An increase of interest in young people's problems, their situation in society and the opportunities for action, learning and mobility at the national and international levels can be clearly noted in Lithuania. Young people can act and influence the development of positive changes and innovative solutions of youth policy and youth work not only at local, but also international level. Lithuanian Youth Council, with its valuable and extensive experience in youth policy and youth work, cooperation and sharing of experience with youth organizations in the Eastern Neighborhood Countries maintains as one of its main priorities.
Cooperation with Ukrainian partners began in 2014 when, after the Maidan events, from the former Ukrainian Youth Forum, associated with Viktor Yanukovych's government and accused of incapacity and corruption, dissolved the Council of Ukrainian Youth Organizations based on Western values and outlook. Cooperation of LiJOT and NYCUkraine has been established in the context of the European Youth Forum, in which the Ukrainian Council of Youth Organizations has participated as a guest from 2014. Therefore LiJOT and NYCUkraine see each other as crucial partners in developing projects and ideas.
The Youth4Cooperation project was created mainly to help the Ukrainian Youth Council to actively engage and represent the interests of youth organizations and youth as a whole in the context of youth policy in Ukraine. As a result of the visit of Ukrainian delegation in Vilnius, European values such as solidarity, openness, tolerance and respect were ensured, based on the principle of intercultural dialogue. Therefore all activities in the project were oriented not only to develop the participants' skills and knowledge in the thematic areas of the project but also to promote their friendly cooperation, using traditional and interactive non-formal education methods. As well as representatives of Ukrainian youth organizations in Lithuania, the participants of the project were introduced to the structure of youth policy and youth work and strategies for their implementation in Lithuania and the European Union.
„LiJOT has always strongly supported european values – youth organizations have always seen a necessity to be part of European Union. That is why involvement of Eastern Europe countries into European processes is of extreme importance and relevance. We consider it as one of our tasks in the international space”,- claimed LiJOT President Mantas Zakarka.
According to the reflections of participants, it was interesting for them to learn about opportunities for cooperation, to get acquainted with new and interesting people, share good experiences in youth policy and work with young people, to deepen knowledge about the activities and opportunities of the European Union, ERASMUS + and NATO.
The presentations on various topics in the project were held by Guoda Lomanaitė, director of the Agency of Youth International Cooperation, Marius Ulozas, Director of the Institute for Policy Research and Analysis, Coordinator of Eurodesk Lithuania Ingrida Jotkaitė, Chief Specialist of the Information Analysis and International Relations Division at the Department of Youth Affairs Justina Lukaševičiūtė, as well as the Representative of the Development Cooperation Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania Sigita Mickevičienė. Security and NATO issues were discussed by the Chief Specialist of the Planning and Analysis Division of the Strategic Communication and Public Affairs Department at the Military of the Republic of Lithuania Tomas Čeponis, Adviser to the NATO Division at the Euro-Atlantic Cooperation Department at Ministry of National Defense of the Republic of Lithuania Bartas Trakymas, and Public affairs, STRATCOM and Social media manager of the NATO Force Integration Unit Angelo Miguel Simoes.
The project is implemented by the funds of the Council of Lithuania and Ukraine Youth Exchange.