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Helmut Kohl

Chancellor of Germany, Helmut Kohl, contributed decidedly to the process of Europea integration, throughout his fifteen years in office. During this time, apart from overseeing the German unification, EEC enlarged and treaties such as the Single European Act, Maasticht and Amsterdam were signed.

Helmut Kohl was only three years old when Nazism came to power, so he can been considered a after-nazi period politician. After involvement in politics at a regional level, he became leader of the Christian Democratic Union in 1973. Finally, after some electoral failures, Kohl was appointed Chancellor of West Germany in 1982.

Kohl was always emphatically pro-European, constantly pushing for a united Europe to ally Germany with its former enemies. As the leader of the main economic power in Europe, Kohl played an integral and influential role in the affairs of the European Community throughout his time as Chancellor.

In 1990 Kohl became deeply involved in the unification of Germany, and when it was finally realised he became the first Chancellor of post-war unified Germany.

His convictions on European integration were greatly influenced by Adenauer, who strove to form strong links within Europe following the divisions created by second World War. Kohl followed by prioritising relations between West European and East European countries and becoming a force behind the drive for European Monetary Union.

He was finally defeated in the 1998 election by Socialist Gerhard Schröder. Henceforth, he and the CDU have been severely damaged by an election fund money-laundering scandal.

Juan Carlos Ocaña

European Union The European Union: integration
process and European citizenship
European Unity
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2003 © Juan Carlos Ocaña