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Breaking the CMEA hold: Romania in search of a ‘strategy’ towards the European Economic Community, 1958–1974 in European Review of History: Revue européenne d’histoire, Online December 2019, DOI: 10.1080/13507486.2019.1694492, Volume 27, 2020, Issue 4, pp. 494-526.
This article analyses Cold War Romania’s conceptualization of its relations with the European Economic Community (EEC) and its struggle to influence the policy of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA) towards the EEC in a way compatible with Bucharest’s interests. Addressing a significant historiographical gap, in a sense, this study investigates the origins of Romania–EU relations. Multi-archival in approach, it argues that the period between 1969 and 1974 represents the formative years of Romania–EEC relations. Exploring the political rationale behind Romania’s attitude towards the Common Market, the article finds that the country’s ‘strategy’ in this respect had three main characteristics: it was pragmatic, active and, to some point, adaptive; drawing heavily from Romania’s previous position, it took shape in the early 1970s; and, although it seemed to focus on the commercial aspects of relations, it reflected a far more complex interaction between the two political and social systems than previously acknowledged.