Declaration on the Development of Intra-German Relations by Minister of State Philipp Jenninger
From the outset, the present federal government under the leadership of Chancellor Helmut Kohl has attached special importance to its Deutschlandpolitik. The sustaining principles of these policies were laid down in the policy statements of October 1982 and May 1983. From the very beginning, we have maintained that there are fundamental differences between the Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR that should not be blurred. But we also said that we wish to combine steadfastness and loyalty to our basic principles and legal positions with flexibility and new ideas, especially where it concerns practical advances that benefit the people in divided Germany.
We agree with General Secretary [Erich] Honecker that it is important to do what we can. It is precisely because there is basic dissent as regards the German Question that a stable and predictable relationship between the two states in Germany is important. Both can make a contribution to stability in Europe. I would like to emphasize that our policies with respect to the GDR are part of comprehensive overall policies that include the Soviet Union and the other states of the Warsaw Pact. There is no German “special path” [Sonderweg] – either for us or the GDR. Both countries are and will remain reliable members of their respective alliances. An improvement in relations between the two states at the heart of Europe and on the dividing line between East and West is also in keeping with the interests of all European peoples.
The position of the federal government is very clear: peace policies require friendship with the West and communication with the East. We are banking on dialogue and cooperation. We are serious when we speak of a “community of responsibility” and a “coalition of reason” – whereby these phrases of course cannot be limited to questions pertaining to the arms race, but must also and especially include further improvements for the people. Because that is and will remain our mission: It is crucial to ease the burden of division for the people in Germany.
Up to now, the balance sheet of this federal government as regards Deutschlandpolitik indicates a whole series of improvements. Intra-German relations have developed in a positive manner since the change of government in 1982.