United Germany Part I

By | October 14, 2021

The Christian-Liberal Coalition after Reunification (1990-98)

After the state elections of October 14, 1990, the states that were dissolved on the territory of the GDR in July 1952 and now restored in a modified manner were incorporated into the federal structure of Germany. The five new federal states and the former Berlin (East), now part of the federal state of Berlin, were initially not fully included in the state financial equalization (Finanzausgleich) included. The distribution of votes in the Bundesrat in accordance with Article 51 of the Basic Law was changed in a way that increased the weight of the larger federal states. The process of organizational integration, especially of the parties and trade unions of the GDR, into corresponding organizations in the “old” Federal Republic of Germany had already begun in mid-1990. Immediately after the unification of the two German states, on October 4, 1990, Federal Chancellor Kohl included East German politicians as ministers with no portfolio in the government. Learn more about Germany and Europe, please click a2zgov.com.

The »accession area« was included in the treaty system of the EC within the framework of »transitional regulations« (October 22, 1990). With a reduction in the strength of the armed forces and the dissolution of the National People’s Army the GDR, the united Germany remained a member of NATO. While the western powers (especially France, Great Britain and the USA) continued to maintain a reduced number of troops in the territory of the former Federal Republic of Germany, Germany and the USSR agreed in a stationing agreement (October 12, 1990) the complete withdrawal of the Soviet army (concluded on August 31, 1990). 1994). On September 8, 1994, the troops of the Western powers said goodbye to Berlin. A new NATO troop statute was signed on March 18, 1993. After the Unification Treaty, the international treaties of the Federal Republic of Germany continued to apply to the unified Germany; The international treaties concluded by the GDR regulated special provisions. The first foreign policy measures for Germany as a whole were the conclusion of two basic treaties with the USSR (9. German-Polish Border Treaty); in the latter, the Oder-Neisse line was established as a legally binding border between the two states. On June 17th, 1991 the »German-Polish Agreement on Good Neighborhood and Friendly Cooperation«, a German-Hungarian Agreement on friendship and cooperation on February 6th, 1992, the »German-Czechoslovakian Neighborhood Agreement« on February 27th, 1992, later supplemented by the »German-Czech Declaration« of January 21, 1997 (especially on the respective responsibility for the Munich Agreement in 1938 and for the expulsion of the Sudeten Germans in 1945/46).

Domestically, the elimination of the consequences of the division of the state and the establishment of equal living conditions in all federal states moved to the center of politics. The overcoming of the enormous problems in the new federal states and in the process of the growing together of both parts of the population (German unity) became of great importance despite numerous efforts to achieve a socially acceptable restructuring of the legal, economic and social order.

The increasing xenophobia between 1991 and 1993 (especially attacks on dormitories for asylum seekers) as well as the questions of European unification (Maastricht Treaty of 7.2.1992; European Union) and asylum law (in force from 30.6./1.7.1993) required attention.

The first all-German elections on December 2nd, 1990 confirmed the CDU / CSU-FDP coalition government under Chancellor Kohl. On June 20, 1991, the Bundestag passed a narrow majority (338 against 320 votes) to relocate the Bundestag and the seat of government to Berlin – the capital of Germany that was newly determined in the Unification Treaty. The Federal President was the first constitutional body to have his seat in Berlin (Bellevue Palace; 1st official seat since January 1994).

The extensive files of the Ministry for State Security (MfS) of the GDR (“Stasi files”), the accessibility of which was regulated by law on November 14, 1991, as well as the criminal prosecution of those committed by GDR state organs or on their behalf, proved to be of great legal-political explosiveness Criminal offenses (»government crime«, order to shoot at the inner-German border, state security offenses, etc.). However, the trials against Honecker, the former Stasi chief E. Mielke and members of the SED Politburo (including E. Krenz ) emphatically that the judicial »processing of the history and consequences of the SED dictatorship in Germany« (name of the first inquiry commission of the German Bundestag, 1992–94; successor commission 1995–98) had to remain inadequate. In view of the often far-reaching changes in personal living conditions for citizens in East Germany, the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) was able to establish itself there as the successor to the SED as a “protest party” (from 1998 first involved in a state government in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania).

On May 23, 1994, R. Herzog (CDU) was elected Federal President.

After the federal elections on October 16, 1994, the Christian-liberal coalition under Chancellor Kohl was able to continue government work with a narrow majority. In view of the massive pressure to adapt and change through globalization, which had received an additional boost with the end of the East-West conflict, inevitable processes of renewal gained primary importance since the mid-1990s: Reduction of the high levy and tax burden, changes in the social system, deregulation and de-bureaucratisation. The future of the welfare state in general and the imminent replacement of the German mark by the European common currency, the euro became the focus of discussion in 1996/97.

United Germany 1