Essays A Process of No Return. Responses within the European Community to the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the Prospect of German Reunification

World leaders discussed things behind the scenes. Thatcher but also Mitterrand were against German reunification. An analysis of documents shows how Kohl managed to get the EU’s acceptance.

Published in the printed edition of Baltic Worlds page 17-21, Vol II: III-IV, 2009
Published on on February 12, 2010

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Even at one minute past midnight on 1 January 1990 we already knew that this would be a formative decade in Europe. A forty-year-old European order had just collapsed with the Berlin Wall. Everything seemed possible. Everyone was hailing a “new Europe”. But no one knew what it would look like.
Timothy Garton Ash1

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the drive for unity between East and West Germany was powerful enough to bring about reunification. In hindsight, reunification seems inevitable, and all attempts to obstruct the process foredoomed. And yet, as initial responses testify, the process of German reunification inspired individual European political leaders with both misgivings and deep anxieties. This article explores initial responses to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the prospect of German reunification, with particular attention to countries and leaders in the European Community (EC). It draws mainly on memoirs and biographies, while scattered evidence on international reactions is to be found in published material and in archival sources. Documents released by the British government in September 2009 provide additional testimony on how West Germany’s European allies responded to the fall of the Berlin Wall and subsequent moves towards German unity.

The international community’s countries and national leaders varied in their responses to this challenge. Great Britain, France, Poland, and Israel, in particular, reacted skeptically or negatively at first; but Italy and the Netherlands had misgivings as well.

While the Soviet Union initially denounced German reunification, the U.S. administration backed it. The four Allies, or Berlin powers — that is, the Soviet Union, the U.S., France, and Britain — played a central role in the discussions on German unity and the terms of unification. In 1990, they joined both German states in the “Two Plus Four” talks that led to an agreement that stipulated that the Allies were to relinquish their rights and that a German state was to gain full sovereignty.2

This agreement came into force on October 3, 1990, which is when the united Germany gained full state sovereignty.

From the fall of the Wall and onwards, West Germany was engaged in talks with other nations. Helmut Kohl, Chancellor of West Germany, personally held talks with Soviet President Gorbachev and with U.S. President Bush. From Bonn’s perspective, it was essential to get the backing of both the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Timothy Garton Ash explains:

The external negotiation was basically between the Federal Republic, the Soviet Union and the United States, in that order. The Bonn government makes no secret of the fact that it was the United States, rather than France or Britain, that was its crucial Western supporter in the whole process. Washington was not just self-evidently more important in talks with Moscow, but also more unreservedly supportive than London or Paris — a fact that has done some damage to the Franco-German “axis”. Yet the central negotiation was that between Bonn and Moscow. In Moscow in February, Chancellor Kohl secured Gorbachev’s assent to unification in one state.3

In their account of the process leading to German unification, Philip Zelikow and Condoleezza Rice remark — with admirable understatement — that compared to U.S. President Bush, Mitterrand and Thatcher “were not as relaxed about developments in Germany”.4 Like British Prime Minister Thatcher, French President Mitterrand was worried that Germany would become too powerful. As Tony Judt notes, the first reaction in Paris was to block any move towards German unification, with Mitterrand trying “to convince Soviet leaders that, as traditional allies, France and Russia had a common interest in blocking German ambitions. Indeed, the French were banking on Gorbachev to veto German unity”.5

When the Berlin Wall was toppled, France held the EC Presidency. The French President invited all of the EC’s twelve government leaders, as well as the President of the European Commission (Jacques Delors), to a special meeting in Paris, where they were to discuss the German situation and ask Kohl to clarify his intentions, including those concerning the future of Europe’s borders. The informal summit in the Élysée Palace convened on the evening of Saturday, November 18. Jacques Attali, President Mitterrand’s adviser, later wrote that the atmosphere had been electric.6

In her memoirs, Thatcher recalls that President Mitterrand called this special November Council in Paris specifically to discuss the consequences of events in the East and the fall of the Berlin Wall.7 Mitterrand did so partly to ensure that Eastern Europe would not dominate the Strasbourg European Council that was scheduled for December. Thatcher further notes:

