Ditchley Foundation Annual Lecture XXIX
10 July 1992
Europe in the 1990s
Dr Kurt Biedenkopf.
Dr Kurt Biedenkopf.
Minister-President of Saxony. Professor of Law (1964-70) and Rector (1967-69) at the Ruhr University, Bochum, General Secretary of the Christian Democratic Party (CDU)( 1973-77), Member of the Bundestag (1976-80 and 1987-90).
Mr Chairman, Excellencies, my Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am deeply honoured by the invitation to come to Ditchley Park and the Ditchley Foundation to make some remarks on what is at the same time seemingly a simple and yet very complicated subject, namely Europe in the ‘90s.
I would like to start out by looking back on three recent summit meetings, the summit in Rio, the summit in Munich and the present summit in Helsinki. The Rio summit of course was directed primarily at the ecological conditions of the world and the responsibilities entailed from these conditions, especially for the industrial nations of the world. And among the industrial nations of the world, Europe of course is an outstanding part. The Rio conference showed that Europe does have substantial responsibilities going way beyond its borders.
In Munich the so-called G7 met and, as I’m told, journalists weren’t talking about the great, but the glorious seven when they were in Munich, because of the tremendous amount of surrounding activities to a summit which in itself posed a lot of questions. The summit was the first after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It signalled the end of divided Europe, the Yalta order and the existence of a large Soviet empire. It signalled the end of the threat of nuclear confrontation, but it did not, as discussions in Munich showed, signal the end of confrontation as such.
Helsinki was very much to the fore of the news because of new forms of confrontation and conflict in Europe. The meeting discussed not peace but war in Europe; and it deliberated on how Europe could cope with a new situation that a couple of years ago would have been unthinkable, namely the falling apart of structures that we had so become used to. New threats became apparent, not the old nuclear threat, the confrontation over divided Europe, but local and regional threats of wars and wars.
All three summits signal potential forces that will be shaping Europe in the years to come and they will have to be tackled during the ‘90s. They signal the further continuation of the building of the European Community. The Chairman mentioned the Maastricht Treaties and, although not using the word, the subsidiarity principle, when he suggested that certain functions should be repatriated from the European Community to national governments. The three summit meetings signalled, as I said, the end of the confrontation between two world powers which shaped the post-war European order, the end of the division of Europe; but at the same time potential forces will develop from new conflicts that may arise in Europe. Forces that will shape Europe in the years to come will emanate from the need for cooperation between East and West if a stable Europe is to be achieved. New risks and problems, new tensions, nationalisms, regionalisms are arising that seemingly had been put at rest permanently. They had been put at rest by an order that proved not to be stable enough and not to be in accordance with European history.
Before I address some elements of Europe in the 1990s, I would like to make some remarks on the developments up to the end of the Yalta order. Before doing that, I would like to sound a note of caution. When the Wall came down, and it was becoming obvious that the confrontation that threatened Europe for the last forty years or so was ending, many people in my country and in other Western European countries figured that now we could distribute what was referred to as the peace dividend. It was considered that now peace had come, a lot of burdens that we had gotten used to carrying in the past would be taken off our shoulders and we would have means available to do things that we couldn’t do prior to the elimination of the confrontation, because it was not a real peace but the absence of war. However, in the meantime we are beginning to find out that to maintain peace in Europe permanently will require a tremendous amount of effort. To secure peace in an area of the world with great numbers of regions, nationalities, languages, areas that historically have been characterised by almost continuous change, will pose new challenges that will replace the old ones. The peace in Europe will require considerable effort. It will indeed require all the cultural, technical, political faculties and resources that Europe commands; and thus, even though there will be a peace dividend in the sense that freedom has found access to the eastern part of Europe, the actual implications of the future task for Europe will mean that we shall have to address substantial parts of our resources to the new task, because peace is not a self-stabilising condition, but the result of permanent effort - cultural, economic, social and, of course, military. It is important to stress this because there are many quarters in Europe that are not yet prepared for this new challenge and that have to be motivated to address themselves to it.
