The Integrity Celebration took place at the Presidential Palace of the Republic of Lithuania to mark the 3rd anniversary of the Integrity Academy initiative and to announce the winners of the students’ competition “Building Transparency Together”. The event was attended by the President of the Republic of Lithuania Gitanas Nausėda, the Director of the Special Investigation Service (STT) Linas Pernavas, as well as the mentors of the Integrity Academy, participants, and winners of the student competition and representatives of the educational community.
“I am pleased that more and more students and classes from all over Lithuania are getting involved in the “We Create Transparency Together” competition and learning to apply the most important principles of transparency in practice. These lessons, I have no doubt, will be useful not only for the winners, but also for all participants. It will be useful for Lithuania, which needs to continue to grow and become stronger,” said the President of the Republic Gitanas Nausėda.
“I believe that active public engagement, discussion and exchange of best practices is the right path to follow in order to achieve a more transparent environment in the country. It is encouraging to see today a young generation that cares, actively participates and presents us with ideas that are not only pleasantly surprising but also thought-provoking. It is also good to see the mentors and participants of the Integrity Academy taking real action in their organisations to create a more transparent environment”, said Linas Pernavas, Director of the STT at the event.
The event provided an overview of the third year of the Integrity Academy, showcased the best examples of transparency initiatives, honoured the most active mentors and the participants who have made the most progress and graduated from the Transparency Academy.
“The President’s Acknowledgements for Progress in Strengthening Resilience to Corruption were awarded to the two organisations that have made the most progress in the year and have completed the Integrity Academy: the Lithuanian Probation Service and AB “Klaipėdos vanduo”. They received the President of the Republic’s commendations and symbolic statuettes of the Integrity Academy.
Aurimas Kudūkis, AB “Vilniaus šilumos tinklai” and Andrius Varnelis, AB “Lietuvos pastas” received the Presidential Commendations for their active role in creating a corruption-resistant environment and for their support in achieving the biggest positive changes.
At the event, certificates of completion of the Integrity Academy were awarded to 5 organisations that have strengthened their anti-corruption environment and have also completed the Integrity Academy: the State Service for Protected Territories under the Ministry of the Environment, the Mažeikiai District Municipal Administration, AB “Klaipėdos vanduo”, UAB “Klaipėdos regiono atliekų tvarkymo centras” and the Environmental Protection Agency.
The members of the Integrity Academy programme for teachers were awarded with certificates of appreciation for their greatest contribution to transparency change: the mentor, Inga Vainorienė, an expert teacher of ethics at Šiauliai Simonas Daukantas Engineering Gymnasium, and the participants who completed the programme, Modesta Barakauskaitė, a teacher of Lithuanian language and literature at Klaipėda Martynas Mažvydas Pro-Gymnasium, and Jolita Stadalninkaitė, a teacher of history at Vilnius Fabijoniski and Vilnius Minties Gymnasia.
The Integrity Celebration was attended by a large number of pupils who took part in the competition “Building Transparency Together”. This year, the competition attracted even more interest, with 3,748 pupils and 215 classes from all over Lithuania taking part. The winners in three categories were selected by the jury: the “Transparency Leader” was the 2nd G class of Linkuva Gymnasium in Pakruojis district, the “Transparency Spreader” was the 10th DT class of Vydūnas Gymnasium in Klaipėda, and the most active school in the “Transparency Community” nomination was Klaipėda Technological Training Centre. The winners were presented with certificates of appreciation by the President of the Republic of Lithuania.
The event was rounded off with a discussion on “How does transparency enable people to trust the state and each other?”, which was attended by the Adviser to the President, Darius Urbonas, the Director of the STT, Linas Pernavas, the Head of the Civil Society Institute, Dr Ieva Petronytė-Urbonavičienė, lecturer of the Institute of International Relations and Political Science, VU, the President of the Lithuanian Council of Youth Organisations, Umberto Masi, the President of the Lithuanian Youth Organisation Council and the member of the Lithuanian chapter of “Transparency International”, Sergejus Muravjovas from the ISM University of Management and Economics. The event was moderated by Richardas Jonaitis.