President Mitterrand opened by posing a number of questions, including whether the issue of borders in Europe should be open for discussion. Then Chancellor Kohl began. He said that people wanted “to hear Europe’s voice”. He then obliged by speaking for forty minutes. He concluded by saying that there should be no discussion of borders but that the people of Germany must be allowed to decide their future for themselves and that self-determination was paramount. After Sr. González had intervened to no great effect, I spoke.8

Thatcher then elaborated on her concerns:

I said that though the changes taking place were historic we must not succumb to euphoria. The changes were only just beginning and it would take several years to get genuine democracy and economic reform in Eastern Europe. There must be no question of changing borders. […] Whatever reservations Chancellor Kohl may have had were not voiced. Whether he had already decided on his next move to accelerate the process of reunification I do not know. 9

For his part, Kohl recalls in his memoirs that he came under attack from the British prime minister.10 According to Kohl, Thatcher wanted to maintain the status quo, but could not prevent the German people from following their destiny.11 Kohl further notes that mistrust of the Germans existed not only in Paris but also in the Hague, in Rome, and in London.12  Faced with the fear of Germany becoming too powerful, Kohl tirelessly repeated that there would be no national Alleingang.13

In other words, Chancellor Kohl took note of how various nations responded to the prospect of German unification, and adopted a policy of self-restraint. In the words of Zelikow and Rice:

Kohl voiced no reservations and in fact did not speak of unification at all. His theme was one of reassurance. In private, of course, Kohl’s advisers were carefully noting the differences in the way foreign governments had reacted to the opening of the Berlin Wall. The Americans were obviously most positive, the French seemed friendly but reserved, and the British and Dutch were cold.14

Wilfried Martens, Belgium’s Premier from 1979 to 1992, also recalls the Élysée summit in his memoirs:

With this first summit meeting since the fall of the Wall, Mitterrand attempted to take the wind out of the sails of Thatcher; he wanted to focus the discussion at the European Council on Central Europe. For Mitterrand it was essential that the Community speak with one voice so as to pre-empt the East-West Summit of Bush and Gorbachev in Malta on 3-4 December. […] We also clearly stated that these new developments should not be allowed to slow down European integration. Kohl was fully committed. This was of vital importance, since the French were afraid that a new, enlarged Germany would turn its back on Europe. The inviolability of the existing borders was formally confirmed, as were the military alliances, both NATO and the Warsaw Pact. To my knowledge, German unification or Wiedervereinigung was still not mentioned in Kohl’s intervention at the time. No one really knew where we were going. We were mainly feeling our way during the talks. The fall of the Berlin Wall required a mental readjustment, and for some people this meant distancing themselves from what they had declared a short time previously.15

It is noteworthy that Kohl had not yet spoken of reunification. However, ten days after the informal summit at the Élysée, on November 28, 1989, Kohl announced his “ten-point” plan for “reunification”.16 Kohl did not consult his European allies.17 But according to Kohl himself, President Bush had been informed. 18 Kohl’s plan, notes Martens, “encouraged everyone at home and abroad to get a move on.”19.  Wondering how the Americans would react to Kohl’s ten-point program for achieving German unity, Thatcher soon learned that President Bush backed Kohl, and endorsed both German and European unity.

On December 4, immediately after the meeting between Bush and Gorbachev in Malta, a NATO summit was held in Brussels.20 After Bush had spoken, Kohl suggested that the meeting adjourn, but after “an awkward pause, Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti asked to continue with his presentation. He warned that self-determination — if taken too far — could get out of hand and cause trouble. Kohl snapped back that Andreotti might not hold the same view if the Tiber divided his country”.21 In connection with “the skirmish between the Germans and the Italians”, Thatcher said that she shared Andreotti’s concerns.22 According to Zelikow and Rice, Thatcher “felt defeated, both by the American stance on Germany and by Washington’s strong support for further integration of Europe”.23 After the NATO summit in Brussels, Thatcher later wrote: “The fact remained that there was nothing I could expect from the Americans as regards slowing down German reunification — and possibly much I would wish to avoid as regards the drive towards European unity.”24

Thatcher now pinned her hopes on an Anglo-French axis. “If there was any hope now of stopping or slowing down reunification it would only come from an Anglo-French initiative. Yet even were President Mitterrand to try to give practical effect to what I knew were his secret fears, we would not find many ways open to us.”25

