On the Approval of the National Research Programme "Social Challenges to National Security"


Published: 2009-04-11

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Official translation
20 January 2010
 
 
GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA
 
RESOLUTION No 1424
 
of 4 November 2009
 
ON THE APPROVAL OF THE NATIONAL RESEARCH PROGRAMME “SOCIAL CHALLENGES TO NATIONAL SECURITY“
 
Vilnius
 
 
Acting pursuant to paragraph 26 of the Regulations on National Research Programmes approved by Resolution No 731 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 16 July 2008 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 85-3382, 2008) and paragraph 4 of Resolution No 980 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 1 October 2008 on the Approval of the List of National Research Programmes (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 116-4427, 2008), the Government of the Republic of Lithuania has resolved:
1. To approve the National Research Programme “Social Challenges to National Security“ (as appended).
2. To establish that the implementation measures of the National Research Programme “Social Challenges to National Security“ (hereinafter referred to as “the Programme”) shall be funded, taking into account the state’s financial ability, from the allocations of the State budget of the Republic of Lithuania to the Research Council of Lithuania.
3. To suggest, in accordance to the Regulations on National Research Programmes approved by Resolution No 731 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 16 July 2008, to the Research Council of Lithuania that, within a month from the enforcement of the Resolution, a Programme Implementation Group should be formed and the implementation and monitoring of the Programme be organized.
 
 
 
Prime Minister                                                                                 Andrius Kubilius
 
 
 
Minister of Science and Education                                                 Gintaras Steponavičius
 
 
 
 
APPROVED by
Resolution No 1424 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 4 November 2009
 
 
NATIONAL RESEARCH PROGRAMME
“SOCIAL CHALLENGES TO NATIONAL SECURITY“
 
I. GENERAL PROVISIONS
 
1. The purpose of the National Research Programme “Social Challenges to National Security” (hereinafter referred to as “this Programme”) – to perform a complex research of the Lithuanian society in relation to national security environment. Though emphasis is usually placed on the external factors and threats to state and national security, it is impossible not to notice the internal ones arising from threats due to unsustainable development of society (see figure). This has also been noted in the National Security Strategy approved by Resolution No IX-907 of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania of 28 May 2002 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 56-2233, 2002; No 15-473, 2005), emphasizing that phenomena such as social and economic inequality, uneven social and economic development, deterioration of living standards of certain social groups, which contributes to social and political extremism, increase of crime, as well as the devaluation of the family institution, uncontrolled migration and huge emigration of Lithuanian citizens are risk factors, dangers and threats to national security. However, this Programme covers only a part of the field of internal threats – demography, employment, social and mental well-being, individuals’ destructive behaviour, while other internal factors will be the subject of other programmes.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Figure. External and internal threats to national security
2. The implementation of this Programme, on the one hand, will yield a systemic and co-ordinated research into the processes that take place in Lithuania’s society owing to specific conditions of historic development, which pose danger to national security, scenarios and recommendations regarding the possible further development of the said processes. In order to know and manage these processes it will not suffice to rely on the international analogies and initiatives of single researchers. On the other hand, this Programme will encourage the development of social research in Lithuania, which suffered a significant slowdown due to Lithuania’s isolation from the free world during the last occupation when social sciences were fitted to serve the undemocratic politics. After Lithuania has regained its independence, the conditions for developing this research were unfavourable mainly due to economic difficulties, therefore, a lack of scientific knowledge corresponding to the state’s and social needs is felt.
 
