"[8] Furthermore, GATT's notion of ostensibly nondiscriminatory treatment of trade partners was thought to be incompatible with notions of socialist solidarity. Sovét Ekonomícheskoy Vzaimopómoshchi, СЭВ; English abbreviation COMECON, CMEA, CEMA, or CAME) was an economic organization from 1949 to 1991 under the leadership of the Soviet Union that comprised the countries of the Eastern Bloc along with a number of socialist states elsewhere in the world. The term integration was always avoided because of its connotations of monopolistic capitalist collusion. A number of projects formulated in the years immediately following adoption of the Comprehensive Program were then assembled in a document signed at the 29th Council Session in 1975. The Comprehensive Program avoids, however, the suggestion of ultimate fusion of members' economies that had been contained in the 1962 Basic Principles. These programs established the commitments to multilateral cooperation that member countries were to take into account when drawing up their five-year plans for the 1980s. The more industrialized and the more trade dependent of the East European countries (Czechoslovakia, East Germany, and Poland) had belatedly recognized the need to adapt the Soviet autarkic model to their own requirements. All interested parties had to consider recommendations handed down by the Session. Comecon realized disproportionately more political than economic gains from its heavy contributions to these three countries' underdeveloped economies. The physical size, military power, and political and economic resource base of the Soviet Union made it the dominant member. On the other hand, Czechoslovak trams (Tatra T3) and jet trainers (L-29) were the standard for all Comecon countries, including the USSR, and other countries could develop their own designs but only for their own needs, like Poland (respectively, Konstal trams and TS-11 jets). How Biographical Trajectories Shaped Internationalism among COMECON Experts. Given their isolation from the rest of the world and the dominance of intrabloc trade in their external relations, interest in these countries inevitably centered on new forms of regional cooperation. However, with the August 1948 death of Andrei Zhdanov, Voznesensky lost his patron and was soon accused of treason as part of the Leningrad Affair; within two years he was dead in prison. A protocol to create such a system was signed January 18, 1949, but never ratified. Cominform and Comecon. With the end of Communism in Eastern Europe, Comecon ceased to exist on June 28, 1991. [40] Unlike the EEC, where treaties mostly limited government activity and allowed the market to integrate economies across national lines, Comecon needed to develop agreements that called for positive government action. [22], Also until the late 1960s, the official term for Comecon activities was cooperation. Sovét Ekonomícheskoy Vzaimopómoshchi), merupakan organisasi ekonomi dari tahun 1949-1991 di bawah kepemimpinan Uni Soviet yang terdiri dari negara-negara Blok Timur dan juga beberapa negara komunis lainnya di seluruh dunia. 1 See answer In this system, which mirrored the member countries' planned economies, the decisions handed down from above ignored the influences of market forces or private initiative. [4] In any event, proposals for a customs union and economic integration of Central and Eastern Europe date back at least to the Revolutions of 1848 (although many earlier proposals had been intended to stave off the Russian and/or communist "menace")[4] and the state-to-state trading inherent in centrally planned economies required some sort of coordination: otherwise, a monopolist seller would face a monopsonist buyer, with no structure to set prices. English Proper noun . The stated purpose of the organization was to enable member states "to exchange economic experiences, extend technical aid to one another, and to render mutual assistance with respect to raw materials, foodstuffs, machines, equipment, etc.". All decisions would require unanimous ratification, and even then governments would separately translate these into policy. The Comprehensive Program incorporated elements of both the market and the plan approaches. share. The two most notable meetings were the special sessions called in June 1984 and December 1985. Finally, the Comprehensive Program emphasized the need for multilateral projects to develop new regional sources of fuels, energy, and raw materials. AbigailKerney195 06/05/2015 History High School +5 pts. Section I, Paragraph 2 of the Comprehensive Program refers to the need "to intensify and improve" cooperation among members and "to develop socialist economic integration." In 1973 Comecon decided to draw up a general plan incorporating these measures. They argue that this may have been simply an unforeseen consequence of two factors: the slow adjustment of Comecon prices during a time of rising oil and gas prices, and the fact that mineral resources were abundant in the Comecon sphere, relative to manufactured goods. The standing commissions had authority only to make recommendations, which had then to be approved by the Executive Committee, presented to the Session, and ratified by the interested member countries. Moreover, the increased economic interdependence that the Basic Principles called for had inevitable political connotations. [3], The Session of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, officially the highest Comecon organ, examined fundamental problems of economic integration and directed the activities of the Secretariat and other subordinate organizations. Comecon itself might adopt decisions only on organizational and procedural matters pertaining to itself and its organs. [clarification needed][12] Then in summer 1950, probably unhappy with the favorable