Framing and implementing the youth policy at the local level

Article 8 of the Law on Youth Policy Framework of the Republic of Lithuania (Official Gazette, 2003, No. 119-5406; 2005, No. 144-5238) governs the framing and implementing of youth policy in municipalities:

  1. Municipal institutions shall frame and implement a municipal youth policy.
  2. A municipal co-coordinator for youth affairs shall assist the municipal institutions in the performance of such function. He shall be a public servant.
  3. A permanent municipal council for youth affairs (for the duration of the term of office) or an ad hoc municipal council for youth affairs (for the examination of specific matters) may be set up by a decision of a municipal council. A municipal council shall approve regulations of a municipal council for youth affairs. A municipal council for youth affairs shall be set up on the principle of parity from representatives of municipal institutions and agencies as well as youth organizations. A regional youth council shall delegate representatives of youth organizations to a municipal council for youth affairs.

Municipality Council, Municipality Administration, Municipal Institutions. Municipal institutions frame and implement a municipal youth policy. Youth policy covers such different fields as: education of civil spirit, learning, training, science, studies and education, non-formal education, work and employment, provision with dwelling, leisure, recreation, creation and culture, social and health care, wellness, physical culture and sports. Thus, different committees of Municipality Council as well as departments, institutions of Municipality Administration (educational institutions, pedagogical-psychological services, jobcentres, institutions of non-formal education (music and art schools, sports centers, etc.), youth leisure centers, cultural centers, museums, libraries, etc.) are in one way or another responsible for framing and implementing youth policy.

Coordinator of youth affairs. Coordinator of youth affairs assists the municipal institutions to frame and implement a municipal youth policy (standard functions are approved by the Order No. A1‑68 of the Minister of Social Security and Labor of 4 March 2008). He serves as a mediator between the politicians of municipality, officers, as well as youth. Coordinators of youth affairs supervise and initiate measures, necessary for 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 implementation of youth policy in the municipality, cooperate with the Ministry of Social Security and Labor, Department of Youth Affairs, and such other institutions, youth organizations, non-formal youth groups, as well as takes part in developing cooperation with the municipalities of foreign countries in the field of youth policy.

Since the children and youth rights protection has become the function, delegated by the state to the municipalities in 2003, all municipalities in Lithuania have finally ensured full-time employment for the coordinators of youth affairs (in total 59). The National Youth Affair Coordinator Association (hereinafter referred to as NJRKA) is a non-governmental organization uniting the coordinators of youth affairs of the Lithuanian municipalities, which aspires to frame and give a unanimous position on framing and implementing youth policy in municipalities, solution of mutual problems, as well as enhance the competence and qualification of coordinators of youth affairs, was established in 2006.

Further information on NJRKA is available on: www.njrka.lt

Municipal Youth Affairs Council. The Municipal Youth Affairs Council is an institution having a deliberative vote and a long-term objective – to ensure the involvement of youth in solving essential problems. Politicians, administration personnel, and representatives of youth (organizations) cooperate in the council. The representatives of youth have a chance to learn how to recognize the needs of youth, frame and represent the interests, combine needs and possibilities, interests of youth with interests of community, get the measure of democratic decision-making and implementation procedures. In turn, the politicians and representatives of administration can go into the situation of youth, realize problems, as well as together with the representatives of youth search for the best solutions.