The efforts to build Europe, as we are trying to do through the Maastricht Treaty on the basis of the fantastically successful experiment of the European Community, coincide with a number of other challenges that I cannot dwell on in full length, but that have to be mentioned. One is the growing tension as the result of growing world population and possible mass migration - mass migration that is being caused by scarcity of supplies, by political, economic and social disorder. And this does not only relate to the eastern part of Europe: it also relates to the northern coast of Africa, to the areas around the Mediterranean, in other words, to what once used to be the Roman Empire. All these areas are at least in the scope of European responsibility; and migration can, as we find in extreme rightist movements in France, in Germany and in other areas, induce political unrest or instability, so we will have to cope with tensions arising therefrom.
We shall also have to address ourselves to the increasing dangers to the ecology. The world, and the ever-growing world population, is looking to the industrial nations of the world not only to consume an ever- increasing part of world resources to maintain a high standard of living but also to supply the answers necessary to cope with ecological threats to the world. I have mentioned the Rio summit as an example. And, whether we like it or not, Europe will have to participate in the reconstruction and rebuilding of those areas of Europe that up to a few years ago were subjected to the Stalinist Empire and its successor institutions. So these tasks will have to be coped with and the way we cope with them will of course shape the future of Europe in the years to come.
As to the conditions in Europe prior to the elimination of the Wall and the division of Europe, only a few words. Europe in the post-war period was shaped by the East-West conflict. We now have come to use the word bi-polar Europe for that condition. This bi-polar structure stabilised Europe; it reduced its complexity. Historically, the centre of west Europe was continuously in motion - this is especially true for my country - that for hundreds of years changed its shape, its political structure, even though maintaining cultural identity and cultural continuity. For hundreds of years Germans, Italians, Dutch, Danes, Poles and others have tried to find a permanent order for the centre of Europe. After the Second World War the division of Europe stabilised the condition, but it was not traditional west Europe and east Europe that were separated by the Yalta Agreement; east Europe, in its historic meaning, namely Byzantine Europe, extended way into western Europe, and the dividing line went through the centre of western Europe. This to me is very important because during the time of bi-polar Europe, we have gotten used to refer to the western part of divided Europe as West Europe and to the eastern part as East Europe, even though obviously East Germany and Poland are part of Roman Europe, part of the Christian-Roman culture that shaped Western Europe.
The majority of Europeans who live in Western Europe now were born after the Second World War, which means that they were born into hi-polar Europe; they grew up with the structures that developed after the Second World War, with NATO or the Warsaw Pact, and with the lower level of complexity that this bi-polar structure delivered. The fact that this lower level of complexity has now disappeared and Europe is becoming very complex again is irritating to the post-war generations; they are not prepared for this kind of development and their historical perspective is short to say the least; they have not concerned themselves very intensively with European history prior to the Second or First World War, so many of the things that are now happening, in the Balkans, in East Europe, in Poland, in other areas, seem strange to them and they have difficulty in understanding them. B i-polar Europe had certain “advantages”, I would like to say, for the European powers. The arbitrators of last resort were the two world powers; they reduced not only European complexity but, in a certain sense, also European responsibility. That was quite obvious of course in the eastern part of Europe. The nations that are now revitalised - Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary - have no experience of nationhood as an independent status, they have no experience of national autonomy, they have no elites that were capable of learning how independent government is run because of the elimination of the possibility to develop the kind of responsibility, the kind of faculties that are required to run a government. But to be fair, responsibility in bi-polar Europe was also reduced in west Europe and this reduction of responsibility in west Europe is something that we feel until today. We have to rebuild, rather we have to restore, the capability of a full-fledged responsibility that goes with full-fledged sovereignty.
Within hi-polar Europe, the European Community developed. The European Community is not the result of the confrontation of the world powers after the Second World War, the result of which was rather NATO. The European Community has its roots in the experience that Europeans had with the First World War, the Second World War and the final understanding that Europe can only be pacified in a permanent peace order if there is a supra-national structure bridging the various nations, bringing them together with the final end of the political unification of Europe. But there is no question that the development of the European Community in bi-polar Europe was helped along by the fact that there was a threat from the east. The threat from the east helped the European nations in the west to move closer together and one of the tasks of the coming years will be to substitute the European cohesion brought about by the threat from the east by political leadership, by conviction, and by consensus- building in the west, in order to avoid a situation where the lack of a uniting threat may increase the centrifugal forces among the members that held together in the European Community, because the dangers of disunification are not as apparent as they would have been under the threat of a possible attack, nuclear or otherwise. Thus, the common threat helped to keep Europe together.