implications for the effective individual and collective sovereignty of the smaller states, Stalin "seems to have taken [Comecon's] personnel by surprise,"[clarification needed] bringing operations to a nearly complete halt, as the Soviet Union moved domestically toward autarky and internationally toward an "embassy system of meddling in other countries' affairs directly" rather than by "constitutional means"[clarification needed]. The Comprehensive Program's objectives proved somewhat inconsistent with the predominant trends within members' economies in the 1970s, which was a period of recentralization — rather than decentralization — of domestic systems of planning and management. Please expound on this occurrence. Yugoslavia negotiated a form of associate status in the organization, specified in its 1964 agreement with Comecon. However, due to the plan of Comecon, older Soviet trains were used, which guaranteed profit for the Soviet Union and work for workers in Soviet factories. Member states had restructured their economies to emphasize industry, transportation, communications, and material and technical supply, and they had decreased the share of resources devoted to agricultural development. van Council for Mutual Economie Assistance (Raad voor Wederzijdse Economische Hulp), internationale economische organisatie. The Soviet Union began to trade oil for Comecon manufactured goods. Romania and Poland experienced major declines in the standard of living. The latter were reinforced in 1962 by articles and speeches by Soviet party leader Nikita Khrushchev proposing a central Comecon planning organ to implement the Basic Principles and foreseeing the evolution of a "socialist commonwealth" based on a unified regional economy. Comecon. Although the principles of specialization were generally favored by the more industrial, northern-tier states, the less developed East European countries were concerned that such specialization would lead to a concentration of industry in the already established centers and would thus thwart their own ambitious industrialization plans. Comecon: De Council for Mutual Economical Assistance (de Raad voor wederzijdse economische hulp; afgekort met Comecon, COMECON, CMEA; Russisch: Совет экономической взаимопомощи - СЭВ) was een economisch samenwerkingsverband tussen de Oost-Europese communistische l The session designated a number of objectives to which target programs would be directed: "guarantee of the economically based requirements of Comecon member countries for basic kinds of energy, fuels, and raw materials; the development of the machine-building industries on the basis of intense specialization and cooperation in production; the fulfillment of national demands for basic foodstuffs and industrial consumer goods; and modernization and development of transport links among member countries." Cominform and Comecon were two pretty important Cold War-era governmental organisations set up by none other than Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin. Economic integration or "plan coordination" formed the basis of Comecon's activities. The Polish protests and Hungarian uprising led to major social and economic changes, including the 1957 abandonment of the 1956–60 Soviet five-year plan, as the Comecon governments struggled to reestablish their legitimacy and popular support. It aimed to create "a firm base for working out an agreed, and in some areas, unified scientific and technical policy and the practical implementation, in the common interest, of higher achievements in science and technology.". Some socialist nations refused to join or split from COMECON upon the advent of revisionism in the USSR. Comecon was created as an organization of economic cooperation among the communist states. Comecon members adopted the Comprehensive Program at a time when they were actively developing economic relations with the rest of the world, especially with the industrialized Western economies. However, these groupings typically proved "unwieldy, conservative, risk-averse, and bureaucratic," reproducing the problems they had been intended to solve. Vol. An extraordinary Session, such as the one in December 1985, might be held with the consent of at least one-third of the members. [3], The six interstate conferences (on water management, internal trade, legal matters, inventions and patents, pricing, and labor affairs) served as forums for discussing shared issues and experiences. Moreover, Comecon prevented eastern European countries to trade with the west. By the end of the 1960s, Eastern Europe had been shaken by the 1968 events, and there was an obvious need to revitalize programs that would strengthen regional cohesion. The level of industrialization from country to country differed greatly: the organization linked two underdeveloped countries – Mongolia, and Vietnam – with some highly industrialized states. ", Lányi, Kamilla. A second major initiative toward implementation of the Comprehensive Program came in 1976 at the 30th Council Session, when a decision was made to draw up Long-Term Target Programs for Cooperation in major economic sectors and subsectors. Although such equalization had not been a pivotal point in the formation and implementation of Comecon's economic policies, improved economic integration had always been Comecon's goal. The primary factors in Comecon's formation appear to have been Joseph Stalin's desire to cooperate and strengthen the international relationships at an economic level with the smaller states of Central Europe,[3] and which were now, increasingly, cut off from their traditional markets and suppliers in the rest of Europe. When extending credit to East European countries, Western creditors did so assuming that the Soviet Union would offer financial assistance in the event that payment