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Helmut Kohl's Ten-Point Plan for German Unity (November 28, 1989)

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Once more, I want to emphasize this clearly: these are not preconditions; rather, this is plainly and simply the objective requirement if assistance is to have any chance of taking hold. [ . . . ]

Incidentally, there can be no doubt that this is also what the people in the GDR want. They want economic freedom, and they want at last to reap the fruits of their labor and achieve greater prosperity. [ . . . ]

Fourth: Prime Minister Modrow has spoken in his policy statement of a contractual community. We are prepared to take up this idea. The proximity of both states in Germany, and the special character of the relationship between them, requires an ever tighter network of agreements in all areas and at all levels.

This cooperation will increasingly require common institutions as well. Already existing commissions can take on new tasks, additional ones can be formed. I am thinking particularly about the areas of the economy, transportation, environmental protection, science and technology, health, and culture. I need not emphasize that in everything that has yet to occur Berlin must remain fully incorporated. That was, is, and shall remain our policy.

Fifth: We are also prepared to take yet another decisive step, namely, to develop confederative structures between both states in Germany, with the aim of creating a federation, that is, a federal order, in Germany. However, that absolutely presupposes a democratically legitimized government in the GDR.

Here, we could imagine the following institutions being established soon after free elections are held: a joint government committee for permanent consultation and political coordination, joint committees of experts, a common parliamentary committee – and several others in view of any completely new developments.

Previous policy towards the GDR, given the circumstances, had to restrict itself essentially to small steps, by which we attempted, above all, to alleviate the effects of [Germany's] division on the people and to keep alive and sharpen consciousness for the unity of the nation. If we find ourselves facing a democratically legitimized, that is, a freely elected, government as a partner, entirely new perspectives will open up. Step by step, new forms of institutional cooperation can emerge and be expanded.

Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, such a growing-together lies in the continuity of German history. State organization in Germany has almost always meant a confederation or a federation. We can certainly draw on these historical experiences.

No one knows today what a reunified Germany will ultimately look like. That unity will come, however, when the people in Germany want it – of this, I am certain.

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