The “Treaty on the Final Settlement Concerning Germany”, in short 2+4 Treaty, was concluded on September 12, 1990 in Moscow between the two German states and the victorious powers of the Second World War (USA, Soviet Union, France, Great Britain). In this treaty, foreign policy aspects as well as domestic policy conditions of German reunification were laid down. Thus, the signing of the 2+4 Treaty was considered the final peace settlement with Germany after World War II, moreover, it initiated the end of the conflict between the Eastern Bloc and the West. On March 15, 1991, this treaty finally entered into force officially.
In the 2+4 Treaty, individual aspects were clearly defined, including Germany’s territorial claims, as well as military aspects.
First of all, the national borders of the united Germany were defined as the territory of the FRG, the GDR and all of Berlin. In addition, Germany undertook not to make any territorial claims. Furthermore, the renunciation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons (ABC weapons) was declared, as well as the limitation of the troop strength of German armed forces to 370,000 persons. The ban on waging wars of aggression was also recorded. Lastly, it was agreed that Soviet troops would be withdrawn from Germany by 1994. A unified Germany was granted the right to belong to alliances.
The German Question, which refers to a conflict over Germany’s borders that remained unresolved from 1806 to 1990, was also finally settled by the 2+4 Treaty. While Germany tried to unite German Austria with the German territory after World War I, this was prevented by the victorious powers – the German question remained unresolved. After World War II and the division of Germany into FRG and GDR, the German Question was seen as a symbol of the East-West conflict. German reunification, legitimized by the 2+4 Treaty, therefore also stands for the resolution of the German Question and thus for the settlement of any territorial claims. The external borders of the united Germany were defined and declared valid, in particular the Oder-Neisse border, which today marks the German-Polish border.
By signing the treaty, the four occupying powers terminated their rights and responsibilities with respect to Germany and Berlin; accordingly, Germany’s full internal and external sovereignty was restored. The treaty is considered an essential part of the restored peace order in Europe.