On the 24th of March, 2016, the results of the 2015 Civic Empowerment Index Research were presented to the public. The research showed that Lithuania is still looking for remedy to strengthen its civil society. It was calculated that the mean value of the Civic Empowerment Index in 2015 was 33.4 points out of 100. It has not changed much since 2014, when the mean value was 34.0 points. Last year saw a decline in society‘s civic activeness: there were far less people donating to charity and participating in environment cleaning and local community activities.
To begin with, last year could be characterised by further decline in society’s civic activeness. Despite some successful one-off civic events, the majority of Lithuanians stated that they had not donated to charities or supported people and organisations in need in any other ways (in 2015, 44% of respondents donated to charity, which is 12% less than in 2014). There was also a decline in participation in environment cleaning activities (in 2015, 41% of respondents were involved in such activities, which is 9% less than in 2014) and local community activities (29%, which is 5% less than in 2014). A decline in participation in these three most popular civic activities had an impact on civic activeness in general. In 2015, as much as 34% of respondents did not participate in any of the 18 listed civic activities.
On the other hand, higher civic activity risk assessment index could be observed in 2015, with the mean value reaching 24.3 points out of 100 and being higher than a year ago (mean value of the civic activity risk assessment index was 18.9 in 2014). Less respondents indicated that they feel threat when initiating or actively participating in civic activities. Threats include being suspected that their participation is based on egoistic incentives, losing a job, being publically harassed, slandered, considered as weirdo or even receiving death threats.
In addition to the main Civic Empowerment Index questionnaire, a few more questions, which were added in 2015, allowed to analyse in more detail people’s participation in civic activities with respect to their membership in various kinds of communities and organisations. Study revealed that 22% of respondents participate in one organisation or gathering, 10% participate in a few, but as many as 68% do not participate in any. The majority (6%) of people indicated that they are members of local communities, whereas 4% belong to trade unions. Furthermore, 3% are members of garden and apartment communities, and another 3% participate in Caritas activities. Participation in the other gatherings was mentioned by no more than 2% of respondents.
More about the results of 2015:
The research of the Civic Empowerment Index is based on representative public surveys. In November 2015, such survey was carried out by the public opinion and market research centre “Vilmorus”.