase young people's political and civil society participation
No specific national strategy to increase youth participation exist. In December 2010 the Government of the Republic of Lithuania approved the National youth policy development program for 2011-2019. It is the main, overarching, strategic public document integrating the major directions to be followed in the policy making on youth at national level in Lithuania including the encouragement of youth participation in the society. The program also develops a vision on the the opportunities for young people to become active and motivated modern state citizens, being able to take responsibility for themselves and create a fullfilling life.
The National youth policy development program for 2011-2019 prioritises the improvement of the social inclusion of young people, with particular emphasis on young people not in employment, education and training (NEETs), the promotion of cross-sectorial cooperation as the underlying principle of integral youth policy, the exchange of good practices on social inclusion of young people and the promotion of the cooperation in the youth policy field between young people from European Union and Eastern Europe and Caucasus countries.
According to the provisions of the Program better youth employment opportunities will be ensured by creating favourable conditions for young people to participate in the labour market; economic and social entrepreneurship will be promoted and non-formal education will be developed seeking integration of formal and non-formal education; youth creativity and active participation of young people in society will be encouraged.
Furthermore, the Program’s goals are:
- To ensure the development of social security, education and health care systems.
- To develop a conscious, public-spirited, patriotic, mature, cultural and creative young individual, capable of being an active part of a diverse society;
- To develop and coordinate the system of youth work and to ensure the development of youth employment infrastructure;
- To create favourable conditions for consistent and high quality activities of youth organisations and organisations working with youth;
- To ensure inter-institutional and cross-sectorial cooperation in developing coherent, fact and knowledge-based youth policy. Inter-institutional and cross-sectorial cooperation will be developed at the local, national and international level.
The second objective of the National youth policy development program for 2011-2019 is to develop a conscious, active and creative youth with the capacity to be active part of society. Such values as patriotism, maturity and education are stressed (see Part II. Section 13). The program aims to address the level of youth participation as reflected in the Lithuanian civil power index: value for youth (in 2009) - 35 out of 100 possible; target value (year 2019) - 55 out of 100 possible.
The National youth policy development program for 2011-2019 is coordinated by the Ministry of Social Security and Labour. The Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania is responsible for coordinating the implementation of the National youth policy development program for 2011-2019. The Ministry is implementing the National youth policy development program for 2011-2019 through Action Plans for the periods of 2014-2016 and 2017-2019 (not adopted yet). In each of the action plans specific objectives, actions, terms of implementation, budget allocations and responsible institutions for its implementations are (will be) indicated. Responsible institutions for the implementation of the cross-sectorial Action Plan are the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Agriculture, the Drug Control Department under the Government of Lithuania, Lithuanian Labour Exchange, and Council of Youth Affairs. These institutions report to The Ministry of Social Security and Labor about implementation of the action plan every year until February 1.
The National Youth Policy Development Program for 2011-2019 underwent a few revisions and updates since its introduction. Firstly, the 2014-2016 Action Plan of the National Youth Policy Program for 2011-2019 development program has been reviewed and more focus given on youth employment and volunteering as well as the development of youth centers and open spaces, regional youth policies and non-formal education. The 2015-2017 Plan for the Regional Youth Policy Strengthening has been approved and implemented.