December 2, 1983
Cable from Ernő Lakatos and Gyula Horn, 'Proposal for the Political Committee'
This document was made possible with support from MacArthur Foundation
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Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party
International Department and
Agitation and Propaganda Department
for the Political Committee
On the initiative of the SED deputy department head level representatives of ten socialist countries held talks on 11 November in Berlin with a focus on the development of peace movements and the coordination of international propaganda. Information was also shared about the execution of the Protocol Notes of the CC secretaries' meetings in March and September 1983.
At the meeting, SED's representative presented their proposal, already raised at the Moscow conference of CC secretaries, about setting up a permanent, operative consultation group. According to their proposal, ambassadors of fraternal countries or their representatives would meet in Moscow as required on the initiative of CPSU CC relevant department in order to discuss and evaluate topical international issues, and formulate coordinated responses and arguments. If needed, officials from central committees, occasionally travelling to Moscow, could also be involved in the consultations, while more important issues would still be discussed at meetings of deputy department heads.
In Berlin, the adoption of the SED proposal was supported by representatives of fraternal parties from Cuba, Mongolia, Vietnam and Laos, other representatives could only express their appreciation of the initiative as no standpoint had been formulated in their countries yet.
We consider the system of cooperation of fraternal parties in the fields of ideology, propaganda and international issues to be fundamentally satisfactory. Naturally, further improvements could be made, with aspects raised in SED's proposal also taken into consideration, and it is our interest to do so. At the same time, the arguments for setting up a permanent working group do not provide a sufficient basis for bringing a positive decision.
HSWP has initiated on a number of occasions that our multilateral ideological cooperation should be made more efficient and meaningful. In the past ten years, a great diversity of organizational forms has been created in the framework of multilateral ideological cooperation. What would be desirable and more purposeful is not setting up yet another working group but increasing the operativity, work capacity, and efficiency of existing forms such as meetings, consultations, coordination meetings, working groups, thematic councils, sub-committees, etc. For instance, deputy heads of both CC international and agitation-propaganda departments held six meetings in 1983 (Moscow February, Moscow March, Berlin November, Prague November, Prague December, Moscow December) in the framework of multilateral ideological cooperation. With all these aspects taken into account, we do not consider setting up a new permanent working group to be justified.
We propose that our representative attending the next deputy department head level meeting should revert to SED's proposal, and adopt a position in the spirit of the above.
Budapest, 2 December 1983
East German representatives proposed the formation of a permanent consultation group of socialist countries to coordinate international policy and propaganda.
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