Thatcher and Mitterrand held private meetings to discuss the German question. Charles (now Lord) Powell, then foreign affairs adviser to Prime Minister Thatcher, wrote memos on the meetings. A breakfast meeting between the two leaders took place in Strasbourg on December 8, in connection with the European Council summit.26

According to the memo, Mitterrand spoke critically of Kohl, saying he had no understanding of other nations’ sensitivities and was exploiting German “national” feeling.27

In her memoirs Thatcher recalls that she and Mitterrand — at his suggestion — had two private meetings

to discuss the German problem and our reaction to it. He was still more concerned than I was. He was very critical of Chancellor Kohl’s “ten-point” plan. He observed that in history the Germans were a people in constant movement and flux. At this I produced from my handbag a map showing the various configurations of Germany in the past, which were not altogether reassuring about the future. We talked through what precisely we might do. I said that at the meeting he had chaired in Paris we had come up with the right answer on borders and reunification. But President Mitterrand observed that Chancellor Kohl had already gone far beyond that. He said that at moments of great danger in the past France had always established special relations with Britain and he felt that such a time had come again. We must draw together and stay in touch. It seemed to me that although we had not discovered the means, at least we both had the will to check the German juggernaut. That was a start.28

Thatcher further notes that at the official meetings of the European Council, the discussion

was of course very different in tone, although the Dutch Prime Minister Mr. Lubbers said at the heads of government dinner that he thought Chancellor Kohl’s “ten-point” plan would encourage reunification, that there were dangers in talking about self-determination and that it was better not to refer to one “German people”. This required some courage. But it hardly deflected Chancellor Kohl, who said that Germany had paid for the last war by losing one-third of its territory. He was vague about the question of borders — too vague for my liking — arguing that the Oder-Neisse line, which marked the border with Poland, should not become a legal issue. He did not seem now or later to understand the Polish fears and sensitivities.29

In his memoirs, Kohl writes that the British Prime Minister voiced the strongest reservations in Strasbourg.30 It infuriated him that Thatcher raised the question of borders. According to Kohl, only Felipe González and Charles Haughey, Ireland’s premier, were unreservedly supportive of reunification when, during dinner, the leaders tried to arrive at a common position on the German question.31 While he met no objections from the representatives of Luxembourg (Jacques Santer) and Belgium (Wilfried Martens), Kohl was disappointed with the reaction of Italian Prime Minister Andreotti, who warned of a new “Pangermanismus”.32 Kohl further notes that Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers was very outspoken about his major reservations on the issue of German unity.33  The fact that a fellow Christian Democrat voiced such reservations was a great disappointment to Kohl.34 As for Mitterrand, Kohl believed him to be under the influence of his foreign minister, Roland Dumas.35

Martens notes that during the dinner that preceded the final outcome in Strasbourg, Mitterrand — when it came to the German question — “did not take the same line as Kohl. He was very cautious and still did not formally declare himself in favor of reunification. He would not do so until much later”.36

Martens further comments that

German reunification was already a fait accompli in Kohl’s mind. He was anxious to convince the opponents and doubters among his fellow government leaders. Thatcher declared herself against the reunification. Mitterrand hesitated, so did Andreotti. Gonzalez, Santer and I were strongly in favor. Lubbers intervened in the form of a question: “On the basis of the past, is it opportune for Germany to become united again?” This tour de table left deep scars. Kohl wanted to force a breakthrough and not everyone appreciated it. He was furious with Lubbers’ intervention. As he left the dinner Kohl snarled at Lubbers: “I will teach you something about German history!” 37

According to Martens, the most important and most delicate passage in the concluding statement had to do with German reunification.38 The EC summit effectively reaffirmed Germany’s right to unity through self-determination. In the Presidency Conclusions, the special Declaration on Central and Eastern Europe reads as follows:

We seek the strengthening of the state of peace in Europe in which the German people will regain its unity through free self-determination. This process should take place peacefully and democratically, in full respect of the relevant agreements and treaties and of all the principles defined by the Helsinki Final Act, in a context of dialogue and East-West cooperation. It also has to be placed in the perspective of European integration.39

Martens emphasizes that this statement reflected the principle not of “a German Europe, but a European Germany”.40

At this time, it was popular among politicians both within and without (West) Germany to quote Thomas Mann’s celebrated phrase that what was aspired to was “not a German Europe, but a European Germany”. The goal was a closer union and stronger ties between Germany and the supranational European institutions. Europe would save Germany from itself through Selbst-einbindung. If he had not done so before, Kohl now saw German unification and European unity as two sides of the same coin. He believed that the best way to restore Germany’s reputation was to restrain German power, for the benefit of Europe as a whole.

