On 11 March 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev was elected General Secretary of the communist party of the Soviet Union. This was the starting point for the reform process in Eastern Europe. Gorbachev´s reforms in the then Soviet Union, which became known as perestroika, were soon to have consequences in the rest of the Eastern Europe, leading to the opening of the Berlin Wall on 9 november 1989. The world has since witnessed a remarkable transformation of the centrally planned economies of Eastern Europe into market economies. This transformation has resulted in profound changes in the legal systems of Eastern Europe.