Eastern Partnership Youth Forum starts in Kaunas

25 October 2013, Last updated at, 17:16 EET
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author: European Commision photo

On 22–25 October, the most important event dedicated to youth of the Lithuanian Presidency of the EU Council – the Eastern Partnership Youth Forum – is take place in Kaunas. Two-hundred youth leaders, employees of youth organizations, and representatives of youth policy from the EU programme Youth in Action and six Eastern Partnership countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine – will participate in the Forum.

What will the education system in Lithuania and Europe look like in 10 years? How can informal education contribute to the promotion of democracy? Is informal education valued and recognized enough in the European Union’s labour market? This and other questions will be discussed at the 1st Eastern Partnership Youth Forum.

According to Lilija Gerasimienė, Head of the Agency of International Youth Co-operation, this Forum seeks to promote cooperation with the Eastern Partnership countries, and strengthen the importance of acknowledging informal education.

"Participation in international exchange programmes, volunteering activities, and language improvement courses contributes to a broader outlook. In this Forum, youth representatives from various countries will discuss the importance of informal education in the EU, and how to increase it in countries such as Belarus and Moldova," Gerasimienė says.

During the event in Kaunas, guidelines for the recognition of informal education will be prepared. It is planned to submit this document to the EU’s institutions and present it during the Eastern Partnership's topical meetings. The High Representatives of the 28 EU member countries, six Eastern Partnership countries, and the Heads of the EU’s institutions are expected to participate in the Forum.

The Eastern Partnership Forum’s participants have come to Kaunas on 22 October. A daytime excursion will be organized as well as a meeting with the Mayor of Kaunas, Andrius Kupčinskas. Officially, the Eastern Partnership Forum will open 23 October.

Jan Truszczyński, Director-General of the EC Directorate-General for Education and Culture, Dainius Pavalkis, Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania, Algimanta Pabedinskienė, Minister of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania, and Peter Matjašič, President of the European Youth Forum, will participate in the event. Vladas Lašas will represent the business community.

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