How Europe changed after
the fall of the Berlin Wall
Liceo Scientifico F. Severi
Frosinone - Italy
For 28 years from 1961 to 1989 the
Berlin wall divided the city and Germany
into two parts.
It was the symbol of the division of
Europe into two blocks and the
landmark of the Cold War.
The “ Iron Curtain” has divided
Europe for 50 years
“From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an
"Iron Curtain" has descended across the continent.
Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states
of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague,
Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia; all
these famous cities and the populations around them
lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are
subject, in one form or another, not only to Soviet
influence but to a very high and in some cases
increasing measure of control from Moscow “
(W. Churchill, March 3rd, 1946)
Military alliances
The clash also becomes military (there
are two blocks):
In 1949 the NATO was created, also
including USA, Canada, Great Britain,
France, Benelux, Danemark, Iceland,
Italy, Portugal and Norway.
In 1955 the Warsaw’s Pact was
estabilished (USSR, Czechoslovakia,
Bulgary, Hungary, Poland, Romania,
The cold war
From 1947 to 1989 the world lives a peaceful
period but peace is constantly threatened by
a total war and it is interrupted by local crises.
The two blocks
The two Germanies
In 1949 in Western Germany the
Federal Republic of Germany was
founded , joining the NATO pact.
In Eastern Germany the Democratic
Republic of Germany was born ,
joining the Warsaw’s Pact.
In 1961 the Berlin wall was built,
dividing the city into two parts: east
and west .
How Germany and Berlin
were divided
The rise of the wall (1961)
The Wall in front of the
Brandeburg Gate (1961)
The first “cracks” of the
Berlin wall
The Hungarian Revolution in 1956
The Prague Spring in 1968
The movement of “Solidarnosc” led
by Lech Walesa in Poland in 1980
Growing protest movements in
the countries of Eastern Europe.
The turning point of the 1980s
At the end of the 1980s contradictions
in the communist regimes of Eastern
Europe emerged :
Failure of the collectivistic
Failure of the “People’s
Republics”, without consensus, and
led by repressive governments
After 1985, the soviet leader Mikhail
Gorbaciov made democratic reforms
in USSR:
“perestroika” and “glasnost”.
This favoured the birth of the
revolutions in 1989 in the countries
of Eastern Europe and finally the
collapse of the USSR in 1991.
1989: The Fall of the Berlin Wall
In 1989 Eastern German citizens
started a peaceful protest in the name
of freedom, democracy and human
On 9th November 1989 the Berlin wall
was torn down and in 1990 East and
West Germany were unified.
Today, they are all European citizens
Effects of the Fall of the
Berlin Wall
The fall of the Berlin Wall has been
one of the most important step in
the process of birth of the present
European Union.
The European Union aimed at the
cooperation among states and at the
creation of a single currency.
The European Union ensures all its
citizens four fundamental freedoms:
free movement of goods, services,
capital and people.
Thanks to the Schengen Agreement
of 1995, EU citizens can travel freely
in the EU countries.
After the opening of the borders,
a huge wave of migration started, from
Eastern Europe to the Western countries.
People wanted to improve their quality of
life or escape from war and persecution.
Since then, all the countries of the E.U.
and have attracted a large numbers of
immigrants, also in Italy, especially from
Eastern European Countries .
Why do people emigrate?
Macro-social reasons: economic
causes, war, persecution,
Meso-social reasons: social and civil
networks as a resource.
Micro-social reasons: family
reunions, individual life plans
Characteristics of the new migration
Acceleration : People move quickly
Diversification: People come from
different countries
Globalization : People move all over
the world
Feminization : women are a large
part of migrants
Types of migrants
Working immigrants
Seasonal or contract immigrants
Skilled immigrants
Accompanying family members
Refugees and asylum seekers
Illegal immigrants
Second Generation Immigrants
Return Immigrants
Unfortunately migrations have
caused new inequalities:
work problems
school integration problems
access to public services
Areas of inequality
Income distribution
Risk of poverty
Fewer professional chances
Risk of unemployement
Risk of becoming ill and not receiving
the right treatment
Housing conditions
School performances
Fewer chances of social mobility
Foreign immigration in Italy
There are 4.919.000 immigrants, about the 8%
of the resident population
According to the research “Transatlantic
Trends” (2013), Italians think immigrants
are about 23% of the resident population
A fourth of the immigrants resident in Italy live in
Lombardia (23,8%), Veneto, Lazio (11,3%) and
Emilia Romagna (10,9%). The only provinces of
Rome and Milano host 400.000 immigrants each.
Children born in foreign families were 77.000 in
2013, i.e. the 13% of total births in Italy (24% in
Veneto and in Lombardia)
Where immigrants
come from
The largest foreign community comes from
Romania (now EU country ) with 21% of all
foreigners present on Italian territory,
followed by Albania (non-EU country ) ( 10,
6%) and Morocco ( non EU country (9,9%).
Many foreign citizens from the eastern
countries of the European Union have
high education level , but most of them
are employed in agriculture……
……..domestic help
………and building
Immigrants’ Children attend Italian Schools.
School is the place where a real process
of integration starts .
and the world of work
In 2013 regular immigrants contributed to
11,1% for italian’s PIL
They gave to State 10.827 billions of euros
and they received 9,95 billions of euros for
The monthly wage in 2012 was of 971
euros for foreign people and 1.258 euros
for Italian people.
Critical Aspects of
the Italian Situation
Spontaneous arrival and settlement from
extra European countries
Refugees from Somalia, Eritrea, Nigeria ,
Pakistan and Afghanistan
Temporary stay in CIE ( integration and
expulsion centres) before moving to other
Inadequate institutional regulation
Welcoming contrasted by a part of
the civil society
Limits to the citizenship
Social and Political issues
 Frequent changes in the Politics
of Integration
 Failure in political planning
concerning immigration
 Security problems which prevent
a real immigrants’ integration
 Uncontrolled waves of
Difference between foreign official
residents and real presence of
The Italian immigration policy has always
fluctuated between permissiveness and
extemporary limitations
In a period of severe economic crisis ,
uncontrolled immigration can increase social
tensions in those areas where the presence of
immigrants is great .
It would be wrong to raise a new “Berlin Wall”,
but at the same time it ‘s difficult to open the
doors of our territory without controls, without
resources, without adequate laws and aids that
could insert immigration issues in a whole
European project of welcoming and integration .

The fall of the Berlin Wall

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