The Cold War and the end of Cold War was a significant factor which affected the developments of particularly world and of the Europe, throughout the years. This essay will be specifically concentrated on the consequences of the end of the Cold war in the European Union. During the completion of this study, the reader will be able to read through the major reason of this war started and in what ways it has affected the development of Europe. The introduction will be providing a brief overview on the reasons of how and why the Cold war started. Following to the main body of this essay, there will be highlighted the main consequences of the Cold War in Europe and how have these affected the development and current situation of the EU either positively or negatively. Reaching the conclusion of this essay, the reader will be able to meet possible ways and proposition on how this situation could have been avoided.
The aftereffect of the World War II was the Cold War. It was actually named like this because of the relationship that had the Western world and particularly the United States and the USSR from the 1945 to 1989. Although there was a strong rivalry and competition, the military forces never officially reacted. Neither side ever fought the other; however the consequences were too awful and dreadful. For the majority of people, the main goal was just to overtake the other by constructing the most modern, new and effective weapons that had ever existed. This war was expressed through spying, propaganda and a numerous other ways. However, both USA and Soviet Union created huge amounts of atomic weapons (Mason 1996, p. ix-x). The situation and its consequences are going to be analyzed and supported by expert authors, throughout this year.The Consequences of the Cold War
According to the opinions of several skeptics on the matters after, the end of the Cold War many vital things happens in the region of Europe. Actually, the political proceedings and the economic changes in Eastern Europe changed the geopolitical condition in Europe. Political and economic improvements were performed all through Europe, by providing positive circumstances for the making of a market economy and the establishment of pluralist parliamentary democracies. Triumph was assured, although, was confirmed by the cruel end of the dictatorship of the Communists in Yugoslavia (viewed 31 October 2009, http://www.ena.lu/). These are facts that are going to be mentioned, analyzed and supported by expert authors, throughout this essay.
Due to the authoritarian governments of the Soviet Bloc , the democracy, the expression of freedom and the protection of the human rights were not expressed so much until the end of 1980's when Michael Gorbachev's policy and his improvements have been brought in to the Soviet Union. And all these gradually opened new horizons to the West. Gorbachev was a real politician who truly knew which were the real needs of his nation (Smith 1989, p.137). And for this reason, he clearly hoped to control Eastern Europe by improving the relationship with the West (Young 1991, p.217). Actually, better associations between the two parts of the mainland had been separated and established because of the happenings in the late of the 1980s. (viewed 31 October 2009, http://www.ena.lu/).
According to the above several consequences played a vital role in the development and current situation of Europe. Actually, during the 80's, the start of the end of the Cold War started to be visible when Gorbachev with perestroika, did some vital reforms. According to Smith (1989), "Emphasis was placed on bringing "openness" (glasnost) into the political system, while "reconstructing" (perestroika) was introduced to the economy." (Smith, 1989, p. 136). 'Perestroika' is the term used for the political and economic reforms that have been made by Michael Gorbachev in June 1987. Its purpose was to inspire modernization and the required reforms (Smith 1989, p. 142).Actions for the essential reforms in Eastern Europe were encouraged by the introduction of 'glasnost' and 'perestroika' (Smith 1989, p.141)
The end of Cold War came when the Berlin Wall fell. On the 9th November 1989, the Western and Eastern side of Germany became one. During the Cold War, Germany became the centre of disagreement of two different political systems, Communism and Democracy. The neglect that East Germany suffered through at the hands of the Communists would cause not only economic problems but also social problems as the Western and Eastern Germans grew apart as a nation (viewed 17 November 2009, http://www.ena.lu/ ). The most important of these consequences are going to be analyzed in the following paragraphs.
After the reforms that had been made by Michael Gorbachev, communist governments had already begun weakening and in a short of time they collapsed. They also started supporting more the minorities and the nationalism in the Soviet Union. The wave of national autonomy in the Baltic States and in most of the republics, trying to form up the USSR could not be avoided by the Soviet Union. During the year of 1991, President Gorbachev faced the condition of an outraged team of traditional communists, who massively opposed to the way that events had started to change. The former Soviet Union was replaced by the Commonwealth of Independent States (viewed 19 November 2009, http://www.ena.lu/ ).