difficulties arose. The years 1956 to 1963 witnessed the rapid growth of Comecon institutions and activities, especially after the 1959 Charter went into effect. The country also leads the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan and the Eurasian Economic Union with Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. [3], Former international economic organization, Name in official languages of the members, Comecon versus the European Economic Community, Prices, exchange rates, coordination of national plans, International relations within the Comecon. save. Still, all of the Comecon countries gained some stability, and the governments gained some legitimacy,[35] and in many ways this stability and protection from the world market was viewed, at least in the early years of Comecon, as an advantage of the system, as was the formation of stronger ties with other socialist countries. Early on, Nikolai Voznesensky pushed for a more "law-governed" and technocratic price-based approach. [46] Whereas the latter was interested in production efficiency and in allocation via market prices, the former was interested in bilateral aid to fulfill central planning goals. It had become increasingly obvious that the result was usually failure. In 1971 and 1974, the Executive Committee acquired economic departments that ranked above the standing commissions. The Comecon was founded in 1949 by the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Romania. [3], Each country appointed one permanent representative to maintain relations between members and Comecon between annual meetings. Jump to navigation Jump to search. The Comprehensive Program for Scientific and Technical Progress up to the Year 2000 was originally to be ratified in 1986, but the Soviets advocated an earlier date of completion to enable the Comecon countries to incorporate their commitments to implement the program in their next five-year plans (which started in January 1986). The organization of Comecon was officially focused on common expansion of states, more effective production and building relationships between countries within. The secretary, who has been a Soviet official since Comecon creation, was the official Comecon representative to Comecon member states and to other states and international organizations. However, many undertakings based on Western technology were less than successful (for example, Poland's Ursus tractor factory did not do well with technology licensed from Massey Ferguson); other investment was wasted on luxuries for the party elite, and most Comecon countries ended up indebted to the West when capital flows died out as détente faded in the late 1970s, and from 1979 to 1983, all of Comecon experienced a recession from which (with the possible exceptions of East Germany and Bulgaria) they never recovered in the Communist era. [9], Comecon was established at a Moscow economic conference January 5–8, 1949, at which the six founding member countries were represented; its foundation was publicly announced on January 25; Albania joined a month later and East Germany in 1950. [7], Recent research by the Romanian researcher Elena Dragomir suggests that Romania played a rather important role in the Comecon's creation in 1949. (This principle would weaken after 1968, as it became clear that it discouraged new research—and as the Soviet Union itself began to have more marketable technologies. A comparative lull in Comecon activities ensued, which lasted until well after the 1968 Soviet-led intervention in Czechoslovakia. The Marshall Plan . By the end of the 1970s, with the exception of Poland's agricultural sector, the economic sectors of all Comecon countries had converted to the socialist system. Following the market approach, the Comprehensive Program sought to strengthen the role of money, prices, and exchange rates in intra-Comecon relations and to encourage direct contacts among lower level economic entities in the member countries. Thus, reducing indebtedness to the West also became a top priority within Comecon. The Secretariat supervised the actual operations of the commissions. The East European members of Comecon were also militarily allied with the Soviet Union in the Warsaw Pact.[3]. Sharpe, Armonk, NY 1989. The Comecon plan, though more profitable for the Soviets, if less resourceful for the Czechs and Slovaks, forced the Czechoslovak government to buy trains "Ečs (81-709)" and "81-71", both of which were designed in early 1950s and were heavy, unreliable and expensive. [37], With few exceptions, foreign trade in the Comecon countries was a state monopoly, and the state agencies and captive trading companies were often corrupt. Vietnam and Laos joined the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1995 and 1997 respectively. Comecon (Council of Mutual Economic Assistance), on the other hand, was established in 1949 to specifically coordinate the economic matters of … Ask your question. Each country dealt with the Soviets on a one-to-one basis by means of direct consultations with Moscow through local Soviet missions. [34], In the late 1980s, there were ten full members: the Soviet Union, six East European countries, and three extra-regional members. [3] This was the era of perestroika ("restructuring"), the last attempt to put the Comecon economies on a sound economic footing. At the same time, the Comprehensive Program called for more joint planning on a sectoral basis through interstate bodies that would coordinate members' activities in a given sector. Comecon 1949–1991 The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON) was founded in reaction to the allure of the Marshall Plan to the Soviet satellites in Eastern Europe. A treaty or other kind of legal agreement implemented adopted recommendations. [citation needed]The location of many