And in all fairness it must also be said that the European Community’s development was at least facilitated by the fact that Germany was divided, because the major part of Germany - 80% of what is now the population of united Germany - was, after the Second World War, directed mainly towards the west and had a great desire of integrating into the European Community. Aside from all the other aspects about the European Community which, as I said before, is probably the most successful adventure in international relations and international institution-building - aside from all the motivations that brought it about, there was a very important motivation in divided Germany and the western part of divided Germany, which of course led to very severe damage to the national identity of Germany, and that was the desire to substitute a damaged national identity by a European identity. This was very important, especially in the first years of the development of the European Community.
The position of the United States in bi-polar Europe was quite clearly defined. It was the undisputed leader of NATO and the Atlantic alliance. We remember 1973 as the year of Europe, initiated by Henry Kissinger, when the United States tried to build up a sort of second leg, or a second stand, to carry the roof of the Atlantic alliance in Europe, with disputed success, I should like to say.
In bi-polar Europe, structures developed that of course have historical roots. They are important in understanding the future structure and shaping of Europe. Great Britain and France are nations within Europe with clear-cut nation-state structures and clear centres. They have long historic developments and it is quite obvious that such deep historic roots will not change quickly, even if there is a desire for a political unification of Europe. In Italy and Spain, two other important partners, regionalisms are more pronounced. This is true both in Italy and it is becoming more and more apparent in Spain: take Catalonia as an example. In Germany there is a special situation. Divided Germany after the Second World War, with the tutelage of the allies, but also from its own desire, developed what proved to be a very successful federal system. We, during the years, developed a structure, a balance of structures, which had neither a tendency to strict centralism of the old nation-state of the 19th and early 20th century, nor does it have a tendency to dissolution. A balance was struck which proved to be very viable and which is partly responsible for the success of the development of post-war Germany. De-centralisation especially, plus the influx of almost 14 million refugees into West Germany after the Second World War, helped to re-shape the social structure of this more important part of Germany, and thus opened it for modernisation - modernisation both in its industrial relations, modernisation of the economy, and modernisation as far as decentralisation of state power is concerned.
Now what are the main consequences of the end of bi-polar Europe, through the fact that both the Wall came down and the separation between East and West Europe? We have two contradictory developments: in West Europe, we have a process towards integration, which is far along the road and irreversible as far as we are all concerned. Building on the Coal and Steel Community, developed into a European economic union and now on the way to a political union in Europe, this integrated structure has managed to include in integrated Europe a multitude of nations, languages, regions, that for almost two thousand years competed with one another on this small European continent, both peacefully and through wars. There is a clear tendency that this integrated Europe will enlarge by taking in the EFTA countries, by taking in Poland, Czechoslovakia - or the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic - Hungary, possibly the Baltic States, and others. So there is a centre of gravitation, so to speak, that pulls Europe together as far as West Europe in its historic dimensions is concerned. One of the problems for instance in Czechoslovakia is exactly the division between Roman and Byzantine Europe. The Czech Republic obviously belongs to the Roman Europe, but Slovakia, that’s not so sure. In the eastern part of Europe, we have tremendous centrifugal forces; we have what have been referred to as an explosion of regionalisms and nationalisms, an explosion that, with the breakdown of the Soviet Union and its internal structures, threatens the entire fabric of economic and legal systems that are the prerequisite for a functioning society. And it is very difficult, if not impossible in the short term, to substitute for what has been built on the foundation of feudalism as a central military, economic empire what is required: namely a legal and political system capable of decentralisation, capable of admitting, allowing, supporting, and even furthering regional and personal autonomies. This reshaping is all the more difficult since the forces that kept the old empire together have been eliminated - both ideological forces and the so-called threat from outside, to which the leadership in Moscow repeatedly resorted when it had to suppress centrifugal forces or aspects of separation.
