|12 July 1947
Conference of European Economic Cooperation Meets in Paris
|When Secretary of State George C. Marshall gave his famous speech at Harvard proposing massive program of American aid to Europe, he recommended that the countries of Europe come together to determine their needs for economic recovery. Two weeks later the British and French foreign ministers issued a joint message in which they invited twenty-two nations—including the Soviet Union and the states of Eastern Europe—to send delegations to a meeting that would draw up a common plan for recovery.
The Soviets denounced the Marshall Plan as an instrument of American economic domination of Europe, and announced that neither they nor their satellite states in Eastern Europe would attend. However, the other nations of Europe accepted, and on July 12 the Conference of European Economic Cooperation met in Paris. Over the next several weeks the delegates hammered out a report estimating Europe’s needs. Furthermore, they established a more permanent group, the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC). In the near term, this group served to coordinate the use of Marshall Plan funds. In the long term, however, the OEEC would help pave the way for the economic integration of Europe.