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2014-10-17
Young leaders discussed peculiarities of parliamentary work

The Seimas hosted the International Young Leaders Academy Youth Participation in Politics: Challenges and Opportunities on 13–15 October. This traditional annual event held for the third time already brought together more than 60 young leaders from Lithuania and the Eastern Partnership countries.

The conference received a lot of attention from parliamentarians, diplomats, staff of the Office of the Seimas and representtives of international organizations. Presentations were made by Vydas Gedvilas, first Deputy Speaker of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, Emanuelis Zingeris, Signatory to the Act of Independence of Lithuania, President of the Parliamentary Forum for Democracy, Former Chairman of the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs, Audronius Ažubalis, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and current Member of the Seimas; Gintaras Steponavičius, Member of the Seimas, Deputy Chair of the Liberal Movement Political Group and former Minister of Education and Science; Members of the Seimas - Arvydas Anušauskas, Rokas Žilinskas, Juras Požėla Paulius Saudargas; Mantvydas Bekešius, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, former Chief of the Secretariat of the Speaker of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, Jonas Milerius, Secretary General of the Seimas, Jake Jones, Director of the International Republican Institute Belarus office, Michael Padraic Murphy, Resident Director of the Belarus Program of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and others.

During the conference, the participants not only shared political experience, but also discussed peculiarities of parliamentary work and the qualities required for a professional politician. “Values, respect for people, courage, leadership, responsibility, judgment, intuition, quick orientation, and mobilization of people are those values that were unanimously mentioned in the presentations of parliamentarians from different parties. However, the discussion, whether one is to be born or to become a politician, produced different opinions. Probably the truth is somewhere in the middle, because it all depends on the inner attitude, determination and success of man,” summed up Viktorija Bražiūnaitė, organiser of the event and Chair of the Young Leaders Forum.

The Young Leaders Forum was established as a result of the Vilnius Declaration adopted during Democracy Days in Vilnius in 2010, when Lithuania was holding the chairmanship of the Community of Democracie (CoD). More than fifty young leaders from different countries then signed the Vilnius Declaration founding the youth pillar within CoD – the Young Leaders Forum.

The International Academy is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania through the Development Cooperation and Democracy Promotion Programme; Taipei Mission in Riga, and the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania, significantly contributing to the Project.

Partners and friends of the Project: the International Republican Institute Belarus Office; National Democratic Institute for International Affairs; Parliamentary Forum for Democracy, and the Institute of International Relations and Political Science of Vilnius University.

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