II. ANALYSIS OF THE CURRENT SITUATION
 
3.         Since the last decade of the 20th century Lithuania has rapidly undergone controversial and negative demographic changes, which determined the current demographic crisis, namely:
3.1. transformation of the family (the traditional family has declined, it is rarely associated with marriage, the age of marriage has shown a tendency to rise, the interpersonal relations in the family have weakened, the autonomy of marital partners and family instability have been increasing), a relatively high mortality rate which does not correspond to the level of development of the society (the mortality rate in Lithuania is the highest among the European Union Member States, being even higher than four decades ago);
3.2. large-scale emigration (the highest among the European Union Member States), which results in the increase of family instability, the rise in the number of abandoned children and Lithuanian citizens abused abroad, the human trafficking still goes on, the psycho-social stress is increasing, the brain drain continues and the national identity is vanishing, and the direct consequences of all that (a rapid decrease in Lithuania’s population, the loss of demographic balance, depopulation and the aging of population) lead to a demographic crisis, which poses a threat to national security, sustainable labour market and competitive economic development.
4. National and international comparative studies of most demographic phenomena have been intensive, but, owing to the lack of funding, unstable, not complex enough and incomprehensive: Lithuania is participating in different international comparative studies; considerable results have been achieved in the research of family change and birth rate, however, the studies of the conceptual basis of family policy and the monitoring of consequences, changes of mortality rate, and of differences and migration are still being fragmentary (the funds allocated for the said research are dispersed to projects, which are not always being implemented by researchers of the right professional aptitude).
5. In order to improve the demographic situation, it is necessary to conduct a complex interdisciplinary research into migration, birth rate, family changes, public health, mortality rate and the ageing of population, which would show the nature of negative trends, their threat to national security, would create conditions for the evolvement of adequate migration, family support and health policies, i.e. facilitate, on a regular basis, the formation, implementation of such policies and the scientific assessment of their results.
6. The above listed demographic problems are closely intertwined with the controversial trends in the labour market:
6.1. though employment in Lithuania had been increasing until 2008, there was considerable economic inactivity (about 33 per cent at the end of 2008), and from the middle of 2008, the unemployment rate has substantially risen;
6.2. the issue of properly qualified employees is still high on the agenda – the high inactivity of population, increasing unemployment and the qualitative lack of employees will have in the long run a very negative effect not only on Lithuania’s economy, but also on the general standard of living of the country’s population, the status of social protection and social stability;
6.3. the ageing of the population enhances the burden on the social protection system, results in new requirements for the labour market and the management of human resources and personnel;
6.4. territorial mobility is gaining more importance – both the external migration (especially emigration) of the labour force and a more active internal territorial mobility (since territorial mobility is inseparable from professional mobility, it is important to utilize as effectively as possible the European Union funds allocated for professional training).
7. Although there has been much research into the labour market, labour demand in most cases was investigated separately from labour supply, and there is a lack of research into this problem: it would be of the utmost importance to collect data on the employment of work places, uneven employment with regard to professions and territories, to evaluate labour demand and supply relationship from the professional and other viewpoints.
8. Research into employment and labour market in Lithuania has become increasingly intense since 2000:
8.1. the Programme of the Republic of Lithuania for Increasing Employment for 2001–2004 has been developed and approved by Resolution No 529 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 8 May 2001 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 40-1404, 2001), also aimed at implementing the Lisbon Strategy, which envisages the necessity for a closer cooperation with research institutions and social partners;
8.2. In 2004–2005 in Lithuania, with a more active use of EU structural funds, the studies of the labour market have expanded, though there is still little interconnection between the research areas, the studies seldom complement each other, being mostly short-term;
8.3. owing to the specificity of the parties commissioning the research (public administration institutions), the applied employment and labour market studies prevail, with theoretical and international studies being too scarce (which reduces the comparability of the available information);
8.4. currently, the studies of employment and labour market are mostly related to the solutions of an applied nature, which limits the scientific horizon of the studies and the possibilities to offer qualitatively new, untraditional solutions (mathematical research methods are rarely used, there is too little cooperation with the researchers of other areas of science, reference to their research methodologies is insufficient).
9. The studies of employment and labour market in the Member States of the European Union and other foreign countries are focused so as to help regulate the relationship between the labour market and society (i.e. reduce social exclusion, increase employment opportunities and be satisfied with professional field, create family-friendly employment relations).
10. Though Lithuania’s system of social welfare, aimed at the prevention of poverty and the provision of support to the impoverished (from a formal viewpoint of social risks and the coverage of problems), is similar to those of other modern capitalist states, Lithuania’s social policy manifestly differs from that of the Western states in terms of the allocated funds. Lithuania’s allocations to social (as well as health) protection make up 13.3 per cent of GDP, while allocations of European Union Member States for the said purpose make up on average 27.3 per cent of GDP. The difference between Lithuania’s expenditure on social protection per capita and the European Union average is much greater than the difference between its economic capacity and EU average. In 2005, Lithuania’s GDP per capita made up on average 51 per cent of the European Union average, while its average per capita social protection resources – as little as 23 per cent.
11. The insufficient social protection results in greater problems, the solution of which already now requires highly expensive social integration and care services. The shortage of the latter results in many people becoming socially dependable, which brings an even greater need for financial support. Due to decline of workforce and high emigration, the resources needed for such support are increasingly depleting. That is how the vicious circle of social exclusion begins.
