In 1996, François Mitterrand, President of France from 1981 to 1995, recalls the attitudes of the various European countries towards German reunification on the eve of the Strasbourg European Council of 8 and 9 December 1989.
At the end of the Strasbourg European Council held on 8 and 9 December 1989, the Heads of State or Government of the Twelve welcome the political changes under way in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEECs) and approve the principle of establishing a European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
On the day after the meeting of the European Council in Strasbourg of 8 and 9 December 1989, the federalist magazine L’Europe en formation expresses its satisfaction at the progress achieved by the Heads of State or Government of the Twelve, with particular regard to monetary cooperation and to their attitude to the political events in Central and Eastern Europe.
On the eve of the Dublin European Council, held on 28 April 1990, the federalist journal L’Europe en formation questions the ability of the Twelve to react to the political upheaval in Eastern Europe and to the challenge of German reunification.
On 28 April 1990, at an extraordinary meeting in Dublin, the European Council determines three phases for the integration of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) into the European Community: an interim adaptation phase, a transitional phase and a final phase.
In May 1990, the European Parliament's Directorate-General for Research draws up a working document which considers the impact of German reunification on the revenue and expenditure of the Community budget.
In May 1990, the French monthly magazine Le Monde diplomatique forecasts the repercussions of economic and monetary unification of the two Germanies on European integration, in particular on its political union.
On 10 November 1989, the German daily newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung describes the official visit of Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl to Poland as historic, comparing it with the visit made by Willy Brandt in December 1970.
In his memoirs, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, former German Foreign Minister, recalls the tour of the European capital cities which he undertook in order to reassure the European countries and explain to them the need for German reunification.
On 15 July 1990, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, West German Foreign Minister, Mikhail Gorbachev, President of the Soviet Union, and Helmut Kohl, German Chancellor, meet in Zheleznovodsk, in the Caucasus, to consider together the process of German reunification.
‘It’s reunification …’ In 1990, German cartoonist Walter Hanel illustrates the fears and mistrust of the Western countries regarding the renewed influence of a reunified Germany on the international stage. French President François Mitterrand announces the arrival of reunified Germany, represented as a giant, to the countries in the Atlantic Alliance. In the back room, we recognise British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Uncle Sam (the United States).
In this interview, Jean-Jacques Kasel, Director of Political and Cultural Affairs at the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1986 to 1992, discusses the reservations and doubts expressed by several Heads of State or Government of the Member States of the European Communities regarding the question of German reunification following the fall of the Berlin Wall during the night of 9 to 10 November 1989.
In this interview, Jacques Santer, former Luxembourg Prime Minster, recalls the fears expressed by Giulio Andreotti, Italian Prime Minister, and by François Mitterrand, French President, with regard to German reunification in the early 1990s.
In this interview, Jean François-Poncet, former French Foreign Minister and current Senator for Lot-et-Garonne, recalls the attitude of the French President, François Mitterrand, in November 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down and the following year when Germany was reunified.
In this interview, Élisabeth Guigou, Secretary-General of the Interministerial Committee for Questions on European Economic Cooperation (SGCI) from 1985 to 1990 and Policy Officer to French President François Mitterrand from 1988 to 1990, discusses François Mitterrand’s attitude to the upheavals that culminated in the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the reunification of Germany in 1990.
The FRG and the international issue of reunification
On 17 January 1990, Helmut Kohl, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), delivers an address on the importance of finding a response to the question of German reunification in a European context.
On 10 May 1990, in his government statement to the Bundestag, Helmut Kohl, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), analyses the outcome of the Special European Council on German reunification held in Dublin.
On 3 October 1990, in a letter addressed to all governments maintaining diplomatic relations with Germany, the German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, confirms reunified Germany’s determination to contribute to world peace and promote European integration.
In his memoirs, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, former German Foreign Minister, recalls the discussions on the way in which the German Democratic Republic (GDR) should be integrated into the European Communities.
On 30 October 1989, the West German news magazine Der Spiegel speculates on the ways in which the countries of Eastern Europe, including the German Democratic Republic (GDR), might be associated with the European Communities.
On 16 November 1989, the Government of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) addresses a memorandum to the French Council Presidency of the European Communities concerning the relations that it intends to establish with those Communities.
On 26 January 1990, the French weekly magazine L'Express analyses the points made by Jacques Delors, President of the European Commission, who is calling for the GDR to become the 13th member of the European Communities.
On 23 April 1990, the German news magazine Der Spiegel analyses the reactions of the European partners of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) to the possible accession of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) to the European Communities.
In a speech to the European Parliament on 16 May 1990, Charles Haughey, President-in-Office of the Council, talks of the main decisions adopted on 28 April 1990 following the Dublin European Council, particularly of those relating to the integration of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) into the European Community.
On 27 June 1990, the West German daily newspaper the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung comments on the ‘charm offensive’ undertaken by Lothar de Maizière, Prime Minister of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), towards the Heads of State or Government of the Twelve meeting in Dublin.
On 4 December 1990, the Council of the European Communities draws up a list of transitional measures required for the integration of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) into the European Economic Community (EEC).
‘Time bomb.' In 1991, the German cartoonist, Walter Hanel, portrays the high level of unemployment in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) as a threat to social cohesion in the reunified Germany.
In May 1993, in an article for the monthly legal journal Revue du Marché Commun et de l’Union Européenne, Franz Eppe, Adviser at the Commission of the European Communities, gives an account of the stages of the integration of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) into the Communities.