It’s been 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, but the effects are still being felt today according to University of Ottawa professor Pierre Anctil.

“It’s going to take a longer time to actually unify east and west Europe, to bring together all these countries under a unified Europe,” he told CTV News. “I’m not speaking about Russia, which probably wouldn’t be interested at the moment but all these eastern European countries were light years behind economically and it’s one of the reasons the wall collapsed.”

Anctil noted the fall of the wall suddenly put an end to almost 50 years of a divided Germany. It was a dramatic change that some couldn’t believe would stand.

“People who were affected for decades, literally, couldn’t believe their eyes,” he said. “People poured by the hundreds of thousands across the border in the months that followed thinking it would be re-established.”

For more on the significance of the fall of the Berlin Wall, watch the interview above.