20 Facts About Comecon


Comecon was the Eastern Bloc's response to the formation in Western Europe of the Marshall Plan and the OEEC, which later became the OECD.

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Comecon was founded in 1949 by the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Romania.

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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, and which were now, increasingly, cut off from their traditional markets and suppliers in the rest of Europe.

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From its founding until 1967, Comecon had operated only on the basis of unanimous agreements.

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In 1967, Comecon adopted the "interested party principle", under which any country could opt out of any project they chose, still allowing the other member states to use Comecon mechanisms to coordinate their activities.

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However, many undertakings based on Western technology were less than successful ; 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 detente faded in the late 1970s, and from 1979 to 1983, all of Comecon experienced a recession from which they never recovered in the Communist era.

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All Comecon members were "united by a commonality of fundamental class interests and the ideology of Marxism-Leninism" and had common approaches to economic ownership and management .

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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.

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The East European members of Comecon were militarily allied with the Soviet Union in the Warsaw Pact.

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Still, all of the Comecon countries gained some stability, and the governments gained some legitimacy, 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.

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Organization of Comecon was officially focused on common expansion of states, more effective production and building relationships between countries within.

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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.

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In 1956, eight standing commissions were set up to help Comecon make recommendations pertaining to specific economic sectors.

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Comecon was an interstate organization through which members attempted to coordinate economic activities of mutual interest and to develop multilateral economic, scientific, and technical cooperation:.

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Comecon joined together 450 million people in 10 countries and on 3 continents.

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Comecon realized disproportionately more political than economic gains from its heavy contributions to these three countries' underdeveloped economies.

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Comecon had no supranational authority to make decisions or to implement them.

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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.

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Soviet domination of Comecon was a function of its economic, political, and military power.

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The "sovereign equality" of members, as described in the Comecon Charter, assured members that if they did not wish to participate in a Comecon project, they might abstain.

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