9.3 Exchanges between young people and policy-makers on global issues
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Youth is involved in policy decision-making and exchanges between policymakers through the framework of implementing youth policy in municipalities. Each municipality in Lithuania established the positions of coordinators of youth affairs. The main functions of the coordinators of youth affairs are to assist the municipal institutions to frame and implement the municipal youth policy. The coordinator of youth affairs assists the municipal institutions to frame and implement a municipal youth policy Coordinator of youth affairs serves as a mediator between the politicians of the municipality, officers, as well as youth. Coordinators of youth affairs supervise and initiate measures, necessary for the performance of youth policy, as well as, where necessary, carry out youth situation surveys. With the view of due cooperation in the field of youth affairs, they furnish the institutions and persons concerned with information on the implementation of youth policy in the municipality, cooperate with the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, Department of Youth Affairs, and such other institutions, youth organizations, non-formal youth groups, as well as take part in developing cooperation with the municipalities of foreign countries in the field of youth policy. A typical job description for a Youth Coordinator is here.
According to the Action Plan of the National Youth Policy for 2023-2027 cooperation between the public, private and non-governmental sectors at both the national and international levels is still not sufficient, therefore the task set is to expand and improve cooperation.
There is no formal mechanism of global exchanges between young people and policy makers at the international level; however Lithuanian Youth Council is involved in the process of promoting exchanges between youth and policy makers on national and international level. Lithuanian Youth Council is the biggest non-governmental, non-profit umbrella structure for Lithuanian national youth organizations and regional unions of youth organizations promoting exchanges between young people and policymakers on the international and national level and local and global issues. It is a full member of the European Youth Forum and a full member and founder of the Baltic Youth Forum and National Agency of International Youth Co-operation, which coordinates the European Union program “Youth in Action”. LiJOT is coordinating EURODESK Lithuania – a European information services network, which works in 33 European countries and provides exclusive European information for young people and youth workers. LiJOT seeks favorable changes for young people by serving as a platform for dialogue, Lithuanian youth organization interests, and initiatives. Lithuanian Youth Council provides suggestions to governmental institutions which work with problems of youth and youth organizations, organizes, analyzes and presents information about the work of youth organizations and governmental institutions which satisfy children and youth demands in Lithuania and abroad, and develops international relations and international cooperation between Lithuanian youth organizations and youth organizations from other countries through meetings, discussions, conferences, and other events.
In addition, international cooperation of individual Lithuanian municipalities in the field of youth policy takes place, and international cooperation agreements are signed between the countries with a specific term or for an unlimited period.
One of them, on November 22, 2022, youth workers and youth policymakers from Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Germany visited Trakai, Lithuania, participating in the international exchange "Interprofessional cooperation in the field of youth work" taking place in Lithuania. The purpose of the international exchange is to develop interdepartmental cooperation competences for youth workers and specialists who solve youth problems, to promote mutual cooperation by creating functioning cooperation structures at the local level.
A number of international cooperation agreements in the field of youth policy have been signed:
1) 2023-2026 program of cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and the Government of the State of Israel in the fields of education, science, culture, youth affairs and sports (signed: 03/02/2023; entered into force: 03/02/2023)
2) Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and the Government of the Republic of Korea on cooperation in the fields of culture, art, education, science, youth affairs and sports (Lithuanian; English) (Signed: 06/07/2021; Entered into force: 08/19/2021 );
3) Agreement between the Ministry of Social Security and Labor of the Republic of Lithuania and the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Azerbaijan on cooperation in the field of youth policy (signed on May 22, 2023 in Vilnius)