In the words of Martens: “Crucially, Kohl wanted to embed German reunification within a united Europe. This concurred with his deepest convictions. He wanted to strengthen and broaden the Community with all that this implied at the time: the EMU and the Social Charter and, further in the future, the European Political Union (EPU).” 41

The idea of tying Germany ever more closely to the EC suited Kohl’s efforts to reassure those who were skeptical or negative towards German reunification, to bring it home to them that there was no question of a national Alleingang vis-à-vis the East or a hegemonic German role within the EC.

In his biography on Mitterrand, Jacques Attali, who for many years served as adviser to Mitterrand, writes that German reunification was conditioned on European unity.42

Garton Ash puts it well: ”After trying to prevent or at least to slow down the unification of Germany at the end of 1989, François Mitterrand was reassured by Helmut Kohl’s emphatic commitment to push ahead with the further political and economic integration of the existing EC of twelve member states. This Franco-German understanding was the single most important driving force behind the inter-governmental conferences on what was loosely called the European political and monetary union, and hence of the Maastricht treaty.” 43

In a similar vein, Judt, in his account of postwar Europe, states that once it became clear that Gorbachev was not going to veto German unity Mitterrand “adopted a different tack. The Germans could have their unity, but at a price. There must be no question of an enhanced Germany taking an independent path, much less reverting to its old middle-European priorities. Kohl must commit himself to pursuing the European project under a Franco-German condominium, and Germany was to be bound into an ‘ever-closer’ union — whose terms, notably a common European currency, would be enshrined in a new treaty”.44

Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that Mitterrand, after the Strasbourg meeting and before Christmas, paid an official state visit to East Germany. According to Martens, this was “to the great displeasure of Kohl”.45 Mitterrand, who had received no prior information about Kohl’s ten-point plan, declined an invitation to attend a ceremony to mark the re-opening of the Brandenburg Gate.46 However, Mitterrand was reluctant to air opposition to German reunification in public. Mitterrand, according to Thatcher, claimed at his press conference in East Berlin shortly before Christmas that he was not “one of those who were putting on the brakes”.47 Thatcher notes the difference between Mitterrand’s public attitude and his private thoughts, adding that she hoped that the meeting between the two, which was to take place in January 1990, “might overcome this tendency to schizophrenia”.48

Another meeting between Mitterrand and Thatcher took place at the Élysée palace, on Saturday, January 20, 1990.49 Here, the British memo-writer noted that Mitterrand spoke of reunification as leading to a re-emergence of the “bad” Germans that had once dominated Europe.50 Reportedly, Mitterrand said that if Kohl were to get his way, Germany might win more ground than Hitler ever did, and that Europe would have to live with the consequences.51 Mitterrand went on to warn Thatcher that if Germany were to expand territorially, Europe would be back to where it was before World War I.52 But he — unlike Thatcher — also acknowledged that no force in Europe could prevent this from happening.53 In her memoirs, Thatcher recalls that virtually the entire discussion had “concerned Germany”. 54 According to Thatcher, Mitterrand

was clearly irked by German attitudes and behavior. He accepted that the Germans had the right to self-determination but they did not have the right to upset the political realities of Europe; nor could he accept that German reunification should take priority over everything else. He complained that the Germans treated any talk of caution as criticism of themselves. Unless you were whole-heartedly for reunification, you were described as an enemy of Germany. The trouble was that in reality there was no force in Europe which could stop reunification happening. He agreed with my analysis of the problems but he said he was at a loss as to what we could do. I was not so pessimistic. I argued that we should at least make use of all the means available to slow down reunification. The trouble was that other governments were not ready to speak up openly — nor, I might have added but did not, were the French.55

Thatcher goes on:

The fact that little or nothing in practical terms came out of these discussions between me and President Mitterrand about the German problem reflected his basic unwillingness to change the direction of his whole foreign policy. […] Moreover, his failure to match private words with public deeds also increased my difficulties. But it must be said that his judgment that there was nothing we could do to halt German reunification turned out to be right.56

In her memoirs Thatcher concedes failure: “If there is one instance in which a foreign policy I pursued met with unambiguous failure, it was my policy on German reunification. This policy was to encourage democracy in East Germany while slowing down the country’s reunification with West Germany.” 57

Looking back, Thatcher notes:

Awareness of the past and uncertainty about the future led President Mitterrand and me, with not very effective assistance from President Gorbachev, to try to slow down the rush to German unification. In the end, we failed — partly because the United States administration took a different view, but mainly because the Germans took matters into their own hands, as in the end, of course, they were entitled to do.58

As Zelikow and Rice emphasize:

The fact is that Bonn and Washington were united in a way that made it nearly impossible politically for other NATO allies to go public with their concerns about unification, much less work to derail the process. Without American backing, almost all diplomatic options for Britain and France seemed quixotic. Mitterrand was also not willing to risk his hopes for the future of the European Community on a gambit with the British to confront Bonn.59

In her memoirs Thatcher notes that, as it turned out, Mitterrand was not in a position to abandon the Franco-German axis, on which he had relied in the past.60

It appears that while both Thatcher and Mitterrand wanted to slow down the process and feared that reunification would again enable Germany to dominate Europe, Mitterrand soon realized that the reunification process had gained so much momentum that it could not be stopped. The momentum was such that the process had come to a point of no return. This was also apparent at a meeting of European Christian Democrat leaders in Pisa, Italy, on February 17, 1990, a meeting that Kohl omits from his memoirs. This meeting took place shortly after Kohl had returned from Moscow with an assurance from Gorbachev that it was for the Germans themselves to decide under which conditions they would reunite their nation, as well as the nature of the united Germany’s government. As we have seen, Kohl had noted the skeptical attitudes shown towards German reunification by some of his fellow Christian Democrats, notably Andreotti and Lubbers. Andreotti, who was born in 1919 and had been prime minister of Italy several times over a period stretching from 1972 to 1992, is said to have echoed the French author François Mauriac: “We love Germany so much that we are happy there are two of them.”

The Pisa meeting was held under the auspices of the European People’s Party (EPP). Participants at this EPP conference included five EC heads of government: Giulio Andreotti (Italy), Helmut Kohl (West Germany), Ruud Lubbers (the Netherlands), Wilfried Martens (Belgium), and Jacques Santer (Luxembourg). This time, Kohl’s speech on German reunification dominated the meeting.61 Kohl emphasized that the unification of Germany within a united Europe was a dream that was to be realized with political friends in the Federal Republic and, if possible, with others who attended this meeting. In the words of Thomas Jansen, EPP general secretary between 1983 and 1994, who was present at the Pisa summit:

In Pisa, Helmut Kohl turned on all his persuasive powers to explain to his colleagues that German reunification did not pose any danger to the process of European integration, but on the contrary offered numerous opportunities. Restoring the unity of the German state could only succeed if it was embedded in the political/institutional framework of the Atlantic Alliance and the European Community. The Federal Republic was firmly anchored in Western Europe, especially in the economic sense. There would be absolutely no danger of Germany playing “see-saw politics”. If reunification succeeded, there would be a gut German predisposition to make European unity work too. Both processes, the European and the German, were bound up with each other, and each affected the other. 62

Jansen further reports that an exchange at a press conference, given that evening, testified to Kohl’s persuasive powers. The reporter from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Heinz-Joachim Fischer) asked Italy’s premier Giulio Andreotti whether he still took the view that the existence of two German states was important to Europe’s security.63 According to Jansen, Andreotti conceded that he now saw things differently: “The political context had changed, he said, and he could see no reason to doubt the assurances he and his colleagues had been given by the federal Chancellor.”64

Jansen emphasizes the wider implications of this meeting: “The feeling of confidence engendered in Pisa no doubt ensured absolute loyalty of Christian Democrat–led governments, as well as both national and EP (European Parliament) parliamentarians who belonged to EPP member parties, during the process of German unification. In their own countries they helped to persuade public opinion to accept unification and to support it.” 65

Wilfried Martens, in his memoirs, recalls that at this EPP summit “Helmut Kohl succeeded in convincing Giulio Andreotti to support German reunification”.66  After having had serious misgivings, Andreotti, too, realized the inevitability of the two German states becoming one. He agreed to the creation of a single German state, an outcome that increasingly looked like a historic fact. Eventually, Andreotti — like Lubbers and other European political leaders, including Thatcher — rallied behind the German unity process.

