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On 9 November 2009, the whole of Europe must celebrate the fall of the Berlin wall

For the 20th anniversary of the second liberation of Europe

, by Valéry-Xavier Lentz

All the versions of this article: [Deutsch] [English] [français]

In 14 months, Germany will celebrate the fall of the Berlin wall on 9th November 1989. This event that symbolises the freedom of all of central and eastern Europe from the communist dictatorship, should actually be celebrated in the whole of Europe.

authors

  • Secrétaire fédéral de l’Union des fédéralistes européens (UEF-France). Ancien vice-président des Jeunes Européens-France.

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On the 9th of Novembrer 1989, the east-german government announced that private trips to the West would be authorized. This event took place after a several weeks of crisis, when east-german citizens used the first breaches in the iron curtain, specifically between Hungary and Austria, to leave their country.

The year 1989 was the yar of the fall of the communist dictatorships in Eastern Europe. After the opening of the Hungarian borders, and the rise to power of a Solidarnosc member in poland, Germanu was now being transformed. With the election of Václav Havel in Czechoslovakia on 29th december, who had been arrested once again in a demonstration of opponants on former January, the whole year had been a series of revolutions in favour of freedom. Eventually, all of Eastern Europe had evolved towards democracy. The independance of the Baltic states, that had been annexed to the Soviet Union by Stalin, two years later, marked the end of these events and the beginng of the process that led in 2004 and 2007 to the accession of these countries to the European Union. The regions of GDR had done this earlier through joining the Federal Republic of Germany on October the 3rd, 1990.

The event is hence not only a german one but symbolises more than any other the extraordinary characteristics of the events that marked Europe at the time which we still benefit from it. Besides the celebrations in each of those countries, it matters that the Union — and its members states — takes part in this celebration in a festive way, involing its citizens, and not only by sending government representatives to the ceremonies that should take place in Berlin. In fact, the difference with the 10th anniverssary in 1999, is that the process is now completed with all the countries involved now members of the European Union.

The best way to bring a European dimension to the events should be that each capital city — or even large city — organize on november 9th 2009 a public event involving representative of the countries involved, broadcasting the ceremonies and vieos about the events — maybe a concert or a show.

I do not know if there is already some committee working on the issue, but if not it is highly time to launch one.

What do you think ?

- is november the 9th the best day to celebrate at the European scale the 1989 events ?
- how to bring to this celebration a European dimension while involving the citizens ?
- what should be the role of pro-european NGOs in this initiative ?

See online : The fall of the Berlin wall on ena.lu (in French)

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