As it began, our century drew to a close, with Germany once again the economic powerhouse and political hub of Europe. What is remarkable is how quickly this happened, how unbidden and unanticipated: the toppling of the Berlin Wall in November 1989; the reunification a year later; the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War in late December 1991; a resurgent impetus to West European integration in 1992; and NATO enlargement, which was consecrated in April 1999. Unquestionably, this chain of events has profoundly affected Germany’s situation over the past decades. For the first time since the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) in 1949 and the painstaking process of creating democratic institutions, the German elite must look beyond the continuing task of state building and deal with a set of formidable new problems. Germany is the only country in the world now having to deal with parallel modernization processes: the modernization of the former (West German) Federal Republic of Germany and, simultaneously, the transformation in the former German Democratic Republic from a Communist state-controlled economy to a liberal and social-market economy. Pressures induced by economic and political changes are currently being felt in many European nations, yet a reunited Germany faces a more specific and poignant challenge: In its role as a central power at the heart of Europe, Germany bears a tremendous political responsibility to itself and the whole continent, both for historical reasons and because of its geopolitical location. With that said, it is only through evaluation of the positives and negatives for both Germany and Europe as a whole that we can assess wh...
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...h a more integrated economy and currency. Lastly, although the EU might make Germany a target for terrorism, the greater cultural advancements brought on open borders and freer flow of information make the EU a very tempting organization. It is with all that said, then, that this scholar concludes that it would, ultimately, be more beneficial to Germany (and many other countries, for that matter) to join and strengthen the European Union.
n Pulzer, P.; Germany 1945-1990: Politics, State Formation, and Reunification; Oxford University Press, London; 1997
n Landgguth, Gerd; Germany in the Age of Globalization; Washington Quarterly v22 no3 p91-108; Summer 1999
n Lawday, David; Lovers Meet Again, Over Sauerkraut; New Statesman (London) v130 p21-22 F 12 2001
n Rubinstein, Alvin Z.; Germans On Their Future; Orbis v43 no1 p127-43 Winter 1999
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