The account of how various countries and leaders within the EC responded to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the prospect of German reunification provides fascinating insights into the thinking and the actions — and, occasionally, the inactivity — of political leaders and decision-makers. It further illustrates the powerful dynamics that were at work. As events unfolded, history took a great leap forward. The collapse of the East German regime and the fall of the Wall in November 1989 led — inevitably, as it seems in hindsight— to the formal reunification of Germany in October 1990. The pace of change is remarkable. The period between the collapse of the Wall and the foundation of a united Germany was less than one year. As Garton Ash has noted: “More happened in ten months than usually does in ten years. The whole map of Europe was — or began to be — redrawn.”67

Many believed that German reunification was, at best, a distant prospect. Some of Europe’s political leaders wanted to slow down the process. There were different views, within EC, on how reunification should proceed. The obstructionists, however, were on the wrong side of history, as the unification of the two Germanies proved unstoppable.

It is striking how emotional and outspoken British Prime Minister Thatcher was on the “German problem”. She, in particular, made her worries public. Thatcher’s and Mitterrand’s initial opposition to reunification has long been known. But the sources on which this article is based testify to the depth of both leaders’ anxieties, and illuminates the part that European leaders played in the process. Thatcher and Mitterrand were not alone in being worried about German reunification; so were, notably, Chancellor Kohl’s fellow Christian Democrats Giulio Andreotti and Ruud Lubbers, heads of government in Italy and the Netherlands respectively.

In contrast to Thatcher, however, the socialist Mitterrand and the Christian Democrat leaders favored greater European integration. Germany’s national unity became closely associated with European unity. It is useful to pose the counterfactual question: How might European integration have evolved without German unity? Without the transformative effects of German reunification, it would probably never have achieved its current depth. Europe’s integration was reinforced by the emergence of a reunified Germany in 1990, strengthening the drive for a political as well as an economic and monetary union, including the introduction of a single currency. At the same time, after its reunification, Germany emerged as the most powerful country in Europe. The internal European balance of power shifted in Germany’s favor. Europe had changed significantly.


