9.2 Administration and governance
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The Lithuanian Youth Council (LiJOT) was formed in 1992 and is an umbrella organisation with 63 members representing more than 200,000 young people in Lithuania. The LiJOT, seeks favorable changes for young people by serving as a platform for dialogue, Lithuanian youth organization interests and initiatives. LiJOT is a full member of the European Youth Forum and the Baltic Youth Forum. As the national agency, it coordinates EURODESK Lithuania and supports Lithuanian engagement in the EU Structured Dialogue process.
The Youth Affairs Agency (JRA) was established on July 1, 2021, following the reorganization of the Department of Youth Affairs under the Ministry of Social Security and Labor and the Youth International Cooperation Agency. One of JRA's areas of activity is International Youth Policy: Lithuanian-Polish Youth Exchange Fund, Lithuanian-Ukrainian Youth Exchange Fund, bilateral agreements, Eastern Partnership activities, implementation of the "Global Lithuania" program, European Solidarity Corps, Erasmus + program and other international commitments. Read more about international cooperation here.
"Erasmus+" is administered by the Youth Affairs Agency and the Education Exchanges Support Foundation.
The Education Exchanges Support Foundation is a national agency entrusted with the administration of Erasmus+ and Lifelong Learning programmes and other initiatives funded by the European Commission (EC) and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania in the field of education and vocational training. It has been operating since 2007. It is aimed at helping Lithuanian people to take advantage of international cooperation. The Foundation offers guidance to potential applicants and provides information about various programmes and activities in the education and training area. The Foundation administers more than 50 different activities that are equally relevant to youth and seniors, kindergartens or schools, and higher education or other education-related institutions. The opportunities offered by the Foundation are available to various associations, business or non-governmental organisations and other structures seeking to improve their business practice or enhance their employees’ qualifications. In addition to the Lifelong Learning program, which includes the Comenius, Leonardo da Vinci, Erasmus and Grundtvig sub-programmes, the Foundation also administers other educational programs or initiatives such as Erasmus +, Nordplus programs funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, etc. Since 2010, the Foundation has also implemented two projects financed by the European Social Fund - „Study in LT“.
StudyInLithuania.lt is a non-commercial national portal for Higher Education studies in Lithuania, which is administrated by Education Exchange Support Foundation. The aim of this website is to inform future students, their parents and other stakeholders about Higher Education institutions in Lithuania and their study programmes, migration procedures, admission requirements and more. www.StudyInLithuania.lt is a part of project „Internationalization of Higher Education in Lithuania“ which was initiated by Ministry of Education and Science, and is funded by European Social Fund and Government of Lithuania. This project has scholarships for Lithuanian students and scientists to enable them to study and conduct research abroad as well as an objective to strengthen Lithuanian Higher Education image and positioning in international environment.
One of the tasks of Lithuanian youth policy is to create and strengthen cooperation mechanisms between national authorities and municipalities, as well as between municipalities.
According to the Action Plan of the National Youth Policy for 2023-2027 (Section 10.05), Youth Policy is a horizontal policy area that includes many policy areas: citizenship education, education, employment, housing, leisure, environmental protection, ecology and sustainable development, culture, social and health protection, wellness, sports, prevention of the use of psychotropic substances and other addictions, crime prevention, etc. Therefore, when developing it, it is important to ensure the cooperation of the public, private and non-governmental sectors, so that state and municipal institutions and institutions communicate and cooperate, solving youth-related issues, coordinating them with youth and/or youth organizations, organizations working with youth. Although modern public policy management systems (e.g. LEAN) and advanced public management methods involving service recipients in the planning of public services, the management of their provision and the evaluation of their quality and efficiency are being implemented and developed, there is a lack of specific mechanisms enshrined in legislation in certain policy areas. ensuring the inclusion of youth representatives in decision-making, execution and monitoring and evaluation processes.
Agency of Youth Affairs JRA also operates in the field of inter-agency cooperation: coordination of activities of the network of youth researchers, administration of the activities of the National Council for Youth Affairs, cooperation with other institutions, professional guidance, emotional support, mental and physical health of young people, entrepreneurship promotion programs, social services, children's non-formal education and other cross-cutting topics.
In order to ensure the smooth functioning and cross-sectorial cooperation network, public authorities must constantly cooperate with the authorities of foreign countries as well as with municipalities, the exchange of information and best practices. Lithuania’s Institute for Policy Research and Analysis, established in 2011, which is an independent, autonomous, non-political, non-profit organization based in Lithuania, developing wide range of youth projects and partnerships with International institutions, universities, public bodies and NGOs have published a handbook of cross-sectorial cooperation “360 degrees of cross-sectorial cooperation” dedicated at institutions who shape or implement youth policy.
The "Global Lithuania" program in 2012 was launched (renewed in 2021), the main idea of which is to unite all Lithuanian citizens (including well-educated young professionals) living abroad. This program aims to provide mechanisms to encourage the Lithuanians abroad to promote the Lithuanian language, Lithuanian national identity, to strengthen the Lithuanian diaspora relations with Lithuania, and engaging in various areas of public life and contribute to well-being creation in Lithuania. The program involves the aim to strengthen the cross-sectorial cooperation in the framework of its implementation by 14 state institutions and departments. The Interinstitutional Action Plan has been approved and an institutional framework has been created. One of the most important tasks of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the program coordinator is not only the implementation of the measures provided for in the program, but also the consolidation of state institutions in order to include in their specialized field of activities projects related to the Lithuanian diaspora. In order to consolidate the diaspora of Lithuania two directions of activities have been foreseen: 1) relations with professionals who can contribute to the development of the country well-being through cooperation projects; 2) Lithuanians' communities and organizations implementing projects of national importance.
The program also includes tools for young people: interns/internships/mentoring programs: "Sukurk Lietuvai" (www.kurklt.lt), "LT Big Brother" (www.ltbigbrother.com), PLJS Praktika (www.pljs.org), Lithuanian expatriate student exchange (http://liss-vasara.lt/en/pagrindinis-2/), World Lithuanian Internship Program (https://pasauliolietuviai.lt/), Agency of Youth Affairs activity competitions ( www.jra.lt).