1989–92: Yalta farewell; how new a world?

Kjell M. Torbiörn

in Destination Europe

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9780719065729
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700488 | DOI:
1989–92: Yalta farewell; how new a world?

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The fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 led, in rapid succession over the next two years, to German unification, Baltic state independence, the dissolution of the Soviet Union and its replacement by Russia and other successor countries, the fall of communism in Central and Eastern Europe, and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact. Capitalism, liberalised world trade and new electronics technology seemed to have carried the day. The hope of the countries concerned for a new Marshall Plan was not met, but a new European Bank for Reconstruction and Development was meant to fulfil a similar function. In 1993, the European Union (EU) concluded a European Economic Area agreement with various European Free Trade Association countries, tying them closer to it in the areas of trade and investment. The disintegration of Yugoslavia beginning in 1990, and the several wars it led to, posed serious challenges to the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), apart from signifying a tragedy for the people of the region.

Keywords: Berlin Wall; German unification; Soviet Union; communism; Warsaw Pact; capitalism; Reconstruction and Development; European Union; NATO; trade

Chapter.  11915 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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