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Professor Jan Palmowski comments on thirty years since the fall of the Berlin Wall

With the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall closing, Professor Jan Palmowski from the School of Modern Languages and Cultures reflects on the hopes of the 1989 revolutionaries that face very different challenges in today's world.

Professor Palmowski says: "Is Europe’s post-Cold War stability falling apart? The Fall of the Berlin Wall ushered in a period of remarkable stability, within an enlarged and deepened European Union. Thirty years later, populists are enriching themselves with EU subsidies in the Czech Republic and Hungary. The Polish government is defying EU legal norms. And the UK has voted to leave the EU which the UK had helped to create.

"But these problems are less a fault of 9 November and the responses to it. Rather, the question is whether the firm structures through which European leaders tried to embed a united Germany in a European Union are sufficiently agile to respond to the very different challenges of today: climate change, migration, and post-industrial transformation. Thirty years after the political transformation of Europe, we now need a social transformation on an equivalent scale."

Read Professor Palmowski's article 'The Hope of 1989: How the fall of the Berlin Wall transformed world politics' on the Knowledge Centre.

7 November 2019

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