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Aleksanteri Conference







Miloiu, Silviu

Playing with the Trojan Horse? The British decision-making process regarding Romania’s adhesion to the IMF and IBRD (1972)

Romania’s adhesion to the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development has been seen by many a Western politician of the time as a sign of a break-up in the Communist block worth encouraging. Some even deem it as a diplomatic revolution somehow similar in the effects of weakening the Communist devil block to the Budapest Uprising and the Prague Spring, but even more effective  and more difficult to curb down. The Trojan Horse was there and the West only needed to pick it up and use it to achieve its aims. It was believed that gradually the outside openness will be translated onto the domestic arena. Nevertheless, many a historian, and especially Vladimir Tismaneanu, disputed the frankness of Ceausescu Romania’s openness to the West, others even believing that this was nothing more Soviet intoxication.

Despite the striking image of Ceausescu couple invited in June 1978 in Queen Elisabeta II’ carriage, which showed a clear progress in the bilateral relations, how the British decision-makers had considered six years earlier Romania’s astonishing application to integrate with the “imperialist” IMF and IBRD institutions? What was the state of affairs of the British – Romanian relations at the time and where the dialogue between the two parties for the British consent to Romania’s integration started from? What were the British Government of Edward Heath’s (19 June 1970 - 4 March 1974) aims and conditions imposed upon Romania in order to support the application? How genuine was Romania’s commitment to an independent line in her foreign policy and where it sprang from? What were the real effects upon Romania and the Eastern Block of the British and West’s consent given to Bucharest’s application? And, finally, how could it be integrated Romania’s case in Paul Kennedy’s taxonomy of states that have contributing to fissuring the bipolar world?
This paper gives answers to these questions based especially on relevant British archives.

Thursday 29 Oct, 13.45 - 15.45 SESSION 2
Panel: Breaching the Wall: Ostpolitik/Westpolitik and Trade

Friday 30 Oct, 13.45 - 15.45 SESSION 5
Panel: Dealing with the Traumatic Past I / Chair