Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



The year 1989 will be remembered as an important year in the histories of the Central and Eastern European countries because of the demise of the Soviet-controlled regimes and the emergence of independent and largely pluralistic political movements. A major catalyst for such radical political change was the decline of the centralized command economies in the Central and Eastern European countries. These so-called "Soviet Bloc" countries modeled their economic systems after the Soviet Union and, like the Soviet model, these countries found themselves saddled with an increasingly inefficient economic system. When the political systems changed, the new governments immediately took steps to change their economic situation through decentralization, establishing market mechanisms, and privatization. Aware that any improvement required international capital and technology assistance in addition to the development of export markets in the West, they also set out to reshape their foreign trade and investment mechanisms. Their goal was to liberalize foreign trade and open their economies to foreign investment and acquisitions.