12. In Lithuania the theoretical paradigms created and used by the Western countries cannot be applied in the field of social welfare, since they can only be partially applied in the young democratic states with highly specific development patterns and a short period of independent policy making. These theoretical paradigms must be taken over, tested, and later, on the basis of empirical research, developed into a theoretical approach reflecting the specific historical experience and different social practice of the Eastern European and Baltic states.
13. The issues of the origin and structure of social welfare were given a thorough study in the scientific literature of the second half of the 20th century. In the recent decades, most attention was paid to social policy changes, i.e. the impact of globalization on a welfare state and the ways to modernize the social policy that was formed on the basis of the industrial mode of production. In this field especially much attention is given to the economic aspects of social policy and the application of the newest statistical analysis methods: here the initiatives of the European Commission, targeted at increasing use of research for solving social problems, are of great importance.
14. The creation of a modern welfare state is more closely associated with the need for social and economic security rather than for equality. A welfare state – the most important feature of industrialization, its management and development – is more often associated with the need for social and economic security rather than a mere need for social and economic equality. It is necessary to reveal the factors influencing the formation and development of social welfare systems in Lithuania, to study the origins of the existing social welfare and identify its characteristic features: studies of social welfare will yield a better understanding of the interests and powers of Lithuania’s social structural groups which influence the formation and implementation of the social policy. The efficiency of the activities of social institutions also needs to be analysed. One of important goals of social welfare research is the disclosure of the results and consequences of the current social policies, their alternative measures and programmes.
15. Certain aspects of social welfare that are being studied in Lithuania are most frequently fragmentary and the research themes – rather accidental, since participation in the research is in most cases determined by accident (usually related to the goals of the international research or those of research-commissioning institutions). The successful development of Lithuania’s social welfare system is impossible without a comprehensive analysis of the living standards of different social groups and outcomes of social policy.
16. During the period of transformation of a totalitarian state into a democratic one, the number of cases of recorded and real (as well as latent) crime increases. Though, as the National Programme for Crime Prevention and Control approved by Resolution No IX-1383 of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuanian of 20 March 2003 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 32-1318, 2003) states, during the last decade, the level of crime in Lithuania has not posed a real threat to the state’s stability and has not caused social crisis, it still remains at socially unacceptable level, has a negative impact on the areas of social life and reduces the security of population, however, currently, the situation has been radically changing – the crime situation is again a source of deep concern.
17. There are several signs pointing that crime is one of the challenges to national security, namely:
17.1. in many sociological surveys the Lithuanian people responding to the question “What is the source of your deepest concern?” indicated that it was crime or its increase;
17.2. cases of violence are frequent in Lithuania (killings, suicides, violence against women and children), and Lithuania has been listed among the world’s top ten countries for the number of murders recorded per 1000 population;
17.3. victimological research also testifies to the spreading of crime: according to the data of the most recent victimological research (conducted in 2005), more than a half of Lithuania’s population claimed to have suffered from acts of crime at least once within the last five years.
18. After the restoration of Lithuania’s independence, as many as several tens of programmes for the control and prevention of crimes were approved and implemented. It was expected that the measures envisaged in the programmes would help reduce the incidence of certain acts of crime. Such practice is several decades behind the modern science: the intensive research of the methods applied has shown that most of them were totally inefficient.
19. The analysis of the criminogenic processes posing threats to personal and social security is inseparable from the studies of applied (or applicable) systems of enforcement measures for different violations of law, their alignment and application practice. Though Lithuania’s penal policies as well as the policies related to the application and enforcement of penalties have substantially changed in recent years, the deprivation of liberty still remains among the most frequent penalties (about 35 per cent of all penalties) and the number of prisoners per 100 thousand population - one of the largest in Europe.
20. Allocations from the State budget of the Republic of Lithuania for maintaining public order and security in 1998–2006 made up from 7 to 12.3 per cent. The improvement of the control over criminogenic processes on the basis of a comprehensive scientific research would not only contribute to the security of the Lithuanian state and society, but also to a more efficient use of public funds.
21. The analysis of the impact of criminogenic processes on national security, their prevention and control is one of the key directions of scientific national security research, and this Programme would encourage a well-focused research of Lithuania’s criminogenic processes, connect them with the national security environment, ensure the scientific analysis of the prevention and control measures (already applied and those under development) against criminal acts and the research-based recommendations for the institutions concerned.
22. Manifestations of destructive behaviour (crime that is difficult to halt, mental diseases, drug, alcohol addiction, suicides, careless behaviour on the road, at home and workplaces, everyday violence, bullying in educational institutions) as well as the negative attitude towards the government show that the psychological state of mind of the Lithuanian people is not sound. This has been confirmed by the results of different surveys.
23. In the past five years in Western countries there has been a marked increase in the number of studies on mental functioning and mental well-being and the studies of community and group psychology have been expanded.
24. It is necessary to improve the status of mental research in Lithuania:
24.1. this direction of studies is still not systematic: the research being conducted is single, narrow-topic, short-term perspective project research that uses unreliable (and sometimes unlicensed) methods;
24.2. it is necessary to carry out studies, which would help, in a reliable way, evaluate a person (his or her cognitive abilities and intellect, personality, objectives and intentions, attitudes, autonomy, etc.), since without them it would not be possible to study the methods of mental treatment (psychotherapy, psycho-correction, psychological rehabilitation, etc.);
24.3. it is necessary to study a person’s mental functioning: mental well-being, personality, intellect and other cognitive abilities, to develop, adapt and standardize personal achievement methods;
24.4. in standardizing research and evaluation methods, it is necessary to examine the samples representative of all members of the Lithuanian population, i.e. to obtain data that could be compared with the results of analogous research conducted in other countries.
 
