Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



After having heard so many distinctive speakers, I thought of what might be of interest more specifically on a few issues. You can certainly understand that there is a lot in common among all of the countries of Eastern Europe right now. There are a few topics that were mentioned in every speech. There is privatization, the monopolization of the economy, and the transformation of the system into a free market society.

In the Soviet Union, there has been a very contradictive process going on within the last six months. Everything said before in terms of changing the system appears to be nothing more than cosmetics or light painting on the existing system, and it makes it very hard now to understand where are we really going, or where shall we go in the near future.

Everyone from the panel today made it clear that the countries they represent are on a very precise, strong, and firm way towards converting to the market economy. We are always mentioning Poland as an example because they were on the frontier of all these changes. It is also obvious that they have taken steps towards making the capitalist system work. I would not say they are capitalists, but that all of our countries have in common a need to go from that nonworking, nondemocratic, and inefficient system to a modern, working, efficient, and normal system like that you have lived under all your lives.

We do not even want to use the words capitalistic or socialistic that the governments of our countries, particularly the Soviet Union, are reluctant to use, although that is what is taking place in Eastern Europe. It appears that now what we have had in the Soviet Union was some sort of attempt to make small changes that fundamentally would not affect the entire system. We are now kind of reaping the results of this uncertain policy within the last few years.