Our vision

The Civil Society Institute is a centre for the analysis of public policy, for the dissemination of information relevant to public policy issues, and for the implementation of educational projects. The Civil Society Institute was founded by the Open Society Fund-Lithuania and Valdas Adamkus Foundation in July 2004.

Civitas is a Latin word that can designate both the civic community and the state.
Civitas is the state conceived as the community of citizens.

PVI logo

The symbol is modelled on an emblem from a 17th century book

“There is perhaps no more vital task today than rebuilding the civil order in those societies where the omnipotent state has left that order in ruins. It would be an error to suppose that government can achieve that task. Civil society is the result of the spontaneous human actions of a free people… It is easier for the moral fabric of society to be destroyed than it is for it to be carefully built up and passed down through the generations. There can be no doubt that freedom will not last long unless that task is begun.”

Nigel Ashford, Principles for a Free Society

A crane holding a stone in the classical tradition of political culture which stretches from Antiquity to the Enlightenment is a symbol of civic vigilance and civic responsibility. According to an ancient legend, a flock of cranes would choose one of their number to watch over the rest lest anyone attack them under the cover of the night. The crane thus designated would take a stone in its claw – if the crane were to fall asleep, the falling stone would immediately wake it up again.

Civitas is a Latin word that can designate both the civic community and the state.
Civitas is the state conceived as the community of citizens.

The Goals of the Institute:
• strengthening civil society in Lithuania, as well as an active contribution to the implementation and reinforcement of democratic and civic values;
• providing Lithuanian society with objective and reliable information regarding issues in public policy;
• affirming and defending the idea and principles of civil society in the political and public life;
• encouraging citizens’ active and conscious participation in public activity, as well as the exercise of their civic liberties and rights.

The Tasks of the Institute:
• to observe, analyse, and predict the trends in the development of civil society in Lithuania;
• to identify and to oppose the factors and forces which have a negative influence on civil society;
• to implement standards and procedures of political culture based on respect to civil society;
• to initiate discussions concerning Lithuania’s strategic priorities and landmarks of public policy;
• to reinforce the positions of critical, well-reasoned, and analytical discourse in the public life of Lithuania;
• to promote civic consciousness, civic activity, and communal association.

Principal Directions of the Institute’s Activities:
Promoting civic initiatives and reinforcing civic attitudes in society:
• seeking to achieve a working partnership between academics, politicians, entrepreneurs, mass-media, non-governmental organisations, local communities, and various interest-groups;
• influencing legislative issues and political decision-making, formulating policy proposals based on the monitoring of legislation as well as on the analysis of public policy;
• accumulating the experience and know-how for the expansion of civil society.

Analysing public policy:
• observing, analysing, and studying public policy and political culture in Lithuania;
• evaluating opportunities for European integration and presenting them to the public;
• evaluating examples of best practice in Europe and the world and analysing their suitability to Lithuanian conditions;
• performing comparative studies of post-Communist countries;
• analysing the challenges that globalisation presents to civil society.

Defending the idea of civil society in public discourse:
• publicly expressing opinion concerning pressing issues in the development of civil society in Lithuania;
• assisting various interest-groups in their defence of the idea of civil society;
• initiating public discussions and debates;
• implementing educational projects and contributing to the creation of a system of continued civic education.