|Youth Target Group|
By the Youth Law in Latvia young people are from 13 to 25 years of age. While the Youth Law defines a particular age group, in reality in different aspects of the youth policy and the youth work the definition of a target group may vary even considerably. Pursuant to the legal respects, the age of attainment is important – according to the Protection of the Rights of the Child Law, a person who has not reached 18 years of age is a child. After reaching the attainment, a person acquires the right to participate in the election, to obtain a driving licence, to purchase alcoholic beverages and cigarettes, to enter into marriage, etc.
Youth policy and youth work are defined by the Youth Law (in force since 2009). It defines the responsible authorities, their competences, the order for allocation of funding, the opportunities and principles of the participation of young people, and other important regulatory matters. The youth policy directions, activities, result indicators, involved and responsible institutions are detailed in the Youth Policy Action Plan for 2016-2020. Besides, the youth policy in specific thematic aspects is also defined in the planning documents of line ministries (education, social sector, health care, regional development, etc.) – in Latvia youth policy is explicitly cross-sectoral policy, with a very broad range of involved institutions. The Ministry of Education and Science, responsible for the youth policy elaborates an annual state programme on youth policy setting the annual priorities of the youth policy, activities to be implemented and the funding allocated for that. All these documents define the youth policy at national level. Whereas, local governments plan youth work at the local level, elaborating local planning documents of the youth policy development and providing an institutional framework for the youth work. In 2018, 51 out of 119 municipalities of Latvia have developed the youth policy development planning document.
|Objectives and activities|
The Youth Law and the Youth Policy Action Plan for 2016-2020 define the objective of the youth policy – improving the quality of life of young people, creating a supportive and inclusive environment for young people, supporting their initiatives and participation, and strengthening young people’s undertakings, healthy lifestyle. The Youth Policy Action Plan determines the need for activities in the following action areas: education and training, social inclusion, participation, employment and entrepreneurship, health and well-being. In the State Programme on Youth Policy, priorities of 2018 year are defined: promoting long-term youth work planning at local and regional level, supporting youth organisations’ initiatives to promote youth participation, developing a single model for the recognition of youth informal education at national level, the professional development of persons involved in youth work. And underlying particular activities to be implemented: training of persons involved in youth work, events of exchange of experience, support for local government projects in the youth field, events for representatives of the youth field (conferences, seminars), financial support for youth organisations and their projects, maintenance of the informative online platform www.jaunatneslietas.lv, etc. The objectives and activities in certain thematic aspects are defined by the responsible institutions: health – the Ministry of Health, social affairs – the Ministry of Welfare, employment – the State Employment Agency, etc.
Portal on youth and youth policy: www.jaunatneslietas.lv
Section ‘Youth’ on the website of the Ministry of Education and Science: www.izm.gov.lv/lv/jaunatne
Section ‘Latvia’ on the internet platform Youth Wiki: https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/national-policies/en/content/youthwiki/overview-latvia
Lithuanian youth policy is targeted at young people aged from 14 to 29.
The activities of structures of youth policy in Lithuania are governed by the Law on Youth Policy Framework of the Republic of Lithuania. The Law underwent a few revisions after its adoption (amendments in 2005 and 2018). It establishes the main terms of youth policy and principles of its implementation as well as defines the areas of youth policy and establishment of institutions executing and managing youth policy on national and municipal level.The National Youth Policy Development Program for 2011-2019 establishes the main strategic goals of youth policy. The youth policy directions, activities, result indicators, involved and responsible institutions are detailed in the Action Plan for 2017-2019 by the Ministry of Social Security and Labour. Specific thematic aspects of youth policy are also defined in the planning documents of ministries and agencies (Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of National Defence, the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Interior Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, the Drug Control Department under the Government of Lithuania, Lithuanian Labour Exchange, and Department of Youth Affairs). In the line with above, municipalities plan youth work at the local level, elaborating local planning documents of the youth policy development and providing an institutional framework for the youth work.
|Objectives and activities|
The National Youth Policy Development Program for 2011-2019 established the main strategic goals of the national youth policy. The Program prioritised the social inclusion of young people, with particular emphasis on young people who are not in employment, education and training (NEETs), the promotion of cross-sectorial cooperation, the exchange of good practices on social inclusion of young people and the promotion of the cooperation between young people from the countries of the European Union, Eastern Europe and Caucasus. The goals of ensuring better youth employment opportunities, creating favourable conditions for young people to participate in the labour market, promoting economic and social entrepreneurship, developing non-formal education system, enhancing youth active participation in the society were also established. The National Youth Policy Development Program for 2011-2019 and the Action Plan for 2017-2019 aim to ensure the development of social security, education and health care systems; develop a conscious, public-spirited, patriotic, mature, cultural and creative young individual, capable of being an active part of a diverse society; develop and coordinate the system of youth work and to ensure the development of youth employment infrastructure; create favourable conditions for consistent and high quality activities of youth organisations and organisations working with youth; and ensure inter-institutional and cross-sectorial cooperation in developing coherent, fact and knowledge-based youth policy.
Youth policies in Lithuania (2017). European Commission, Youth Wiki national description.
Strategic Planning of the Youth Policy and Implementation of Measures in the Field of Social Security and Labour (2016). Executive Summary of the Public Audit Report, National Audit Office of Lithuania.
Working with young people: the values of youth work in the European Union (2014). European Commission. Country Report, Lithuania (Author: I. Gečienė)
Lithuanian Youth Policy: Legislation, Structures, Good Practices (2013). Vilnius: Department of Youth Affairs under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania.
Youth Policy in Lithuania (Jaunimo politika Lietuvoje) (2010). Vilnius: Department of Youth Affairs under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania.
Country Sheet on Youth Policy in Lithuania (2010) Council of Europe.
Youth Policy in Lithuania (2002). Council of Europe, Report by and International Panel of Experts Appointed by the Council of Europe (National Youth Policies), Council of Europe Publishing, Strasbourg.
Youth policy forms a part of the broader youth affairs. The main activity areas of youth policy include youth work, social, employment, health, cultural, family and crime prevention policy. In addition to the education, research and language policy, the area of administration of the Ministry of Education and Research also contains the development of youth policy.
On 1 January 2016, Estonia had 283 350 young people at the age of 7–26, which forms 21,54% of the Estonian population. As in many other European countries, the proportion of young people among population is decreasing. According to the forecast of the Statistics Estonia, the proportion of youth among total population continues to decrease until 2022 when it will gradually start to increase again. The growth trend prevails until 2039 and then the share of youth among the total population will start decreasing again.
Negative trends, such as the growing emigration of youth, high unemployment rate of youth aged 15–19, the number of young people not studying or working, high relative poverty rate, problematic health behaviour, incl. in particular the risk behaviour of young men, require special attention. Attention must be paid to the causes of such trends, prevention of potential consequences and reduction in undesirable influence. It is also necessary to promote the continuation of positive trends.
Responsible authority for the implementation of the Youth Strategy
Ministry in charge of youth is the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research. Department responsible for youth is the Youth Affairs Department. Main goals of the department:
Estonian Youth Work Centre (Eesti Noorsootöö Keskus) is a national centre for youth work under the administrative authority of the Ministry of Education and Research – the national youth work agency. Its main objective is to develop and organize youth work in the framework of the national youth policy. It implements the Estonian Youth Field Development Plan 2014-2020 and performs other functions arising from the Youth Work Act and other relevant laws.