Eusebiu Narai


Jan. 1, 2022

The West
Sever Bocu
Little Entente
League of Nations



The popularity of US President Woodrow Wilson among the representatives of European states being formed or reunited ,,on the ruins” of former multinational empires (Austro-Hungarian dualist, tsarist or Ottoman), as well as the ascendant, at least economically, in a first stage, of the States United Nations on the European continent after the First World War also led to the emergence of an international body designed to safeguard peace and mediate conflicting relations between its members, the League (Society) of Nations, based in Geneva, which was also to replace traditional diplomacy (,,behind closed doors”). The rescheduling and, subsequently, the suspension, for a limited period of time (through the Hoover Moratorium), of the payment of war reparations by Germany, which considerably affected France, the Austro-German customs union plan, the contradictory positions between the states industrialized and agricultural ones regarding the solution of the economic crisis, the failure of the Conference on Disarmament, etc., were just a few signs of the imminence of a new conflict on a global scale. To these were undoubtedly the ineffectiveness of the Briand-Kellogg Pact and the Litvinov Protocol, as well as the 1926 Soviet-Germany Treaty Extension Protocol, for an indefinite period of time. The revisionist states of south-eastern Europe (Hungary, Bulgaria and, later, the USSR) had, during the period studied, the unconditional support of a great totalitarian power, which practiced a revisionist and revengeful discourse (Italy). In this unfavorable international context, the states of the Little Entente, counting on France's help, ,,gathered their ranks”, in other words they reacted – in categorical terms – to all attempts to circumvent the provisions of the peace treaties concluded in 1919-1920 and undermining the role played by the League of Nations in the peaceful settlement of disputes between the states of the world. More than ever, it was necessary to reorganize the alliance and consolidate it on the military component, but with a defensive character, which was accomplished during 1933. In the meantime, the Little Understanding as a whole, or only a few of its components, participated in international economic conferences dedicated to solving the world crisis. The States of the Small Entente were to enter, together with other Danubian states, into a series of economic federations, considered ,,saviors” (customs unions, preferential customs tariffs), at the proposal of the Great Powers, but disputes between them regarding the fairness of the plan each and the categorical opposition of some of the states directly concerned have led to the unfortunate failure of these projects. In conclusion, in the second half of 1931, the Little Entente, a regional alliance made up of Romania, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, represented a single voice, listened to, not only heard by the Great Powers and feared by the revisionist states of Eastern Europe. The main objective of Romania's foreign policy, throughout the interwar period, was to maintain the borders drawn at the end of the First World War, shared by all political parties, except the Communist Party, affiliated to the Third International. The transformation of the League of Nations into a hopeful defender of peace and stability, as well as the promotion of regional alliances (the Little Understanding and the Balkan Entente) will aim to discourage revisionism in Eastern Europe. The resumption of relations with the Soviet Union, the Small Entente Agreement, Romania's participation in the Disarmament Conference, the rescheduling of war reparations of the defeated states in the First World War influenced, to a certain extent, the Romanian foreign policy coordinates during this period, but its guidelines they remained the same: peace, collective security, maintaining the territorial status quo, disarmament, friendly relations with neighbors and, first of all, with the great Western allies (France and Great Britain). In the pages of the newspaper The West were presented and analyzed, with much competence and objectivity, the main aspects of the Romanian-French relations in the second half of 1931, insisting on the economic projects advanced by France to save the agricultural states in the central area and Eastern European. At the same time, some asperities appeared in the relations between the two countries, determined by the tendency of some governmental circles, coordinated by Constantin Argetoianu, to establish privileged economic relations with Germany. Political, cultural, technical-scientific or other relations were not omitted, which were still maintained at a very high level.