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Hungary Index

The Secretariat served as the staff of the Politburo, administering a bureaucracy that oversaw all aspects of the party's and the country's activities. The Secretariat, which consisted of five secretaries, prepared decisions for Politburo approval and either implemented these decisions itself or ensured that the responsible government bodies carried them out. In early 1989, four secretaries--Grosz, Berecz, Lukacs, and Ivanyi--also sat on the Politburo and were the most powerful of the five members of the Secretariat.

The general secretary supervised the work of the Secretariat as a whole. In 1989 the five secretaries maintained responsibility for ideology, defense and internal security, party organization, foreign policy, and economic policy. Each secretary worked with a small staff of three to five assistants. The four powerful secretaries--Grosz, Berecz, Lukacs, and Ivanyi--also chaired committees of the Central Committee for international, legal, and state management policy; social policy; party policy; and economic and social welfare policy, respectively. In 1989 working groups of the Central Committee formulated long-term policy recommendations in the areas of party building, economics, educational and cultural policy, science policy, and cooperatives policy.

In the late 1980s, the heads of the five Central Committee departments for social policy, party policy, economic and social welfare policy, international party relations, and management and the head of the Central Committee Office (also considered a Central Committee department) answered to the secretaries. Departments controlled the work of their counterparts on the county and district levels of the party. In addition, they maintained working relations with their counterparts in the CPSU and the relevant departments in the allied communist parties of Eastern Europe. The departments worked closely with their corresponding ministries to ensure that the government properly implemented party policies. In the late 1980s, this task changed, however, as the party leadership sought to lessen the involvement of the party apparatus in the day-to-day administration of the economy. As a result, in late 1988 the Politburo targeted the 249-member staff of the Central Committee for reductions of 8 to 10 percent.

Data as of September 1989

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