OSW Studies

One country, two societies? Germany twenty years after reunification

3 October 2010 marked the twentieth anniversary of the reunification of the two German states. This is an occasion for summing up and evaluating the changes which have taken place in Germany since 1990. Germany became reunited through the incorporation of the East German federal states to the then Federal Republic of Germany. The West German point of view is predominant in public discourse regarding this issue, which is manifested through grading the new federal states for their progress in assimilation to the western part of Germany. However, this way the positive changes which have taken place in the social, political and economic areas in the eastern federal states over the past two decades are often disregarded. This paper is an attempt to show the changes which have taken place in Germany, involving areas in which new federal states have outperformed the western part of the country.