If to ask the Lithuanian people and a lot of other Europeans why they are leaving their homeland, you could get few answers. They are simply tired to slave for a minimum wage, want a better life for themselves and their children, and they want to support their parents as well.
Although the emigration of these days, as well as previous waves, are driven mainly by material shortages, but at the moment situation is far more worrying because people who are leaving are mainly university students, scholars and professionals. “Brain drain” problem has become particularly sensitive with Lithuania’s accession to the European Union, which opened up a new jobs and training opportunities abroad. So far, most Lithuanian went to live and work in the U.S., but in recent years, more and more Lithuanians are going to England, Ireland, Spain and the Scandinavian countries.
While the ongoing debate about these days, and the economic and social consequences of immigration, no one knows the real extent of this emigration, and has not taken any concrete steps to control it. And all those who left are often named simply – the lost generation.
For today’s immigrants is no doubt much easier now than for those who were leaving many years ago. Information and computer technology help them not to feel so far from home, because to travel by plane from Europe it takes just a couple of hours.
Those wishing to join the Lithuanian community can do it even while being abroad. The World’s Lithuanian community now brings together 36 countries of the world, even the existing Lithuanian communities. Today’s immigrants, as well as the early emigrants from Lithuania, are setting up schools, clubs, newspapers, and creates their own web-based network.
The story revolves around – like a century ago, the current Lithuanian emigrants are complementing the remaining bills of their families so the country’s budget too, so somehow emigration is making the country to benefit a little. But there is another side to it – the country loses not only the taxpayers and citizens, but as well it loses young and the most active people who could be the future of Lithuania and its fate.
More and more those who are leaving admit that they never would return to their homeland. Even worse, they are thinking of taking away their families and parents with them. If such an intense emigration will last much longer, the demographic situation will deteriorate and Lithuania will lose specialists and all the funds invested in their education, as well it will significantly weaken the central sector of the public.
However, many can admit that, at least so far, this process of emigration is – unavoidable. Lets hope that the economic situation in Lithuania will start to change for better and those who left will slowly start to return so that the country would be able to have a better future.