The first task for Europe as I see it for the coming years therefore is to learn how to guide centralised systems that have developed in the eastern part of Europe on the ways to decentralised systems that will be capable of supporting at least a minimum of legality, political order and economic and social subsistence. Historically speaking, this is almost a mutation. A society in a very brief period of time has to change dramatically. We do not know whether such a mutation can be successfully completed in the short period of time that for instance was anticipated by the Munich summit. When we read about the reports of the Munich Summit, and the hope of the statesmen who drafted, or who signed at least, the final statement, one must think that there is an assumption that it may be possible during a relatively short period of time to secure the necessary conditions for the existence of democracy in a market economy. I have grave doubt whether this is not an illusion, rather than a real assumption. Our own impression - and this is also drawn from the experience we are now going through in Germany - the integration of two antagonist social and economic systems, after only 45 years of separation (historically speaking that’s not very long - Saxony as a state has existed for one thousand years) - integration moreover on the basis of a common culture, a common language, a common heritage - even there, the merger of the two entities of conflicting and contradictory
systems proves to be extremely difficult, not so much in economic terms - I will say a few words about the economic dimension of the task in a minute - but in terms of the cultural, the political, the philosophical and the value-oriented conditions that are required in order to operate a market economy, which after all is a much more complex form of organising society than an organisation that is based on command. The command society is less complex in its structure than a free society, which only leads to the conclusion that maintaining a free society is a much higher cultural achievement than maintaining a command society. But it is exactly this difference, this gap in the cultural level, that cannot be closed in a very brief period of time. It is therefore necessary to avoid a new illusion, namely the illusion that by addressing oneself to eastern Europe with all its present conditions, and helping it with money, one could bring about rather quickly a change from the present state of almost chaos to an organised society with at least a semblance of order, functioning democratic institutions and social and economic justice.
Therefore the second task for Europe, closely related to the first in my view, is to develop the appropriate instruments to assist in the redevelopment of eastern Europe; and I quite willingly place these two tasks above the task we have presently concentrated on, namely the further integration of west Europe because I think that the further integration of west Europe is a condition for coping with the tasks that I have just now described.
The main problem resulting from the present condition in east Europe and the influence deriving from this condition on European development in the ‘90s, is migration. If we do not succeed in securing a minimum standard of living and a minimum semblance of order, it is almost unavoidable that migration will take place. When the coup took place in Moscow, I happened to be together with the Minister of the Interior of Poland, and he said - the coup had just passed - that had the coup been successful, they estimated that about two to three million people would have left the former Soviet Union, Russia and Ukraine, in order to go west and escape the consequences of a successful coup. I asked him what they would have done in that case, and he said, “We would have set all signals green and had them march through Poland into Germany!”
This may not be the condition when migration takes place in the form of infiltration, but it gives a notion of the dimensions of possible movement. As we all know, we have hundreds of thousands of people on the move presently as a consequence of the Balkan war, and many of them of course move through Austria, through Czechoslovakia, into Western Europe, into the European Community. To cope with movements of that kind in the sense of avoiding them by closing borders is next to impossible. Europe cannot build on the assumption that it can avoid the consequences of migration brought about by political disorder, by suffering, by malnutrition, by social injustice, merely by building a fortress Europe. The fortress Europe answer is no solution and it won’t work. And there is no military way to avoid that kind of migration, so one of the most important ways to avoid migration is to eliminate its reasons. This is a European task and it involves all of Europe, even those countries in the western part like Great Britain or France. Even though the sources of movement might be very far away, a movement into the European Community immediately creates tremendous problems for the European Community, because of the free movement of people within the integrated Europe, and it creates tremendous tensions, tensions that will then vibrate through the fabric of a united Europe and touch on the interests of people in all of the member states. So a very important task for Europe in the years to come is to devote a lot of energy and effort to eliminating reasons for migration.
The same, by the way, is true for the North African border. If you look at the demographic developments in these parts that are very close to Europe, and were part of the Roman Empire, and of course direct their visions and their views, their hopes towards Europe, you will see that an explosion is developing. The population is growing at a speed that under present conditions cannot be matched for instance by the increases in water supplies or food. So pressures will begin to develop there, and the first inklings of the consequences of such pressures can be found in the political developments, for instance in southern France.
Europeans, as I said before, will be faced by the task of making important contributions to the protection of the ecology. Europe, Japan and the United States, to name the most important regions of modern, industrial societies, consume among themselves almost 80% of the presently consumed resources in energy and in other areas and they produce by far the largest amount of damage to the ecology.
