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Council for Mutual Economic Aid (Comecon)


This article must be read in a historical context.

A council set up in 1949 consisting of the East European countries, viz: Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and the U.S.S.R. with Outer Mongolia and, later, Cuba (Yugoslavia, China and North Korea are observers). Its aim is, by means of central plan­ning, to develop the member countries' economies on a complementary basis for the purpose of achieving self-sufficiency. The East European member countries have, however, been reluctant to allow their economic policy to be constrained by the principle of total submission to a Comecon ideal of the supra-national determination oftheir economic development. A proposal for a Comecon Planning Authority put forward in 1962 was rejected. In the event, the East European countries, particularly Romania, have pursued independent national policies. Even the U.S.S.R., ·because of its need for Western technology, has increased its trade with the West. The share of the group's international trade with the West has been-increasing. ·Comecon's future growth is more likely to be influenced by its ability to borrow funds to finance its balance of payments deficit with the West than by any moves to doser integration. Nevertheless, there was agree­ment in Bucharest iri 1971 to cooperate on special projects drawn up and approved within five-year planning periods, under which member countries would contribute funds and manpower.

Reference: The Penguin Dictionary of Economics, 3rd edt.