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End Of The Cold War

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The events of the late 1980's greatly altered the political and economical landscape of Europe. They brought dramatic changes as well as revealing much uncomfortable continuity from the past. The decade threw up as many new difficulties as it did gains. Together these presented the EU with many challenges that few expected when the Berlin Wall was breached.
Challenges of the 1990's
Initially the seemed to be very welcome. This led people to believe that further integration could be achieved inside the EC and the EFTA states. Western states were in the position to completion and there was only expected to be a small decline in growth as a single market neared completion.

There was enthusiasm in the east from voters (despite communism). Disarmament was taking speed and even the newly liberated Russian states were keen. The charter of Paris also seemed to note an harmonious style of relations in the 'New Europe'.

If this did not stop the Yugoslav Federation, people hoped it would at least continue peacefully. Unfortunately this was not to be, the horrific nature of the Yugoslav conflict threatened Europe as a whole, and as a consequence domestic and political and social climate deteriorated rapidly.

In Eastern Europe the replacement of communism did not produce a swift and painless transition which was expected. In fact some of the Eastern countries found the Western way so hard it sent them back to communism. Yeltzin's Russia also began ...

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