Concept for celebration of Centenary of the Restoration of Lithuania’s Independence

The 16 February is the most significant date in Lithuania’s history. In 1918, an independent democratically-run modern civic state was established, together with the restoration of the statehood tradition cherished in the ancient Lithuania (1253-1795).

On 16 February 2018, we will be celebrating the birth of a new Lithuania. This date is like a bridge between the old Lithuania born on 6 July 1253 and the new independent Lithuania restored on 11 March 1990. Had it not been for the 16 February, there would have been no events of 11 of March, nor the subsequent success story.

In the lead-up to the Centennial of the Restoration of the State (hereinafter – the Centennial), the past is seen not only as a reason to celebrate an important anniversary but also as an inspiration to reflect the historical significance of the past for today and the relevance of the issues of today for the past, i.e. the centennial achievements of the state and its people, and our ambitions for the next centennial which is fast approaching.

The Centennial of the new Lithuania is a success story. The main achievements are as follows: Lithuania has become a player of the European and world history, with its modern civil society aware of the importance of freedom and the responsibility that goes with it, and with new emerging vistas for action for the Lithuanian state and its people.

The building of the modern Lithuanian state in 1918 was based on the principles of the equality of all, as well as the freedom and prosperity, and this is why all the people of the country, having chosen to be free, for the first time in the history of Lithuania became the creators of their state, and later on, during the years of the occupation – the guardians of its tradition. The heroes of the restored Lithuania are thousands of those of different nationalities, religions and social groups having built and safeguarded the tradition of the Lithuanian statehood. They include volunteers, farmers, teachers, architects and engineers, athletes, aviators, clergy of various denominations, Righteous Among the Nations, freedom fighters, dissidents that challenged the Soviet regime, and people that created the liberation movement Sąjūdis.

The hero of today is each citizen of the country, who actively contributes to the building of Lithuania of the twenty-first century, and knows that his daily efforts have an impact not only on the present but also on the future of the history of the Lithuanian state and the nation.

Apart from the most important symbol of the Centennial, the national flag, we have our state symbol Vytis, bridging the two Lithuanias – the old and the new.

The Centennial has revealed our capacity to draw the best from the depths of the past for the needs of the present; we are always ready to give our responsible and often times hard efforts for the bettering of our state and the people; we stand for our freedom, when this fundamental value is threatened; we have the vigour to build not only our own but also the European and world history. These things serve as the basis for us being proud of the achievements of the restored Lithuania, while inspiring us to work for the present and be hopeful about the future.

Aims and objectives

To bring together the people of Lithuania for the celebration of the birthday of the new Lithuania, to inspire pride in their country, and encourage them taking an important and active role in the life of their country.

To increase Lithuania’s global visibility.

To make the 16 of February the most important date of the Centennial and ensure public involvement in its celebration;

To focus on grass roots mobilising initiatives that strengthen pride in our country (the 16 February events, 6 July initiative ‘National Anthem’ Around the World, the Song Festival), and on continuing global campaigns;

To ensure unified appealing dissemination of the historical narrative of the Centennial: to create new projects together with the interested public bodies as well as other partners, and to integrate them in the earlier-planned projects (exhibitions, audio-visual production, information campaigns, and publications);

To ensure dissemination of positive information about Lithuania in the media and social networks of the countries that have been recognized, through an agreement between the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, and the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania, as Lithuania’s priority countries (hereinafter –priority countries).

Implementation of the programme

All the activities of the Centennial shall merge into a tricolour palette, three strands of activities, reflecting the essential notion of the historical narrative of the Centennial, i.e. that the Centennial is not a specific date but rather the viable links needed for the creation of the success story:

LEARN: activities linked to the red colour of the Tricolour will be devoted to the past and the present: they invite learning about the country, its victories, and its heroes, and disseminating the historical narrative of the Centennial;

CELEBRATE: activities linked to the green colour of the Tricolour will be devoted to the present: they invite public celebration of 16 February in a meaningful way;

CREATE: activities linked to the yellow colour of the Tricolour will be devoted to the future: they encourage to engage and take an active part in the creation of the present and the future, and give practical meaning to the key notion of the historical narrative of the Centennial – the central hero of the Centennial is each individual working for the benefit of the country.

The target audience of the programme: the people of Lithuania, especially the youth, and the media of the priority countries.

Activities of the programme are listed in Annex 1 and Annex 2 to the programme.

The Office of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter – the Office of the Government), together with other interested public bodies, shall perform coordination and monitoring of the programme.

The implementing ministries as well as other state institutions and agencies shall report to the Office of the Government annually, but no later than by 1 May and 1 November, on the progress of the programme.

The Office of the Government, following the assessment of the report on the progress of the programme submitted by the implementing ministries and other public bodies and agencies, shall provide information about the findings and recommendations for the improvement of the programme to the Commission for the Coordination of the Programme for the Centennial Celebration of the Restoration of the State of Lithuania (hereinafter – the Commission) annually but no later than by 1 June and 1 December.

The Commission shall assess the information about the implementation of the programme and submit it to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, and, if appropriate, it shall also submit programme-related proposals, including recommendations for its improvement.

Expected outcomes

The implementation of the programme is expected to deliver the following increase of:

The importance of 16 February as the date significant for the people of Lithuania.

The public awareness about the Centennial ant its achievements.

The social and civic engagement of the people of Lithuania.

The global visibility of Lithuania.

 

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