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Hans Modrow’s Reform Agenda (November 17, 1989)

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Third, educational reform is necessary. [ . . . ]

Fourth, we need a long-term program that can be implemented step by step and reviewed each year, dedicated to reconciling economic and ecological interests. I would like to add that, due to unnecessary secrecy, the GDR’s record seemed worse than it really is. In the future, no one should be allowed to delete or delay planned environmental protection measures. And a new energy policy is needed which will lead to a reduction in fossil fuel consumption.

Fifth, administrative reform is necessary to democratize state leadership and administration, to make their activities more transparent, and, last but not least, to reduce administrative costs considerably, both financially and in terms of personnel. [ . . . ]

The intended political reform already under way has provided a new foundation to preserve and implement a policy of self-determination for the people of the GDR. This gives new strength to the GDR’s legitimacy as a socialist state, as a sovereign German state. Not mere claims, but rather a new reality regarding life in the GDR will serve to clearly reject unrealistic and dangerous speculations about reunification.

The two German states, despite all the differences in their social systems, share a centuries-old history. Both states should take this opportunity to lend their mutual relationship a good-neighborly character.

If the two German states show each other unreserved mutual respect, they can create a worthy example of cooperative coexistence. The government of the GDR is willing to expand cooperation with the FRG to new levels. This applies to all issues: securing of peace, disarmament, economics, science and technology, environmental protection, transportation, postal and telephone services, culture, tourism, and a plethora of humanitarian issues.

We are in favor of strengthening the community of responsibility of the two German states through a treaty-based union that goes far beyond that of the Basic Treaty and other previous treaties and agreements between the two states. This government is open to discussion in this regard. [ . . . ]

Source of English translation: "Hans Modrow’s Government Program" (November 17, 1989), in Konrad H. Jarausch and Volker Gransow, eds., Uniting Germany: Documents and Debates, 1944-1993. Translated by Allison Brown and Belinda Cooper. Berghahn Books: Providence and Oxford, 1994, pp. 81-83. © Berghahn Books.

Source of original German text: Neues Deutschland, November 17/18, 1989.

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