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Forgotten Integration: The Failure and Lessons of the Council of Mutual Economic Assistance

L. B. Vardomskiy ()

Outlines of global transformations: politics, economics, law, 2020

Abstract: CMEA evolution is considered using the concept of a life cycle. Entry into individual stages of the life cycle depends on the compliance of integration institutions with internal and external development factors of the participating countries, the ratio of integration and national identity. The CMEA analysis allows us to assess the dynamics of modern integration projects important for Russia. The main reasons for the collapse of the CMEA were the overestimation of the role of planned instruments and the underestimation of the role of monetary instruments, collective import substitution (autarky) and technological weakness, primarily the USSR, as a leader in the integration process. To modernize their industry, the CMEA countries, under conditions of detente, increased imports of equipment from Western countries. The country’s budget deficit arising in connection with the growth of external debt was forced to solve by raising prices for consumer goods and services, which caused social discontent. Delays in market reforms exacerbated the situation. The “perestroika†that began in 1985 in the USSR, brought about drastic changes in domestic and foreign policy and gave a “green light†to market transformations in CEE countries. Despite the failure, CMEA made a significant contribution to the development of global regionalization processes. It was part of the bipolar world order and supported strategic stability in the world, contributed to the improvement of European integration institutions, especially in terms of planning the integration process and creating mechanisms for converging the levels of development and welfare of the participating countries. The CMEA experience has shown that in order to meet the growing complexity of the international economic, it is necessary to create the corresponding integration and national institutions of the participating countries. The central issue of the effectiveness of integration is the acquisition by the participating countries of such specialization, not only within the framework of the integration association, but also of the global economy as a whole, which will ensure their sustainable income. In the course of evolution, modern integration associations will change functions and institutions, the composition of participants, enter into larger alliances, but are unlikely to disappear from the world economy as CMEA.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.23932/2542-0240-2020-13-3-10

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