I am not going to dwell on this because I would like to go on to the final aspect that I wanted to relate to, namely the growing together of East and West Germany within Europe, but I would like to make quite sure that the future authority, the future political weight, and the future cohesion of Europe and its role in the world, will be very substantially influenced by our ability to make a contribution to what is increasingly referred to as an economic system that has sustainability as one of its major objectives - in other words, economic processes that do not rely on ever-increasing consumption of non-replaceable resources on this planet. If the Europeans and the Japanese and the Americans are not capable of developing this new kind of a more equilibrium-directed form of society, who else should be able to do it? After all, it was the Europeans, with the age of enlightenment, with the development of the modern industrial society and the philosophical, political base for it, who brought about the present development, and increasingly the world looks to Europe and the United States and Japan to make contributions to lasting change.
How will this Europe in the ‘90s structure itself? Maastricht, among other things, debated the structural question under the heading of subsidiarity. It is surprising that those who argued before and at Maastricht for regionalisation didn’t remember what Parkinson had to say about the conditions of a united Europe as early as the late ‘50s. In the late ‘50s Parkinson published a paper in which he held that a political unification of Europe was impossible unless Europe would regionalise itself; in other words, would form regions, comparable in size and importance, that would then cooperate under a common political roof. And in this paper he outlined what he felt was the necessary distribution of labour within this European structure, between the centre, the nation states and the regions. Much of what was developed there in the late ‘50s was visionary, and I have quoted this paper many times during the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. We have now discovered the word subsidiarity to describe what Parkinson meant, and of course subsidiarity is not only something which is important in social policy, where the principal states, the family and the smaller unit should not be kept from doing what it can do by larger entities, it is also a structural principle. Now as a structural principle, it calls for a sensible division of labour between the various levels of government and I think such a structure is a prerequisite for a functioning Europe. I am quite aware of the fact that there are no historical precedents in all parts of Europe for this kind of structuring. We had them of course in post-war Germany; we had them in a much less organised and more unstable form in the Germany of the 19th or 18th century; we have them to a certain extent in Italy and Spain; they are becoming increasingly important in Belgium; and we are now also witness the desire for autonomy of regions and their efforts to become small nation states in Czechoslovakia and of course in the eastern part of Europe.
An adequate organisation of responsibility means that Europe holds those functions as a central unit that are vital to the common endeavour of a political Europe, namely the basics of the economy, which of course must always apply to all parties, because the economy does not stop at national borders, and should not, common security, at least the basics of common foreign policy, and what is very important to me even though it is not mentioned very often, the basics of a common legal system. What we are learning presently in the unification of Germany is to admire again and acknowledge the extreme importance of a highly developed legal system on the basis of which the economy, the administration, the state, and private life function. Now, thanks to the Romans and the common law system, we have a very high similarity or cohesion in our European legal systems, so we can build on that cohesion and of course the existence of this cohesion was one of the most important prerequisites of a functioning European Community even in the past.
Regions should have their main emphasis on culture, education, languages of course, science and the media and what I find also very important, social systems. I do not think that it would be possible to centralise the social systems in Europe. One of the reasons why I don’t think it would work is because we have within Europe a plurality of socio-cultural conditions, of various historical roots and developments that have different views, for instance, on the relationship of the individual to the smaller and medium-sized unit, to government, to the family. Social systems, however, are the reflection of such socio-cultural differences and therefore the structure has to be organised in such a way that these differences can be taken care of.
Decentralisation, as far as I am concerned, is also a major prerequisite to manage complexity. Now if Europe continues to develop, as we all hope it will, our societies will become more complex. The greater the complexity, of course, the more difficult is centralisation. So as a society develops, becomes stronger economically, socially, culturally, it requires more management of complexity, and this in turn requires more decentralisation. Therefore I think it’s very important that Maastricht took a turn away from centralisation in Brussels and made more apparent than it was in the past that centralisation will in effect, whether we want it or not, reduce our capability to manage complexity. And these reductions become apparent in ever longer bureaucratic ways of performance, in ever more complicated bureaucratic procedures, and thus in a reduction of social, economic and political productivity.
For all this we can draw on the experience in Germany. German unification happened - it wasn’t planned. It happened when the Wall came down; on the day the Wall came down, Germany was reunified, even though it took about another eleven months to complete what had started on November 9th. But that reunification was irreversible. When the former GDR government announced that people could move freely across the border, the issue turned on a simple yet extremely effective condition: West Germany had never recognised citizenship of East Germany. The consequence was that when the Wall opened and people could cross the line, they were all citizens of Germany, not only in theory, but in practice. And this fact was irreversible.
