By the NGO Information and Support Centre
Spring 2019 is very active in terms of civic participation in Lithuania, because of 3 different elections happening in March and May. Civil society organisations are actively surveilling the elections’ campaigns and encouraging citizens to participate in elections.
On 29 January, the National NGO Coalition organised an open debate with the leaders of all the most prominent political parties in Lithuania. The National NGO Coalition proposed that all parties sign an agreement–memorandum to cooperate and jointly seek to implement ten main initiatives dedicated to strengthen active civic participation and citizenship in the country. The memorandum speaks about the need to open all public data, actively involve citizens into decision-making processes, incrementally incorporate NGOs’ to provide public services, adopt public physical infrastructure and informational environment for people with disabilities, etc.
It took time to negotiate with all political parties, but finally, on 1 March, the last day before the elections the NGO coalition managed to convince all the main political parties to sign the Memorandum. The coalition was also able to gather all political parties at one table – a task that all other political leaders had failed to accomplish. It is an important milestone for the Lithuanian Civil Society.
“We believe that this agreement will set important guidelines for the productive cooperation between government and civil society after the elections”
– said Inga Aksamitauskaite, Communication Officer of NGOs’ Information and Support Centre.