EM Germany newsletter CW 40/2020 | 30 years of German unity in the European context
Many who graduated from high school in the summer of 1990 still learned that the Federal Republic was not a sovereign state, and that the GDR was certainly not one. Thirty years ago it was not yet clear that, with the fall of the Berlin Wall and of the Iron Curtain, Germany would once again become a unified and at the same time diverse federal state.
All those who claim to have foreseen this are wrong. Also wrong are those who believed that reunification would have had a chance without European integration. German reunification was a historic result of European cooperation.
The European Movement Germany campaigned early on for a United Europe. After all, it was the European Movement International that extended its hand to the West Germans at the Congress of Europe. In 1949, EM Germany was co-founded by Winston Churchill’s son in law. The Council of Europe would not have been conceivable without the “diplomacy of the people” at the time.
In the 1990s, the office of the EM Germany Secretary General Marhold under the presidency of Rita Süßmuth moved from Bonn to Berlin. The move was part of the development of the new political life in Berlin. Much has changed since then. Many member organisations have moved to Berlin, but many also remained in the federal state in the Rhineland or opened headquarters in Brussels. Even 30 years after German reunification, EM Germany continues to provide an overview of all actors who consistently accompany decision-making with a European reflex. This week’s #EBDGrafik illustrates which of our 249 members (a record number, by the way) are flying the European flag in the capital.
Have a nice week – and stay safe!
Secretary General, European Movement Germany
#EBDFokus: 30 years of German Unity in a European Context
For more than 40 years, Berlin, Germany and Europe were divided before on August 31, 1990, the Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR signed the Unification Treaty on the dissolution of the GDR . As a sign that „the impossible can become possible“, Donald Tusk recently described the fall of the Wall at a discussion event organized by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, in which Chancellor Angela Merkel also participated, and pleaded for European solidarity to be lived today. This solidarity was put to the test recently when, 30 years after reunification, inter-European borders were closed again for the first time because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In early April, 27 member organisations of EM Germany together called for European solutions to tackle the corona pandemic. +++ Dr. Adriana Lettrari, winner of EM Germany’s „Preis Frauen Europas“ in 2016 and the Women of Europe Award of European Movement International in 2017, explores the experience of the fall of the Berlin Wall as an opportunity for a „3rd generation East Germany“ of today’s 35- to 45-year-olds. +++ The celebrations for the 30th anniversary will take place under the motto „GERMANY: COMING TOGETHER AS ONE„. +++ On October 3, the „Bonn Forum on Unity. Germany and Europe“ will take place (in German), combining the unification celebrations with the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven. The ceremony can be followed via livestream. +++ Brandenburg, the host country of the „EinheitsExpo,“ invites you to take a walk through German Unity until October 4 where milestones and personal stories of German history are presented in an open-air multimedia installation.
#EBDGrafik of the week:
EM Germany news
„Europe’s future development should not only be defined by financial bail out packages, but also by an inclusive dialogue“ | CoFoE Online-Briefing: The Online-Briefing „Prospects for the Conference for the Future of Europe“ dealt with the necessary steps that need to be taken in order to plan and implement the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE). The event was jointly organised by EM Germany, the German Representation of the European Commission, the liasion office of the German Parliament and the National Network for Civil Society. | More (in German) +++ Comparing visions for the future | Linn Selle at the German-Spanish Dialogue: On September 22. EM Germany president Linn Selle was invited to discuss “the Conference on the Future of Europe: the German and Spanish vision” along with Dr. Nicolai von Ondarza, Head of a research group at Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) and Héctor Sánchez Magaluf, Researcher at Barcelona Centre for International Affair (CIDOB) | More (in German)
“We’ll bring Brussels to Berlin’s public awareness”- EM Germany president in tv show Brinkmann&König | On 22 September, Linn Selle was hosted in the tv format Brinkman and König to discuss EM Germany’s work, Europscepticism and the future of Europe. | More (in German)
Towards reaching an agreement for the CAP-reform | EBD De-Briefing AGRIFISH: Which obstacles are yet to be overcome in order to achieve a fundamental reform in the common EU-agriculture policy? How is the German Council Presidency to be evaluated so far from the perspective of the AGRIFISH Council? These question where addressed during the digital EBD De-Briefing AGRIFISH in collaboration with the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture on 23 September. More (in German) +++ Crisis Management in the context of a second wave of Covid-19: Endless Truck queues at the borders, interrupted supply chains, travel bans – Covid-19 has wreaked havoc on the European internal market. The measures that need to be taken in order to fully restore the internal market, and how it can be protected from collapse during a potential second wave, were discussed by the European Council for competitiveness on 18 September. The digital EBD De-Briefing with the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy provided an overview about the wide ranging Council discussions regarding the internal market. | More (in German)
Events to come
All EM Germany events take place via videoconference. Participation is free, but registration required. Conference language is German unless indicated otherwise. +++ 30.09.2020: EBD De-Briefing COMPET (Research) +++ 06.10.2020: EBD De-Briefing European Council +++ 07.10.2020: EBD De-Briefing ECOFIN and Euro Group +++ 12.10.2020: EBD Exklusiv: TransparenzEU +++ 13.10.2020: EBD De-Briefing Justice and Home Affairs +++ 15.10.2020 EBD Briefing: Kommission direkt with Margrethe Vestager +++ 19.10.2020: EBD De-Briefing European Council (with simultaneous interpretation into English and Italian) +++ 30.10.2020: Federal Assembly of EM Germany +++ Our Presidency Calendar on the German EU Council Presidency is online – in the traditional six-month format (scroll to page 2), but also for September 2020. We’re continuously updating this new monthly format with events as they evolve – the A4 size allows for easy printing at your office (wherever it’s situated). The October edition of the calendar is now available.
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