III. THE PURPOSE, TASKS OF THE PROGRAMME AND ITS IMPLEMENTATION MEASURES
 
25. The purpose of this Programme – to reveal the nature, content, extent and trends of the social phenomena threatening national security, to develop strategic solutions and envisage tasks and recommendations for overcoming such threats.
26. In order to reach the objective referred to in paragraph 25 of this Programme the following tasks and their implementation measures shall be foreseen:
26.1. research of the country’s demographic development. There will be conducted:
26.1.1. research into birth rate (its determining factors and consequences, models and factors of procreative behaviour, transformation of the family and household);
26.1.2. research of death rate and public health status (its influencing factors and possible consequences);
26.1.3. studies of migration (its trends, extent, directions, factors, consequences, effect on national security and the loss of demographic balance) and the factors determining these demographic processes;
26.2. studies of the country’s human resources, labour market policy and employment. There will be conducted:
26.2.1. studies of the trends relating to changes of workplaces;
26.2.2. studies of work motivation among the population (its stimulation and career projection);
26.2.3. studies of the efficiency of labour market and employment policy measures (assessment of the effect of macroeconomic processes of tax and labour market measures on the labour market);
26.3. social welfare research. There will be conducted:
26.3.1. studies of social problems, social welfare needs;
26.3.2. studies of the formation of the primary income of the population and social care services;
26.3.3. studies of the factors influencing social policy formation, its results and consequences;
26.4. studies of criminogenic processes posing threat to personal and social security. There will be conducted:
26.4.1. studies of the status of recorded crime (including latent crime) in Lithuania (its extent, structure, changes, regional peculiarities), analysis of the harm caused by crime and the forecast of trends;
26.4.2. studies of the reasons and consequences of the population’s trust (mistrust) in law enforcement institutions, research of the population’s attitude towards the threat of crime;
26.4.3. studies of the effectiveness of the research-based programmes and measures for the prevention of criminal offences in Lithuania, studies of penalty application and enforcement policies of criminal acts’ control system;
26.5. studies of psychosocial interactions and subjective welfare. There will be conducted:
26.5.1. studies of the factors (demographic, health, social and economic as well as personal) influencing a person’s mental welfare;
26.5.2. studies of perceived justice (political, social and economic, legal and procedural) and its factors in Lithuania;
26.5.3. studies of the factors relating to the representation of political movements and public institutions in individual consciousness.
27. The schedule for the execution of the Programme’s implementation measures and the funds required for their execution shall be specified in the Annex.
 