In January of 1990 we still felt that it was possible to maintain the GDR for another three to five years in order to reconstruct its economy before we would institute a common currency. The long theory that maintained that this was possible was called the ‘Crowning Theory’ because the common currency was to be the crowning finale of German unification. The theory took no account of the people. The people at the end of January of 1990 had demonstrated, by 70,000 moving from East to West, that they were not willing to continue to maintain the GDR for what might have proved to be a very interesting economic experiment; they wanted unification now and signs went up that said, “If the D Mark doesn’t come to us, we will come to the D Mark”.
So, there was really not very much time to institute an orderly internal process. What proved to be a tremendous accomplishment, namely to win all allies to cooperate, with the help of Great Britain, with the help of the United States, with the help of France and the European Community, was a performance that concluded in the establishment of a united Germany, as of October 3 1990, was not planned, and could not have been planned, as far as the economic dimension was concerned. A certain number of assumptions were of course made, but during the last two years we have found that the damage done to the eastern part of Germany was much greater than we had anticipated; and that the reintroduction of a market economy was much more difficult; and that even though there were the same culture and language, the cultural prerequisites for a highly complex and highly developed economic system required a longer period of training, learning and transformation. Economically speaking, Germany will not break down under the economic burden of reunification. What is required in fact is the willingness to set aside about 5% of GNP to finance the reconstruction of East Germany over a period of 10-15 years. Now such a re-allotment of part of national income means that you change your economic preferences between consumption and investment from what is now the investment ratio, namely roughly 20% of GNP, to 25% of GNP. Economically, that is possible, and it is not even a long range burden on the economy. The main problem does not lie in the economy, objectively speaking, and its strength; the main problem lies in the necessity to convince a vast network of vested interests that they have to change their preferences in order to make possible such a change in the deployment of national income.
Now such a redirection of political structures cannot of course be accomplished in a year or two. This is one of the main reasons why Germany during the first two years went into additional debt in order to finance the start-up payments, so to speak, for German unification. Between now and the end of 1993 within Germany, we shall have a very difficult yet very decisive domestic policy debate on the restructuring of our financial institutions and on the restructuring of our deployment of national income, to the advantage of the rebuilding of East Germany. This of course will absorb political strength; it will require a substantial amount of additional political leadership that has to be forthcoming, but it will not distract Germany from the tremendous importance of pushing along the road to Europe. We know that European momentum is required for the stability of Europe and we know that this momentum may not slacken.
As far as the final internal structure of Germany is concerned, we shall of course maintain the federal structure and we shall try to build up along the national borders of Germany bordering on the Czech Republic, on Poland, on Switzerland or on Austria, what we refer to as Euro-regions. One Euro-region would be built around the free state of Saxony. It is already called in the negotiation process, in which the European Community laudably participates, the Bohemia-Saxony-Silesia Euro-region.
The idea is to build up what used to be a very densely connected industrial region in central Europe. Saxony, prior to the First World War, had the highest GNP per capita in all of Europe, and Bohemia also had a very high GNP per capita. Both economies were closely inter-related. And the same is true of Silesia. We feel that this network of Euro-regions and cooperation among the regions, crossing national borders, can stabilise Europe more than anything else, because it stabilises Europe, so to speak, from the base and not from the top. And the more networks we have criss-crossing national borders, the more we revitalise the close connection between Dresden and Prague, for instance, or Dresden and Vienna, the less likely it will be that differences in economic development - even though they are only temporary - may destabilise the process of the unification of Europe.
In all, and as a final evaluation, as far as developments in Germany and in Western Europe are concerned, I think there is a lot of reason for optimism if one doesn’t shy away from challenges that seem to be larger than the strength that we have presently available to cope with them. Our anxieties, or at least our grave attention, is directed to developments in Eastern Europe, the breakdown of order, the increasing organisation of lawless societies by the Mafia organisation and others that produce a semblance of order even on a feudal basis and without any regard to human rights, but which seem to supply at least some kind of security for those that rely on them. Now as these developments progress, it becomes more and more difficult to cope with the situation. Therefore I think urgency is required, the knowledge that there is urgency, is required, and Europe has to act, not in a protectionist way, trying to fend off what comes from East Germany, but by taking up the challenge and thus proving that Europe, as it has been built during the last forty years, can not only survive the loss of the bi-polar order but can fill the gap and assume the responsibilities for Western Europe, and can participate responsibly in the stabilisation of East Europe.
Thank you very much.