Helsinki Agreement

Helsinki Agreement in Europe

Description of Helsinki Final Act (Helsinki Accords, Helsinki Agreement)

The Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union describes helsinki final act (helsinki accords, helsinki agreement) in the following terms: [1] In 1975, 35 countries (the USA, Canada and all the European countries except Albania, which after Stalin’s death had allied itself to China) signed the Helsinki Final Act on human rights and security, the centrepiece of what are known as the Helsinki Accords. To the West, as to thousands of oppressed dissidents, the Helsinki Agreement signalled acceptance by communist regimes of individual entitlement to civil liberties in return for the settlement of frontiers. Among the Iron Curtain dictatorships, the Agreement was regarded as principally a propaganda exercise to weaken Western resolve to oppose communism militarily and politically; indeed, for a citizen in the Soviet bloc to cite it in aid of human rights was to invite severe reprisals. The Brezhnev Doctrine, to the effect that the Soviet Union had the right to intervene in the affairs of its satellite states, was in contravention of several clauses in the Final Act establishing the principles of non-interference and renunciation of force (see more in this European encyclopedia). But the West allowed the Brezhnev Doctrine to continue unchallenged until it was terminated at the end of the 1980s with the disintegration of the Soviet empire (see more in this European encyclopedia). (See also OSCE.)


Notas y References

  1. Based on the book “A Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union from Aachen to Zollverein”, by Rodney Leach (Profile Books; London)

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