  1. Timothy Garton Ash, History of the Present: Essays, Sketches, and Dispatches from Europe in the 1990s, London 2000, p. xv.
  2. Among other aspects of German reunification, the “Two Plus Four” process is detailed in the memoirs of the ex-foreign ministers of (West) Germany and of Britain, respectively: Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Erinnerungen, München 1997; Douglas Hurd, Memoirs, London 2004. See also Horst Teltschik, 329 Tage: Innenansichten der Einigung, Berlin 1991; Philip Zelikow & Condoleezza Rice, Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft, Cambridge, Mass. 1995.
  3. Garton Ash, 2000, p. 57.
  4. Zelikow & Rice, 1995, p. 113.
  5. Tony Judt, Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945, London 2005, p. 640.
  6. Jacques Attali, C’était François Mitterrand, Paris 2005, pp.
  7. Margaret Thatcher, The Downing Street Years, London 1993, p. 759.
  8. Thatcher, 1993, p. 793; see also Zelikow & Rice 1995, p. 113. — Spanish Prime Minister Felipe González was a close ally of Chancellor Kohl.
  9. Thatcher, 1993, pp. 793–94.
  10. Helmut Kohl, Erinnerungen 1982–1990, München 2005, p. 984.
  11. Kohl, 2005, p. 984.
  12. Kohl, 2005, p. 985.
  13. Ibid.
  14. Zelikow & Rice, 1995, p. 113; see also Teltschik 1991, pp. 37–38.
  15. Wilfried Martens, Europe: I Struggle, I Overcome, Dordrecht 2009, p. 100.
  16. See, e.g., Kohl, 2005, pp. 990–96. ­— The idea of summarizing the path toward German unity in ten points originated with Horst Teltschik, Kohl’s foreign policy adviser. Kohl, 2005, p. 990; see also Teltschik, 1991, p. 49; Zelikow & Rice, 1996, p. 120.
  17. Kohl did not even consult his ruling Bonn coalition, including his own foreign minister, before he announced the plan. Genscher, 1997, p. 671; Zelikow & Rice, 1995, p. 121.
  18. Kohl, 2005, p. 996; see also Zelikow & Rice 1995, p. 121.
  19. Martens, 2009, p. 100.
  20. Zelikow & Rice, 1995, pp. 132–34.
  21. Zelikow & Rice, 1995, p. 133; see also Teltschik, 1991, pp. 65–66.
  22. Zelikow & Rice, 1995, p. 133; see also Kohl, 2005, p. 1007; Teltschik, 1991, p. 66.
  23. Zelikow & Rice, 1995, p. 134.
  24. Thatcher, 1993, pp. 795–96.
  25. Thatcher, 1993, p. 796.
  26. Attali, 2005, p. 323.
  27. Financial Times, September 10, 2009.
  28. Thatcher, 1993, pp. 796–97.
  29. Thatcher, 1993, p. 797.
  30. Kohl, 2005, p. 1012. — The Strasbourg talks are also described in detail in Kai Diekmann & Ralf Georg Reuth, Helmut Kohl: Ich wollte Deutschlands Einheit, Berlin 1996, pp. 190–98.
  31. Kohl, 2005, p. 1013.
  32. Ibid.
  33. Ibid.
  34. Kohl, 2005, p. 1014. — Lubbers would have to pay a price for his misgivings about German reunification. He did not become President of the European Commission, nor did he become General Secretary of NATO.
  35. Ibid. — In his memoirs, Douglas Hurd notes that his French colleague Roland Dumas “argued throughout that the remedy for any worries about a united Germany was to tie that country firmly into European integration. This was the policy which Mitterrand was quietly pursuing by persuading Kohl to accept a single European currency. It was a view which held no attraction for Margaret Thatcher.” Hurd 2004, p. 422.
  36. Martens, 2009, p. 101.
  37. Ibid.
  38. Ibid.
  39. Conclusions of the Presidency, European Council, Strasbourg, December 8 and 9, 1989, p. 15. — Among other things, the Helsinki Final Act of 1975 confirmed Europe’s existing borders.
  40. Martens, 2009, p. 101.
  41. Martens, 2009, p. 100; see also Teltschik, 1991, pp. 70-72.
  42. Attali, 2005, p. 313.
  43. Timothy Garton Ash, In Europe’s Name: Germany and the Divided Continent, New York 1994, p. 390.
  44. Judt, 2005, p. 640.
  45. Martens, 2009, p. 101; see also Teltschik 1991, pp. 94–95.
  46. Attali, 2005, p. 329; see also Judt, 2005, p. 640.
  47. Quoted in Thatcher, 1993, p. 797.
  48. Thatcher, 1993, p. 797.
  49. Thatcher, 1993, p. 797; Attali 2005, pp. 330–31.
  50. Financial Times, 2009-09-10.
  51. Ibid.
  52. Ibid.
  53. Ibid.
  54. Thatcher, 1993, p. 797.
  55. Thatcher, 1993, pp. 797–98.
  56. Thatcher, 1993, p. 798.
  57. Thatcher, 1993, p. 813.
  58. Margaret Thatcher, Statecraft: Strategies for a Changing World, London 2002, pp. 2–3.
  59. Zelikow & Rice, 1995, p. 165.
  60. Thatcher, 1993, p. 791.
  61. Helmut Kohl, “Diskussionsbeitrag: EVP-Konferenz der Partei- und Regierungschefs”, Pisa, February 17, 1990.
  62. Thomas Jansen, The European People’s Party: Origins and Development, Houndmills 1998, pp. 90–91.
  63. Jansen, 1998, p. 91.
  64. Ibid.
  65. Ibid.
  66. Martens, 2009, p. 109.
  67. Garton Ash, 1994, p. 343; see also Garton Ash, 2000.
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