The European Community (EC) now consists of nine countries following the entrance of Great Britain, Denmark and Ireland.
With an eye to the negotiations due to start in October 1973 in Vienna between NATO and Warsaw Pact countries on a "Mutual Reduction of Forces and Armaments and Associated Measures in Central Europe" (Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions (MBFR) talks), the SED detaches the GDR border troops from the National People’s Army to gain more scope for negotiating.
1 January - 1 February
As a consequence of the ostpolitik and the policy of détente, the GDR achieves international recognition: more than ten countries, including Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, France and Great Britain, take up diplomatic relations with it.
At a joint conference of the GDR Cultural Association, the presidents of artists’ associations and the Academy of Arts, the chief SED ideologue, Kurt Hager, rejects the idea of a single German culture and espouses that of an independent cultural tradition in the GDR.
Signing of the Paris Agreement on the ending of the Vietnam War; US soldiers withdraw by the end of March 1973.