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1989-2009. Chronicle of a European Revolution

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Olivier Wieviorka, École normale supérieure/Cachan

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 has elicited great hopes, which have to a large extent matched the peoples’ expectations. In fact, once rid of totalitarianism, Eastern Europe renewed with democracy and has since known a relative growth due to economic liberalism, while integrating successfully into the European Union (EU) and dissipating fears inherited from the Cold War. Today, however, the disenchantment prevails. Europe has been unable to improve its institutions, preferring to expand rather than to deepen. Furthermore, through their unilateralist policy, the United States of America revived tensions that were thought to be over between the East and the West.