Vice-Minister Eitvydas Bingelis: ‘Youth involvement and participation in volunteering and community activities are one of the prerequisites for developing critical thinking and protecting young people’


2017 11 16

Photo: Eglė Gendrėnaitė. Vice-Minister Eitvydas Bingelis

Experts, researchers, policy makers and specialists in public security and other fields from the European Commission and Member State youth policy and other concerned sectors sat down together to look for the best ways to protect young people from engagement in potentially harmful activities, radicalisation, extremism and propaganda.


As Vice-Minister of Social Security and Labour Eitvydas Bingelis observed in welcoming the event participants, social exclusion, poor living conditions, and the search for social identity are the main reasons why young people get involved in radical groups. Engagement in the activities of such groups offers young people recognition and social and public connections. That is precisely why working with young people and getting them involved in public life has a major impact on preventing youth radicalisation.

“Providing opportunities to participate in volunteering and community activities, creating places for young people with different views to meet, encouraging learning how to select information, and developing a young person’s critical thinking attitude are all measures that inhibit the influence of propaganda and youth involvement in radical groups,” emphasised Vice-Minister Bingelis. According to the vice-minister, youth policy is a very diverse field, so it is important to involve representatives from as many different sectors as possible in solving the problem.


At the high-level international event that was organised in Vilnius on 16–17 November by the Ministry of Social Security and Labour in conjunction with the Mobilisation and Civil Resistance Department under the Ministry of National Defence and the Agency of International Youth Cooperation, best practice was shared at the national and European level on the successful development and implementation of programmes and measures for the prevention of radical activities among youth. Experience in working with young people and the outcome in this field were discussed with a focus on the local level, and innovative new solutions and suggestions were sought out.


On the basis of the discussion, recommendations will be drawn up for specialists from different sectors which will outline the steps to be taken to prevent young people from engaging in potentially dangerous radical activities, as well as how to avoid the damage caused by propaganda.


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