Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA)

Conseil d'assistance économique mutuelle (CAEM)
Consejo de Ayuda Mutua Económica (CAME)
Rat für Gegenseitige Wirtschaftshilfe (RGW)
Sovet Ekonomiceskoj Vzaimopomosci (SEV)

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1949-01 Moscow USSR


Jan 1949, Moscow (USSR), on the basis of an understanding reached at an economic conference of representatives of Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and USSR. Formalizing of Council organization completed at 1st session, Apr 1949. Charter adopted 14 Dec 1959, Sofia (Bulgaria); amended by Protocols of 21 Jun 1974 and 28 Jun 1979. Albania was admitted in Feb 1950 but ceased participation at the end of 1961. Also admitted later: German Democratic Republic in Sep 1950; Mongolia in Jun 1962; Cuba in Jul 1972; Vietnam in Jun 1978. German Democratic Republic ceased to exist 3 Oct 1990. CMEA was sometimes referred to as COMECON; it was dissolved on 28 Jun 1991.

T-XT7214 - Convention on the Settlement by Arbitration of Civil Law Disputes Arising out of Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation Relationships signed by CMEA members 26 May 1972, Moscow. Agreements on cooperation with the Council were signed with the following countries that were not members of CMEA: In accordance with the Agreement of 1964, Yugoslavia took part in the work of the CMEA bodies; its scope of cooperation covered 24 fields of the CMEA activities. Agreement with Finland was signed in 1973. After the Agreement entered into force, Finland signed 135 multilateral and bilateral agreements and protocols with CMEA member countries on the basis of recommendations by the Commission on Cooperation between CMEA and the Republic of Finland. CMEA cooperation agreements were signed with Iraq (1975), Mexico (1975), Nicaragua (1983), Mozambique (1985), Angola (1986), Ethiopia (1986), Yemen DR (1986), Afghanistan (1987). To organize cooperation in accordance with signed agreements, joint (mixed) commissions were set up between CMEA and the above countries. Talks on trade relations with H-XD0665 - European Community were concluded with the signing on 25 Jun 1988, Luxembourg, of the Joint Declaration on the Establishment of Official Relations between CMEA and EEC, declaring mutual recognition and normalization of relations between the two organizations and removing impediments to commercial and cooperative agreements between the EEC and CMEA member countries. Important reorganization of CMEA decided during CMEA Summit Meeting, 9-10 Jan 1990, Sofia. From 1 Jan 1991, trade among CMEA countries is based on dollars and convertible currencies at world market rates.

Dissolution of CMEA and replacement by H-XD2345 - Organization for International Economic Cooperation (OIEC), was scheduled for 27-28 Feb 1991, at which date final dissolution was postponed, finally signed 28 Jun 1991. The changeover to OIEC was expected to take 2 years, but the splitting of the Soviet Union into its republics and the formation of the F-XF2417 - Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Dec 1991, mean that the OIEC effectively no longer exists.


Promote, by uniting and coordinating the efforts of member countries: further extension and improvement of cooperation and the development of socialist economic integration; planned development of the national economies; acceleration of the economic and technological progress in these countries; raising of the level of industrialization in the less industrialized countries; a constant increase in labour productivity; gradual approximation and equalization of economic development levels; steady improvement in the well-being of the peoples of all member countries. The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance is founded on the principle of the sovereign equality of all member countries; economic, scientific and technological cooperation between members is implemented in accordance with the principles of socialist internationalism on the basis of respect for state sovereignty, independence and national interests, non-interference in internal affairs, complete equality of rights, mutual advantage and mutual comradely assistance.


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The CMEA organizational structure that has taken shape by 1987 consists of: Session of the Council; CMEA Executive Committee; CMEA committees; CMEA standing commissions; the Secretariat of the Council; two institutes; CMEA conferences.

'CMEA Session (Session of the Council)' (at least once a year) is the supreme organ of CMEA, and is composed of delegations from all member countries of the Council. Sessions are convened on a rotational basis in the capitals of the Council's member countries under the chairmanship of the Head of the Delegation from the host country.

'CMEA Executive Committee' is the main executive organ of CMEA, and consists of representatives of the member countries at the level of deputy heads of government. It directs all activities relating to the implementation of the tasks facing the Council in accordance with the decisions of the CMEA Session.

'CMEA Committees':

  • -'CMEA Committee on Co-operation in the field of the Agro-Industrial Complex';
  • -'CMEA Committee on Co-operation in the Field of Foreign Economic Relations';
  • -'CMEA Committee on Co-operation in the Field of Machine Building';
  • -'CMEA Committee on Scientific and Technological Co-operation';
  • -'CMEA Committee on Co-operation in the Field of Planning Activities';
  • -'CMEA Committee on Co-operation in the Field of Fuel and Raw Materials';
  • -'CMEA Committee on Co-operation in the Field of Electronization'.

'CMEA Standing Commissions':

  • -'CMEA Standing Commission on Monetary and Financial Matters';
  • -'CMEA Standing Commission on Co-operation in the Field of the Light Industry';
  • -'CMEA Standing Commission on Co-operation in the Field of Metallurgy';
  • -'CMEA Standing Commission on Co-operation in the Field of the Environmental Protection';
  • -'CMEA Standing Commission on Co-operation on Legal Matters';
  • -'CMEA Standing Commission on Co-operation in the Field of Standardization';
  • -'CMEA Standing Commission on Co-operation in the Field of Statistics';
  • -'CMEA Standing Commission on Co-operation in the Field of Transport';
  • -'CMEA Standing Commission on Co-operation in the Field of the Chemical Industry';
  • -'CMEA Standing Commission on Co-operation in the Field of Electrical and Postal Communication';
  • -'CMEA Standing Commission on Co-operation in the Field of Electric Power and Nuclear Engineering'.

'CMEA Secretariat (Secretariat of the Council)' is the economic, executive and administrative organ of the Council. Its tasks are to: make arrangements for or assist in preparing materials for the meetings of the Council's organs in accordance with their work plans; prepare economic surveys and carry out economic studies on the strength of materials of the Council's member countries; prepare proposals on individual questions of the Council's work to the appropriate organs of the Council for consideration; make arrangements for and assist in holding meetings of the Council's organs and conferences within the Council's framework; and discharge a number of other functions. The Secretariat comprises: the Secretary of the Council (who is the chief official of the Council); 5 Deputies of the Secretary; necessary personnel recruited from among citizens of CMEA member countries.


  • U-XE7478 - CMEA Institute for Standardization, set up 1962, following a decision of the XVI Session of CMEA, to carry out general (integrated) research of importance to the CMEA member countries, primarily in the field of metallurgy, chemistry and machine building, including machine elements (component parts), and also to accelerate research on the unification of standards and the elaboration of new standards;
  • U-XE0794 - Mezdunarodnyj Institut Ekonomiceskih Problem Mirovoj Socialisticeskoj Sistemy (MIEP MSS), formed 1970, following a decision of the XXIV Session of the Council, for comprehensive elaboration of the theoretical, methodological and applied economic problems involved in the development of the world socialist system, fostering economic cooperation between socialist countries and socialist economic integration.
  • 'Bodies linked to CMEA Secretariat': 'Conference of Representatives of Chartering and Shipowning Organizations of the CMEA Member Countries'; H-XE7493 - Shipchartering Coordinating Bureau (SCB).


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Type I Classification

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Type II Classification

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Subjects *

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UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal



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* Subject classification is derived from the organization names and aims.
** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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