IV. PLANNED RESULTS
 
28. The implementation of this Programme will result in:
28.1. a more intensive preparation and implementation of relevant research projects on demographic, labour market, social welfare and crime topics (it is planned to prepare and implement not less than 30 projects);
28.2. compilation and development of articles, monographs and synthetic works on the most important research fields covered by this Programme (not less than 20 articles, 5 monographs and synthetic works);
28.3. a more comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness, adequacy and alignment with the economic needs of labour market and employment measures, the development of methods for forecasting the situation on the labour market (not less than 3 methods);
28.4. acquisition of new data and provision of more reliable landmarks – research-based recommendations on the modernizing of population and family policy fields, social welfare and labour market supervision systems (not less than 3 recommendations);
28.5. accumulation (according to main indicators) of knowledge on crime recorded in Lithuania and carrying out of a comparative analysis of the knowledge: comparison will be made with a corresponding situation and trends in foreign countries (not less than 3 comparative analyses), preparation of recommendations on the control and prevention of criminogenic processes (not less than 3 recommendations);
28.6. analysis of the factors of mental welfare of the Lithuanian population and the creation of methods (in the form of tests and their packages) for the evaluation of personality, cognitive abilities and mental welfare (not less than 3 test packages).
 
POSSIBILITIES OF THE USE OF PLANNED RESULTS
 
29. The accumulated information will enable to reveal the less-investigated relationships between gender equality and demographic behaviour, help better justify family policy priorities and recommendations on the reduction of the early and behaviour-related mortality rate of young and middle-aged men, make adequate decisions on stabilizing the situation.
30. The comprehensive studies of the effect of family, birth and mortality rates, migration processes and population policy on demographic processes and a regular monitoring of the effectiveness of these policies will facilitate the modernization of the population policy.
31. The research results will contribute to the enhancement of the competitiveness of Lithuania’s economy, a more efficient use of the national labour resources, as well as the purposes of sustainable economic development and to the planning of fiscal measures, improvement of the legislation regulating labour and the economy, development of social dialogue and a more effective social protection system and the improvement of business development measures. There will be close co-operation among different beneficiaries (social partners, representatives of local authorities, non-governmental institutions).
32. The results of the studies will help improve educational process, form labour migration policy, draft recommendations (for employers, Lithuania’s labour exchange office, professional training institutions, county administrations and municipalities).
33. The analysis of the development and implementation in Lithuania of the programmes and measures for the prevention of criminal acts will be carried out, examples of good practice will be identified and the criteria for the development of such programmes and measures will be generated. Conclusions and recommendations will be presented to the institutions responsible for the control and preventions of criminogenic processes. On the basis of research results and projections a number of preventive and control measures will be proposed. A cooperation network of the researchers of criminogenic processes will be created. Methodologies will be provided for personal assessment services.
34. The planning of social research will be linked to national security needs. Scientific projections, which will facilitate the planning and organization of the activities of the institutions within the national security system, will be provided.
35. In the course of the implementation of this Programme, qualified social research specialists will be trained. Doctoral studies will become more attractive, more possibilities will open up to scientists returning to Lithuania who have studied and gained research experience abroad.
 
