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Bulgaria - Glossary Index
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook

      Glossary -- Bulgaria

      Asia Minor
      The Asian portion of what is now Turkey.
      Bogomil heresy
      A religious sect founded in Bulgaria and flourishing in the Balkans between the tenth and fifteenth centuries. It combined beliefs from several contemporaneous religions, most notably the Paulicians from Asia Minor (q.v.). The central belief was that the material world was created by the devil.
      Cominform (Commmunist Information Bureau)
      An international communist organization (1947-56) including communist parties of the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, France, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, and Yugoslavia (expelled in 1948). Formed as a tool of Soviet foreign policy, it issued propaganda advocating international communist solidarity.
      Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE)
      Originating at its first Helsinki meeting in 1975, a grouping of all European nations (the lone exception, Albania, joined in 1991) that produced the Helsinki Accords (q.v.) in 1975 and subsequently sponsored joint sessions and consultations on political issues vital to European security.
      Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE)
      An agreement signed in 1990 by the members of the Warsaw Pact (q.v.) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (q.v.) to establish parity in conventional weapons between the two organizations from the Atlantic to the Urals. Included a strict system of inspections and information exchange.
      Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon)
      A multilateral economic alliance headquartered in Moscow until it disbanded in 1991. Members in 1991: Bulgaria, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, the Soviet Union, and Vietnam. Also known as CMEA and CEMA.
      Alphabet ascribed to the missionary Cyril (ninth century), developed from Greek for recording church literature in Russian. Now the alphabet of Belarus, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, and several former Soviet republics in Central Asia, it is considered one of the three principal alphabets of the world.
      Intellectual and spiritual movement in Europe seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, concerned with the relationship of God, nature, reason, and man, often challenging the tenets of Christianity.
      European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
      A bank founded under sponsorship of the European Community (EC) in 1990, to provide loans to East European countries (Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia to establish independent, market-type economies and democratic political institutions. Some forty-one countries were shareholders in 1991.
      European currency unit (ECU)
      The unit of account of the European Economic Community (q.v.), value of which is determined by the value of the currencies of the member states, apportioned by relative strength and importance of the member's economy. In 1988 one ECU equalled about one United States dollar.
      European Economic Community (EEC)
      The "Common Market" of primarily West European countries, organized to promote coordinated development of economic activities, expansion, stability, and closer relations among member states. Methods included elimination of customs duties and import regulations among member states, a common tariff and commercial policy towards outside countries, and a common agricultural and transport policy. A significant further reduction of intraorganizational barriers was planned in 1992.
      General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
      An integrated set of bilateral trade agreements among nations, formed in 1947 to abolish quotas and reduce tariffs. Bulgaria applied for membership in 1991.
      Russian term, literally meaning "openness," applied beginning in the mid-1980s in the Soviet Union to official permission for public discussion of issues and access to information. Identified with the tenure of Mikhail S. Gorbachev as leader of the Soviet Union (1985-91).
      gross national product (GNP)
      The sum of the value of goods and services produced within a country's borders and the income received from abroad by residents, minus payments remitted abroad by nonresidents. Normally computed over one year.
      Helsinki Accords
      Signed in 1975 by all countries of Europe except Albania (which signed in 1991) plus Canada and the United States at the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (q.v.), a pact outlining general principles of international behavior and security and addressing some economic, environmental, and humanitarian issues.
      International Monetary Fund (IMF)
      Established with the World Bank (q.v.) in 1945, a specialized agency affiliated with the United Nations and responsible for stabilizing international exchange rates and payments. Its main business was providing loans to its members when they experienced balance of payments difficulties. Bulgaria became a member in 1991.
      League of Nations
      An organization for international cooperation established by the Allied powers after World War I. Discredited by failure to oppose aggression in the 1930s, it became inactive at the beginning of World War II and was replaced in 1946 by the United Nations.
      lev (pl. leva)
      The national currency unit of Bulgaria, consisting of 100 stotinki. Exchange rate to the U.S. dollar in 1991 was 18 leva.
      Marshall Plan
      In full the European Recovery Program, a United States- sponsored program to rehabilitate European nations after World War II and prevent communist subversion of countries weakened by war.
      net material product (NMP)
      The total economic value of production in the productive sectors of a national economy (not counting administration, defense, finance, education, health, and housing) after depreciation has been deducted.
      North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
      An organization founded in 1949 by the United States, Canada, and their postwar European allies to oppose Soviet military presence in Europe. Until the dissolution of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact (q.v.) in 1991, it was the primary collective defense agreement of the Western powers. Its military and administrative structure remained intact after the threat of Soviet expansionism had subsided.
      passenger kilometers
      The total number of kilometers traveled by passengers by a given mode of transportation in a specified period of time.
      Russian word meaning "restructuring," applied in the late 1980s to official Soviet program of revitalization of the communist party, economy, and society by adjusting economic, social, and political mechanisms. Identified with the tenure of Mikhail S. Gorbachev as leader of the Soviet Union (1985-91).
      A member of the smaller of the two divisions of Islam, supporting the claims of Ali to leadership of the Muslim community, in opposition to the Sunni (q.v.) view of succession to Muslim leadership--the issue causing the central schism within Islam.
      An independent trade union founded in 1980 in communist Poland. For its defiance of the communist system, the union attained great political power through the loyalty of a large part of the Polish population. It eventually formed the basis of the first postwar noncommunist Polish government, under the leadership of Lech Walesa.
      A member of the larger of the two fundamental divisions of Islam, opposed to the Shia (q.v.) on the issue of succession to Muslim leadership.
      ton kilometers
      The total number of tons of cargo conveyed via a given mode of transportation in a specified period of time.
      Warsaw Pact
      In full Warsaw Treaty Organization, a mutual defense organization including the Soviet Union, Albania (which withdrew in 1961), Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Hungary, Poland, and Romania. Founded in 1955, it enabled the Soviet Union to station troops in most of the other countries to oppose the forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, q.v.) and was the basis of invasions of Hungary (1956) and Czechoslovakia (1968). Disbanded in 1991.
      World Bank
      Informal name used for a group of three affiliated international institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), which provided loans to developing countries; the International Development Association (IDA), which provided credits to the poorest developing countries on easier terms than the IBRD; and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which supplemented IBRD activity by loans to stimulate private enterprise in the less developed countries. The three institutions were owned by the governments of the countries that subscribed their capital. Bulgaria became a member in 1990.

    NOTE: The information regarding Bulgaria on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Bulgaria Glossary information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Bulgaria Glossary should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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