5.6 Supporting youth organisations
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The Law on Youth Policy Framework establishes the terms of youth organization, youth council, as well as organization working with youth, and acknowledges the importance and contribution thereof into education of personality of a young person. In accordance with Article 2 of the Law on Youth Policy Framework: Youth organization means a public organisation or association, registered in the manner prescribed by laws and other legal acts, in which young people or public youth organisations comprise not less than 2/3 of its members. National youth council means a youth organisation the principal purpose of which is to unite youth organisations of Lithuania and to represent them. Regional youth council means a youth organisation the principal purpose of which is to unite youth organisations functioning in a territorial administrative unit of the Republic of Lithuania, and to represent them. Organization working with youth means a public legal person one of the purposes of which is youth-oriented activity which meets their needs. Article 9 of the Law on Youth Policy Framework indicates the key functions of youth organizations: 1) to attend to and satisfy common needs and interests of young people or needs and interests of individual youth groups; 2) to foster civic responsibility and respect for the family; 3) to carry out informal education of young people; 4) to organise employment, sport, tourism, cultural and professional activities of young people; 5) to promote international co-operation of young people; 6) to foster voluntary youth work; 7) to carry out other activities which are in compliance with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, international agreements of the Republic of Lithuania, laws, and other legal acts. Youth organizations represent the interests of youth as well as frame youth policy through regional unions of youth organizations (round tables) and national youth organizations as well as regional unions of youth organizations – through LiJOT. According to the Youth Situation Research data, ordered by the Department of Youth Affairs in 2007, the activities of youth organizations involved 12 percent of 14-29 year old people from Lithuania.
One of the instruments to finance youth organizations is national funding competitions. National funding competition regulations for youth organizations are published in the Youth Affairs Department website. Youth organizations can participate in these competitions according to the funding scheme which best suits their project idea. Other sources of financing of youth organizations are diverse: municipal budgets, international funds, program funds, membership fund, and private funds exist. Each funding scheme may have specific requirements for the applicants and their projects.
Public funding schemes through which youth organisations receive financial support include National Organization funding scheme, Regional organization funding scheme, Open youth centers / Youth Open Space funding shemes, Lithuanian-Polish Youth Exchange scheme, Youth Entrepreneurship funding, Foreign Lithuanian youth funding scheme, Social Responsibility Education scheme and Youth Coordination Activities funding. The type of activities supported by the mentioned public funding schemes are described in detail in the funding call documentation and themes and objectives of each funding scheme.
Through its policy decisions, Lithuania seeks to bring about social inclusion for people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Social inclusion has been the priority of the Trio Presidency Countries of Ireland, Lithuania and Greece in 2012-2013, resulting in three Council Conclusions and one Council Resolution. The Trio Presidency countries each chose a specific priority as their contribution to the overall topic of social inclusion: quality youth work, raising opportunities for young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs), and youth entrepreneurship respectively. The LT council conclusion on enhancing the social inclusion of NEETs emphasises the use of the Erasmus+ programme to address young people with fewer opportunities, especially those in a NEET situation.