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Lithuania/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.7 Intercultural dialogue: actors, strategies, programmes

One of the main objectives outlined in the Principles of Lithuanian Cultural Policy (2001) and the Guidelines for Alteration of Lithuanian Culture Policy” (2010) is to promote the openness of Lithuanian national culture and to improve access to culture for society. This is to be achieved through programmes to promote Lithuania's culture abroad as well as those to familiarise the local population with the culture of other nations.

In 2004, the Programme of Integration of National Minorities into Society for the years 2005 – 2010 had a goal to integrate national minorities into Lithuanian social, cultural, economic life, while at the same time, providing support for the preservation of the ethnic identity of minorities and the development of coherent relationships among minorities. Several Ministries were involved in the implementation of the Programme including: the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Social Security and Labour, at the time the Department of National Minorities and Lithuanians Living Abroad, National Radio and TV broadcasters. The Government Programme for the year 2012 – 2016 foresees drafting of a strategy for development of the culture of national minorities, and establishment of a Department of National Minorities. The programme accentuates state support for national minorities' heritage protection, their amateur traditions and tourism.

Regions with a large population of national minorities (e.g. the South-East region of Lithuania, Visaginas municipality) have special cultural programmes and education plans to activate intercultural dialogue among members of the local communities. For example, the National Minorities' Cultural Centre of Visaginas City. In this city with a population of 22 100 (in 2011), there are 38 national minorities, of whom the Russians are in a majority – 15 491 (55.68%); Lithuanians – 4 419 (15.88%); Belarussians – 2 863 (10.29%); Polish – 2 541 (9.13%), etc. Muslims make 0.46% of the total of population of Visaginas, and are the second largest muslim community in Lithuania. The ethnic composition of Visaginas was influenced by regional economic development as Visaginas maintained the Ignalina's Nuclear Power Plant (the Plant was closed on 31st December, 2009). Folk art and amateur groups of Russians, Byelorussians, Ukrainians, Tatars, and Polish national minorities operate in Visaginas Cultural Centre.

Additional Resources:

Government's overall approach to intercultural dialogue

Database of Good Practice on Intercultural Dialogue

Key Resources

Chapter published: 28-11-2014

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