Comecon committee headquarters in Moscow and the large number of Soviet nationals in positions of authority also testified to the power of the Soviet Union within the organization. [3], In 1956, eight standing commissions were set up to help Comecon make recommendations pertaining to specific economic sectors. The organization lacked clear structure and operated without a charter until a decade after its founding. "Reassessing Communist International Organisations: A Comparative Analysis of COMECON and the Warsaw Pact in relation to their Cold War Competitors. In a formal or informal way, often the countries were discouraged from developing their own designs that competed with the main Comecon design. Definition of COMECON in the Definitions.net dictionary. Furthermore, there was often strong political pressure to keep the best products for domestic use in each country. The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, (Совет Экономической Взаимопомощи, Sovet Ekonomicheskoy Vzaimopomoshchi, СЭВ, SEV; English abbreviation COMECON), was created in 1949 as an economic organization under the organization of Soviet Union comprising the countries of the Eastern Bloc along with a number of communist states elsewhere in the world. Its recommendations could only be adopted with the full concurrence of interested parties and (from 1967[21]) did not affect those members who declared themselves disinterested parties. Comecon's scope was officially limited in November 1950 to "practical questions of facilitating trade. Yugoslavia was the only country considered to have associate member status. Again, largely correct, Comecon was one of the methods that the USSR used to control the economies of Eastern Europe. Albanien suspenderede sit aktive medlemskab i 1961 og udtrådte formelt i 1987. In the headlong pursuit of parallel industrialization strategies, East European governments turned their attention inward. The organization took similar steps to coordinate railroad and river transport. Albanien blev medlem i februar 1949, Østtyskland i 1950, Mongoliet i 1962, Cuba i 1972 og Vietnam i 1978. It gave soviets access to In the 1980s, Comecon sessions were held on their regular annual schedule. [3], The official hierarchy of Comecon consisted of the Session of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, the Executive Committee of the Council, the Secretariat of the Council, four council committees, twenty-four standing commissions, six interstate conferences, two scientific institutes, and several associated organizations. 564, 566. 1. In strict economic terms, barter inevitably harmed countries whose goods would have brought higher prices in the free market or whose imports could have been obtained more cheaply and benefitted those for whom it was the other way around. In the years following the adoption of the Comprehensive Program, Comecon made some progress toward strengthening market relations among members. Poland was a manufacturer of light helicopters for Comecon countries (Mi-2 of the Soviet design). A possible point of comparison is that there were also winners and losers under EEC agricultural policy in the same period. [32] The Soviet Union itself was dismantled on December 26, 1991. [5] According to the Soviet view the "Anglo-American bloc" and "American monopolists ... whose interests had nothing in common with those of the European people" had spurned East-West collaboration within the framework agreed within the United Nations, that is, through the Economic Commission for Europe. Pas na de dood van Stalin (maart 1953) kreeg de COMECON praktische betekenis. "[3], These affiliated agencies were divided into two categories: intergovernmental economic organizations (which worked on a higher level in the member countries and generally dealt with a wider range of managerial and coordinative activities) and international economic organizations (which worked closer to the operational level of research, production, or trade). The commissions have been rearranged and renamed a number of times since the establishment of the first eight. The Cominform (or Communist Information Bureau) was set up in September 1947 by Stalin to draw together the various European communist parties. It was designed to co-ordinate the economic activities of all the Soviet satellite states across Eastern Europe, but for the first few years after WWII it was the legal means by which the USSR robbed Eastern Europe of factories and goods. The major exception to this lack of progress lay in the area of intra-Comecon pricing and payment, where the expansion of relations with the West contributed to the adoption of prices and extra-plan settlements closer to international norms. From January 1, 1991, the countries shifted their dealings with one another to a hard currency market basis. Comecon var grundlagt i januar 1949 af Sovjetunionen, Bulgarien, Tjekkoslovakiet, Ungarn, Polen og Rumænien. [20], From its founding until 1967, Comecon had operated only on the basis of unanimous agreements. Comecon provided a mechanism through which its leading member, the Soviet Union, sought to foster economic links with and among its closest political and military allies. Socialist economic integration resulted in the production of goods capable of competing on the world market. The US, also terrified that communist groups would gain further power—the Cold War was emerging and Soviet domination of Europe seemed a real danger—and wishing to secure European markets, opted for a program of financial aid. [21] This aimed, at least in part, at allowing Romania to chart its own economic course without leaving Comecon entirely or bringing it to an impasse. This also led to an importation of Western cultural attitudes, especially in Central Europe. 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