Moreover, the countries of Eastern Europe could be accepted to the European Economic Community (EEC) when they were able to take part in the Single Market. Nevertheless, they needed aid in order to develop democracy and a liberal economy. When the Member States of Comecon were allowed by Gorbachev to discuss the trade agreements with the EEC, the first step had been done. Hungary was the first who got in the EEC in September 1989 and then followed other countries, like: Czechoslovakia, Poland, East Germany and Bulgaria (viewed on 19 November 2009, http://www.ena.lu/ ).
Therefore, additional measures had been taken, and applied as part of an assistant programme. The Phare (Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance) program was recognized by the Community in return to a demand made by the Summit of seven industrialized countries (G7) (Poland and Hungary Assistance for the Restructuring of the Economy). During 1990, all the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEECs) could apply to this program. It included financial support for economic reformation, as well as selling assurances abroad (viewed on 19 November 2009, http://www.ena.lu/ ).
Moreover, to benefit more these countries, provision for alliance was assumed by the Commission: the 'Europe Agreements'. In order to develop scientific and industrial collaboration regarding occupational training, environment reforms, and to guaranty the multiannual economic support, a two-sided free trade in industrialized products was projected by these Agreements, between the EEC and each of the CEECs. The understanding of the agreements would be dependent on the development made regarding to democracy and economic liberty and human rights. The Central European Free Trade Agreement was signed by the four Visegrad countries (Holland, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia) with a vision to a strong bind between these countries and the European Union. Relations though remained, two-sided between these countries and the European Union(viewed 19 November 2009, http://www.ena.lu/ ).
Membership to these Agreements posits that the countries that may comply must have the ability to fill some criteria like: 'constancy of associations assurance democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for minorities, the being of a operational market economy plus the capability to handle aggressive pressure and market forces within the Union; obedience to the goals of political and economic union.' Based on the European Council, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are the countries that could be able to submit to the Union(viewed 19 November 2009, http://www.ena.lu/ ).
Additionally a program of practical assistance for economic recovery and enhancement in the Soviet Union was created by the European Communities which decided to apply this to the CIS. Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States (Tacis) was later recognized as the Community programs.
The Tacis I program took place from 1991 to 1999. While the program was mainly intended for the restructuring of firms and human resources and to guarantee nuclear protection, it was only then when the technical and financial assist was arranged. Central Commission head office in Brussels supervised the Tacis I program. European Commission delegation in the countries had determined the Community aid through another program, called Tacis II proposed by the Council during the period of 2000 to 2006. The Russian army's interference in Chechnya in 1999 was the first time when EU technical assistance program was used.
Eventually, for the period 2007-2013, the European Union has used other useful programs like IPA which replaced the Phare; giving Community support to the countries of South-Eastern Europe to participate in the process of stabilization in the EU. Moreover, the CARDS neighborhood program was used and absorbed by the IPA. EU candidate countries alongside with potential candidate countries like, Turkey, Republic of Macedonia and Croatia majorly benefited from the IPA.
According to Dunbabin, Cold War is "like teams after a football match, not with the fire and sword". By this, it was meant that the Cold War was definitely an ideological fight, where real war fights did not exist and which ends quietly with the two parts being approved ( Dunbabin 1994, p. 478). At the end of the 1980s the relations that America and Soviet, were controlled by mutual identification to make agreement and to decrease the use nuclear armory ( Mason 1996, p.75).
With regards to the on going geopolitical changes, which include the fall of the Berlin Wall, the transparency, the democracy and the happening of détente. Consequently, the countries of Eastern and Central Europe are in need of fulfilling the expected requirements which are democracy, ownership and market economy.
As for succeeding in integrating in the EU economical assurance was crucial. In fact, EU supported strongly those countries with projects for the ex-Soviet Union countries to cope with the European demands.
Essentially, with the Cold War was signified the conclusion of the Great Power politics that took place during the 19th and 20th century.
- John W. Mason (1996), "The Cold War 1945-1991", Routledge
- John W. Young (1991), "Cold War Europe 1945-1989 A Political History", Routledge, Chapman and Hall Inc.
- Dunbabin J.P.D. (1994), "The Cold War The Great Powers and their allies", Longman