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

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Eighth: The CSCE process is part of the core of this pan-European architecture. We want to push it forward and use the existing forums: the human rights conferences in Copenhagen in 1990 and in Moscow in 1991, the conference on economic cooperation in Bonn in 1990, the symposium on cultural heritage in Cracow in 1991, and not least the upcoming follow-up meeting in Helsinki. There, we should also think about new institutional forms of pan-European cooperation. We could quite easily imagine a common institution for the coordination of West-East economic cooperation, as well as the establishment of a pan-European environmental council.

Ninth: Overcoming the division of Europe and the division of Germany requires far-reaching and speedy steps towards disarmament and arms control. Disarmament and arms control must keep pace with political developments and, if necessary, be accelerated. This is especially true for the negotiations in Vienna on reducing conventional forces in Europe, for the agreement on confidence-building measures, and for the world-wide ban on chemical weapons that I hope will come about in 1990. This also requires that the nuclear potential of the great powers be reduced to the strategically required minimum. [ . . . ]

Tenth: With this comprehensive policy we are working towards a condition of peace in Europe in which the German people can regain their unity in free self-determination. Reunification – that is, regaining Germany's state unity – remains the political aim of the federal government. We are grateful that we have received renewed support from our friends and partners in the declaration of the Brussels NATO summit in May of this year.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are aware that the path to German unity poses many difficult questions to which no one today can, by rights, give definitive answers. This especially includes – I want to emphasize this – the difficult and decisive question of the overarching security structures in Europe.

Linking the German Question to the development of Europe as a whole and to West-East relations – as I have explained in these ten points – makes possible an organic development that takes into account the interests of everyone involved and – this is our goal – paves the way for a peaceful and free development in Europe. Only together and in a climate of mutual trust can we peacefully overcome the division of Europe, which has also always been the division of Germany.

This means that we need prudence, reason, and good judgment on everyone's part so that the recently begun, very hopeful development continues steadily and peacefully. It is not reforms that could disturb this process, but rather their denial. It is not freedom, but rather its suppression, that creates instability. Each successful step towards reform means more stability and an increase in freedom and security for all of Europe.

Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, in a few weeks the last decade of this century begins, a century that witnessed so much misery, blood, and suffering. Today there are many hopeful signs that the nineties harbor opportunities for more peace and more freedom in Europe and in Germany. It also depends decisively – everyone senses this – on our, the German, contribution. We must all meet this challenge of history.

Source: Helmut Kohl, “Zehn-Punkte-Programm zur Überwindung der Teilung Deutschlands und Europas” [“Ten Point Program for Overcoming the Division of Germany and Europe”] (November 28, 1989), in Bulletin des Presse- und Informationsamtes der Bundesregierung [Bulletin of the Press and Information Office of the Federal Government], November 29, 1989; reprinted in Volker Gransow and Konrad Jarausch, eds., Die Deutsche Vereinigung: Dokumente zu Bürgerbewegung, Annäherung und Beitritt [German Reunification: Documents on the Citizens’ Movement, Rapprochement, and Accession]. Cologne: Verlag Wissenschaft und Politik, 1991, pp. 101-04.

Translation: Jeremiah Riemer

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