VI. CRITERIA FOR THE EVALUATION OF PROGRAMME IMPLEMENTATION
 
36. The results of this Programme shall be evaluated after its implementation. The criteria for the evaluation of the tasks of this Programme shall be as follows:
36.1. the number of relevant research projects on demographic, labour market, social welfare and crime topics, prepared and implemented in the course of implementation of this Programme;
36.2. the number of prepared and published articles, scientific monographs and synthetic works on the most important research fields covered by this Programme;
36.3. the number of prepared methodologies for projecting the situation on the labour market;
36.4. the number of research-based recommendations on the modernization of population and family policy fields, social welfare and labour market supervision systems;
36.5. the number of comparative analyses of crime recorded in Lithuania, recommendations for control and prevention of criminogenic processes;
36.6. the number of methods (in the form of tests and their packages) for the evaluation of personality, cognitive abilities and mental welfare.
 
VII. FINAL PROVISIONS
 
37. This Programme shall be administered by the Research Council of Lithuania, in accordance with the Regulations on National Research Programmes approved by Resolution No 980 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania of 1 October 2008 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 85-3382, 2008).
38. Tenders shall be organized for carrying out research projects under this Programme and other activities referred to in the Annex to the Programme, in accordance with the procedure established by legislative acts. The implementing bodies of the measures of this Programme shall be the Research Council of Lithuania and its selected Lithuanian and foreign institutions of higher education and research as well as groups of researchers.
39. This Programme shall be financed from the budget of the Republic of Lithuania allocations for the Research Council of Lithuania. According to the preliminary estimates, the implementation of this Programme in 2010–2013 would require LTL 10 900 thousand.
40. The Implementation Group of this Programme and the Committee of Humanities and Social Sciences of the Research Council of Lithuania shall every year present an annual Report on this Programme and recommendations for the Ministry of Science and Education, other ministries and public institutions concerned within their competence; shall present the research results of this Programme in the means of public information and scientific conferences. The Research Council of Lithuania shall in its annual activity reports present to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania the information regarding the course of implementation of this Programme and its results.
 
 
 
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Annex to the National Research Programme
“Social Challenges to National Security”
 
 
PLAN OF IMPLEMENTATION MEASURES OF THE NATIONAL RESEARCH PROGRAMME “SOCIAL CHALLENGES TO NATIONAL SECURITY”
 
Programme tasks
Measure
Implementation schedule
Responsible persons
Preliminary funding need, LTL thousands
Source of funding
In 2010
In 2011
In 2012
In 2013
Total
1. To conduct research of the country’s demographic development
Research of birth and mortality rates, health status of the population, migration and the factors determining these demographic processes
2010–2013
Research Council of Lithuania
900
700
800
400
2 800
Allocations from the State budget of the Republic of Lithuania
2. To conduct research of the country’s human resources, labour market policy and employment
Studies of the trends relating to changes of workplace, work motivation among the population, the efficiency of labour market and employment policy measures
2010–2013
Research Council of Lithuania
700
600
700
200
2 200
Allocations from the State budget of the Republic of Lithuania
3. To conduct research of social welfare
Research of social problems, social welfare needs, the formation of the primary income of the population, social care services, factors influencing the formation of social policy, its results and consequences
2010–2013
Research Council of Lithuania
800
700
800
500
2 800
Allocations from the State budget of the Republic of Lithuania
4. To conduct research of criminogenic processes posing threat to personal and social security
Research of the status of recorded crime (including latent crime) in Lithuania, the harm caused by crime and its trends, reasons and consequences of the population’s trust (mistrust) in law enforcement institutions, population’s attitude towards the threat of crime, Effectiveness of research-based programmes and measures for prevention of criminal offences in Lithuania, studies of the penalty imposition and execution policies of criminal acts’ control system
2010–2013
Research Council of Lithuania
700
600
600
100
2 000
Allocations from the State budget of the Republic of Lithuania
5. To conduct research of psychosocial interactions and subjective well-being
Studies of the factors influencing a person’s mental well-being in Lithuania, perceived justice and its factors, factors relating to the representation of political movements and public institutions in the individual consciousness
2010–2013
Research Council of Lithuania
400
300
200
200
1 100
Allocations from the State budget of the Republic of Lithuania
 
Total
 
 
3 500
2 900
3 100
1 400
10 900
 
 
 
 
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