Economic Transition and Social Security Policies in Lithuania
Lithuania is facing serious difficulties in its political, economic, and social life during the transition to a market economy. The main goal of the government now is to become reintegrated into the European and world communities after more than 50 years of Soviet occupation. Before World War II, Independent Lithuania had political, economic, and cultural relations with all European countries, the United States, and Canada. The Soviet system broke down these relations, even with Lithuania's closest neighbor, Poland. The Soviet-run economy was created in such a centralized way that even inside the former Soviet Union the trade balance between Lithuania and Russia was much larger than between Lithuania and its other closest neighbor, Latvia. Lithuania now manages its own social security system since regaining independence in 1990. The main goal of social security now is to protect the population in this period of growing economic instability and to maintain the current standard of living.