The European Community and the Collapse of the Soviet Union
Dinan, Desmond, National Forum
The year 1992 is synonymous with the European Community's single-market program and, more generally, with the revitalization of Western Europe. But the year 1992 will most likely be remembered for epic events in the East, as the former Soviet republics assert their autonomy, search for stability, and, in many cases, struggle for survival. The "acceleration of history" in 1988 and 1989, culminating in the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991, threatened to throw 1992 off course. In the late 1980s the Community pursued the complementary objectives of deeper integration and an imaginative Ostpolitik. On the one hand, the Community advanced its internal market agenda, embarked on economic and monetary union, launched a common foreign and security policy, and strengthened its institutional structure. On the other, the Community concluded commercial and cooperative agreements with the former Soviet-bloc countries, coordinated Western aid to Eastern Europe, absorbed the German Democratic Republic, took the initiative in establishing the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, helped to negotiate the European Energy Charter, and signed far-reaching association agreements with Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland.
From the outset, the European Community and its twelve member states had been strong supporters of glasnost and perestroika. In effect, that meant supporting Mikhail Gorbachev. But it was only in late 1989 that Moscow was ready to conclude a commercial and cooperative agreement with the Community, a "modest and prudent first step" in developing an economic and political relationship (John Pinder, The European Community and Eastern Europe, London: RIIA, 1991, p. 75). Apart from trying to encourage trade between the Community and the Soviet Union, Brussels sought by signing a formal accord to reassure Moscow that the Soviet Union would not be excluded from Gorbachev's metaphorical European house. In the following year, with German unification a reality and the Soviet Union descending into …
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Publication information: Article title: The European Community and the Collapse of the Soviet Union. Contributors: Dinan, Desmond - Author. Magazine title: National Forum. Volume: 72. Issue: 2 Publication date: Spring 1992. Page number: 29+. © 1999 Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. COPYRIGHT 1992 Gale Group.
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