Martynas Snieganas is the new director of the New Democracy Fund’s regional office in Lithuania
In November 2021, The New Democracy Fund opened a new office in Vilnius, which will serve as a focal point for the New Democracy Fund’s engagement in Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, as well as the Baltic States. With experience from the area Martynas Snieganas is ready to take up the role of leading the new office.
To Lithuanian Martynas Snieganas the New Democracy Fund is a perfect match professionally. He has an extensive professional link to Denmark and the Nordic countries, an in-depth experience in interparliamentary Nordic co-operation and the development of civil society and media democracy. Furthermore, he has travelled and worked with and in especially Belarus and Ukraine, which the newly opened office in Vilnius will cover for the New Democracy Fund.
Link to Denmark
From an early age Martynas Snieganas has been interested in the Nordic Countries. He comes from a long line of teachers, but as young man he decided to take another path. Straight out of high school he started studying Scandinavian studies at Vilnius University, which led him to both Denmark and Norway. Today he speaks both Nordic languages, as well as Russian, English and Lithuanian as his mother tongue. With a passion for tech, his special interest is with an intersection of technology and democracy development.
Following a master’s degree in Politics and Media, Martynas Snieganas started a journalistic job where he among other things was a correspondent in Denmark covering politics and social matters for Lithuanian state broadcaster LRT.
In 2011 Martynas Snieganas started as an adviser for the Nordic Council of Ministers. A position he has held for more than ten years. Consequently, he had high criteria for a potential new job. It needed to be connected to Denmark and have an international focus. The New Democracy was the perfect match:
“I feel privileged to represent the New Democracy Fund in Vilnius and help Belarusian, Ukrainian and Moldovan civil society organizations to respond to a wide variety of concerns and perform very important social, cultural, civic and economic functions through partnerships with the Danish counterparts,” says Martynas Snieganas.
Making an impact
Martynas Snieganas’ focus in the office’s inception phase is to make The New Democracy Fund as relevant as possible within the region. He wants to make an impact and be close to the organisations and efforts on the ground in Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova. The office’s main objective is to become a catalyst for civil society organisations (CSO’s) and networks by helping them connect and share experience and thereby strengthen their capacities. By building stronger bonds between CSO’s in the region and Denmark the hope for Martynas Snieganas is that positive change will happen:
“We need to lay out the tracks for the civil society organisations, and thereby built a strong network across Denmark and the region, where inspiration, knowledge and support can be shared in the aims to strengthen their important efforts. Hopefully, this will help ensure a more free, peaceful, and vital civil society in the Eastern Neighbourhood Countries,” says Martynas Snieganas and emphasizes that he has one strong message to new and existing partners:
“We all wish for a more democratic and stabile society. With the Belarusian border only being one hundred kilometres from Vilnius we are every day reminded on how fragile our democracy is. We are on an important mission. So, reach out – the office is open, and we are ready to collaborate.”
Martynas Snieganas can be reached on e-mail: email@example.com