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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 23, 1973


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    An East German analysis of the first phase of the CSCE conference.
    "Report for Minister Winzer's Office: The Course and the Results of the first phase of the European Security Conference, 23 July 1973," July 23, 1973, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PA AA: MfAA C 851/75
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Report for Minister Winzer's [3] Office: The course and the results of the first phase of the European Security Conference, 23 July 1973 [1] [2]

[. . .]
The NATO countries to a great extent appear as a closed front. With their proposals concerning the second [4] and the third item of the agenda, [5] they again tried to shape the second phase of the Security Conference according to their plans. Their proposals are aimed at undermining the final recommendations. The proposals were brought in separately, but they are closely interconnected. They are based on a coordinated concept of the EEC countries which was confirmed in NATO. These proposals are aimed at eroding the sovereignty of the socialist states by means of multilateral agreements and a broad "freedom of movement of persons and ideas". In the field of economic cooperation this rationale is particularly visible in their approach concerning industrial cooperation. [. . .]

The efforts of the EEC countries are directed at ignoring and re-interpreting the political contents of cooperation as laid down in the final recommendations and the principles inconvenient to them (inviolability of frontiers and non-interference). Revealingly, the EEC countries contributed only one proposal towards Item 1 of the agenda (Great Britain on Confidence Building Measures). The EEC attached absolute priority to the forms and methods of cooperation over the political content. The most significant example was the declaration of the FRG's foreign minister who, in accordance with this concept, reconfirmed its unrealistic position on the "unity of the nation". [6]

The demagogic character of the EEC proposals also lies in the emphasis on "truly representing the people's interest" while at the same time rejecting "dead political resolutions". With these attitudes they want to lead European public opinion astray, ignoring [the fact] that stable relations between states create mutually advantageous forms of coexistence.

Although the acceptance of the final recommendations of the Dipoli consultations [7] provided conditions for accelerating the proceedings and the contents of stage two and three, the EEC states indicated their intention to delay the start and the course of stage two. Whereas the Warsaw Treaty countries plead for the conclusion of the conference with stage three this year, the NATO countries are oriented towards six months' duration of phase two and towards realisation of stage three in early summer next year. The socialist states plead for starting stage two in early August, but the Western states not before mid-September.

In addition, it is quite obvious that the NATO states want to diminish the importance of the conference in the eyes of the public. Thus, the majority of NATO states – when preparing for the final communiqué – opposed any evaluative statement regarding the Security Conference. They insisted on just formally describing the first stage. At the same time they wanted to keep the first stage very short. [. . .]

In the Dipoli consultations, the commitment towards the third stage remained an open question. The Western states still took the position that a decision over this issue is dependent on the results of the second stage. [8] In contrast to the attitude they took during the Dipoli consultations, some Western states clearly expressed that the highest level – the goal of the socialist states – is possible. [9] [. . .]

In summary one can state:
Because of their persistent and determined policy, the Soviet Union and the other Warsaw Treaty states were able to successfully go ahead with the first stage of the European Security Conference. This opened up new possibilities for continuing the fight over solidifying security and cooperation. The conditions created are apt to wind up the second stage by the coordinated action of the Warsaw Treaty states in a manner enabling the Warsaw Treaty states to complete the last stage with the desired results. The course of the first stage, at the same time, made clear that, despite diverging attitudes in various questions of content, one has to expect a largely coordinated behaviour of the EEC and NATO states as well as complicated disputes in the next stage. The NATO states can be expected to try to force their concept on the European Security Conference by all means.

In coordination with the USSR and with the other Warsaw Treaty states, the GDR is making precautions to be well prepared for the start of the second stage. The Ministerial Council, the Foreign Affairs Committee, and the Ministerial Council's Working Group for the European Security Conference have to be given reports about the course and the results.
Concerning the preparations for the second stage of the conference, the ministries and institutions represented in the Ministerial Council have to take into account the tasks resulting from these reports.

The directives for the GDR's delegation over the second stage will be submitted to the Politburo and to the Ministerial Council by the end of July. [10]


[1] Copyright: Project 'CSCE and the Transformation of Europe', University of Mannheim and the Cold War International History Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center. All rights reserved. The "CSCE and the Transformation of Europe" Project is funded by the VolkswagenStiftung. If cited, quoted, translated, or reproduced, acknowledgement of any document's origin must be made as follows: "Oliver Bange/Stephan Kieninger (eds): "Negotiating one's own demise? The GDR's Foreign Ministry and the CSCE negotiations - Plans, preparations, tactics and presumptions," CWIHP e-Dossier Nr. 17, on behalf of the Project 'CSCE and the Transformation of Europe', University of Mannheim 2008 (

[2] Excerpts from document pp. 4-7.

[3] Otto Winzer (1902-1975) was the GDR's Foreign Minister from 1965 to 1975.

[4] The second item of the CSCE agenda was economic, commercial and scientific-technological cooperation.

[5] The third item of the CSCE agenda was free(r) movement of people, information and ideas.

[6] Walter Scheel (*1919) was the FRG's Foreign Minister from 1969 to 1974.

[7] From 22 November 1972 to 8 June 1973, the Multilateral Preparatory Talks (MPT) for the CSCE were held in Dipoli which is situated close to Helsinki.

[8] From 18 September 1973 to 21 July 1975, the second stage of the CSCE took place in Geneva.

[9] The preparatory MPT phase (from November 1972 to June 1973 at Dipoli) was followed by Stage I (the meeting of foreign ministers, from 3 to 7 July 1973, also at Dipoli). The ministers decided on a working programme which was followed up by the delegations in Stage II in Geneva (from September 1973 to July 1975). Winzer's report was written and submitted between these first two phases. According to Soviet and thereby Warsaw Pact wishes, the concluding Stage III (which eventually took place in August 1975 again at Dipoli/Helsinki) should be held "at the highest level" - amongst the heads of states. Western participants tried to turn this into a bargaining chip, arguing that this depended on progress in substance during Phase II.

[10] Bock wrote this report on behalf of Foreign Minister Otto Winzer. During a session of the SED Politburo on 12 June 1973, Winzer was instructed to prepare directives for the GDR's CSCE delegation at Stage I of the CSCE, the Meeting of Foreign Ministers of 3 to 7 July 1973 in Helsinki. Furthermore, the SED Politburo – during its session on 12 June – instructed Winzer to prepare a report on Stage I and to submit guidelines to the Politburo for the purpose of passing a resolution about the GDR's performance in Stage II. SAPMO: DY 30/ J IV 2/2A/1691 and -/1693. On 17 July 1973 the SED Politburo discussed Winzer's report on Stage I. SAPMO: DY 30/J IV 2/2A/1698. On 21 August 1973, the Politburo took its decision on the guidelines for the CSCE delegation in Stage II. SAPMO: DY 30/ J IV 2/2A/1715.