Soviet Union

Thirty Years: The Changing State of Freedom in Central Europe

This is the latest in a series of articles on the legacy of the fall of the Iron Curtain 30 years ago. See more.

In a period of just six months, protest-driven popular movements swept away communist regimes in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Romania — all of which had consistently been rated "Not Free" by Freedom House.

Institutional challenges

In the first parliamentary confrontations, the new government majority has displayed a political culture quite different from that which dominated in the recent past. The type and style of the confrontations were markedly different.