Drang nach Osten?, Germany's role in the eastward enlargement of the European Union

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Chestnut, Tricia.
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The scope and application of German foreign policy had the potential to increase dramatically after German unification in 1990. However, united German foreign policy has remained remarkably consistent with West German foreign policy. Even seven years after unification continuity is a cornerstone of German foreign policy and European integration remains a fundamental goal. Yet, European integration has come to take on new meaning for Germany. As Germany continues to deepen its relationship with the members of the European Union (EU), integration now also entails the widening of the European Union to include many states of Central and Eastern Europe. Germany's redefined Ostpolitik is an intricate part of its Europapolitik. Germany has led calls for the eastward enlargement of the European Union, because it sees EU membership as the best way to bring the former communist states back into Europe, thereby ensuring peace and stability within the Union. Therefore, Germany is doing all it can to aid these states intheir transition to liberal, democratic states with open, market economies. The recurring German question of orientation and balancing its interests will be solved by bridging East and West and erasing the Yalta division of Europe. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)