Fourth Congress of the Communist International - Resolutions 1922

Decisions on the Reorganisation of the Executive Committee
and Its Future Activity

Source: Published in Toward the United Front: Proceedings of the Fourth Congress of the Communist International, 1922 (, pp. 1133-1137.
Translation: Translations by John Riddell
HTML Markup: David Walters & Andy Blunden for the Marxists Internet Archive, 2018
Copyright: John Riddell, 2017. Republished here with permission.

World congress

The world congress will take place, as before, on a yearly basis. The date will be decided by the Expanded Executive. All affiliated sections are required to send delegates, whose number will be determined by the Executive. The costs will be borne by the parties. The number of votes for each section will be determined by the congress based on its membership and the political conditions of the country. Imperative mandates are not allowed and will be annulled in advance, for such mandates contradict the spirit of an international, centralised, and proletarian party.


The Executive is elected by the congress. It consists of a president, twenty-four members, and ten alternates. At least fifteen members of the Executive must be permanently resident in Moscow.

Expanded Executive

As a rule, meetings of the Expanded Executive will take place every four months. The meeting will be constituted as follows:

  1. All twenty-five members of the Executive.
  2. Three additional representatives each from the following parties: Germany, France, Russia, Czechoslovakia, and Italy, as well as the Youth International and the Profintern.
  3. Two representatives each from Britain, Poland, the United States, Bulgaria and Norway.
  4. One representative of all the other sections entitled to vote.

The Presidium is required to submit all major and fundamental questions that permit delay to a meeting of the Expanded Executive. The first Expanded Executive meeting takes place immediately following the World Congress.


At its first meeting, the Expanded Executive elects a Presidium, which includes a representative of the youth and of the Profintern with consultative vote. It establishes the following departments:

  1. A department for the East, whose work during the next year will receive special attention from the Executive. The head of this department must belong to the Presidium. The political work of this department is subordinate to the Presidium, which also controls its relationship to the Organisational Department.
  2. An Organisational Department (Orgburo), including at least two members of the Presidium. The Orgburo reports to the Presidium.
  3. A department for agitation and propaganda, which is headed by a member of the Executive. This department reports directly to the Presidium.
  4. A department for statistics and information, which reports to the Orgburo.

The Executive has the right to establish additional departments.

Division of labour among members of the Executive

A precise division of labour is to be introduced among members of the Executive and of the Presidium. The Presidium will name a responsible reporter for each of the most important countries in order to prepare the work of each section. As a rule, the reporter will be a member of the Executive or, when possible, of the Presidium. Reporters who are not members of the Executive or the Presidium work under supervision of a Presidium member.

The Presidium organises a General Secretariat, led by the General Secretary, with two deputies. The secretariat is not an independent political body; it is only an executive body of the Presidium.

The Executive is instructed to encourage all parties to implement a similar division of labour, taking into account the conditions and the situation in each individual country.

Authorised representatives

In special cases, the Executive sends authorised representatives to individual countries, chosen from the most qualified comrades of the national sections. These representatives will be endowed by the Executive with sweeping powers. The functions of these representatives, their rights and duties, and their relationship to the party in question must be precisely set out in special instructions.

The Executive is empowered to supervise with special emphasis the effective implementation of the Twenty-One Conditions and the decisions of the world congress. Its envoys are emphatically directed to supervise this. The envoys must submit reports at least once a month on the results of their work.

International Control Commission

The International Control Commission will continue as before. Its tasks remain the same as those formulated by the Third Congress.[1] Every year, the world congress will designate two neighbouring sections, whose central committees will elect from their own ranks three members each, whose names must be ratified by the Executive. For the coming year, the world congress assigns this function to the German and French sections.

Technical information bureau

The technical information bureaus will continue. Their goal is to provide technical information; their work is under the control of the Executive.

‘Communist International’

Communist International is a publication of the Executive; its editors are elected by the Executive and report to it.

Publications of the Executive

The congress confirms that all Communist publications remain obligated to immediately publish all documents of the Executive (appeals, letters, resolutions, etc.), when so requested by the Executive.

Minutes of the national parties

The central committees of all sections are obligated to send minutes of all their conferences regularly to the Executive.

Reciprocal representation

It is desirable that when major sections are in neighbouring countries, they should maintain reciprocal representation in order to exchange information and coordinate their work. The reports of these representatives are also to be forwarded simultaneously to the Executive.

In addition, it is desirable that the choice of these representatives be carried out in accord with the Executive.

Party conventions of the sections

As a rule, parties will hold conferences or expanded national committee meetings before the world congress, in order to prepare the world gathering and elect delegates to it. The party conventions of each section take place after the world congress. Exceptions can be made only with the consent of the Executive.

This procedure will ensure that the interests of each section are safeguarded in the best way and that it is possible to evaluate the entire experience of the international movement from ‘below to above’.

At the same time, this procedure gives the Communist International, as a centralised world party, the opportunity to give directives flowing from the entirety of its international experience, ‘from above to below’, by means of democratic centralism, to the individual parties.


The congress emphatically condemns cases of resignations by individual members of various central committees or entire groups of such members. The congress considers that such resignations severely disorganise the Communist movement. Every leadership post in a Communist party is the property not of those holding the office but of the Communist International as a whole.

The congress resolves that elected members of a section’s central leading bodies can lay down their mandates only with the consent of the Executive. Resignations accepted by a party central leadership without the Executive’s agreement are invalid.

Underground work

A decision of the congress noted that a number of the largest parties are to all appearances heading for a period of illegality. Flowing from that, the Presidium is instructed to devote greater attention to preparing the parties in question for underground work. The Presidium is to initiate discussions with all the affected parties immediately following the congress.

International Women’s Secretariat

The International Women’s Secretariat continues as before. The Executive chooses its secretary and takes all further organisational measures in agreement with her.

Representation of the youth executive

The congress instructs the Executive to arrange for regular representation of the Comintern in the Youth International. The congress considers the promotion of the youth movement’s work to be one of the Executive’s most important tasks.

Representation in the Profintern

The congress instructs the Executive to work out, together with the Profintern central committee, the forms of mutual relations between the Comintern and the Profintern. The congress points out that economic struggles are closely bound together with political struggles, particularly at this time. This demands a particularly intimate coordination of the forces of all revolutionary organisations of the working class.

Revision of the statutes

The congress confirms the statutes adopted by the Second Congress,[2] and instructs the Executive to edit and amplify these statutes on the basis of the new congress decisions. This work must be carried out promptly, submitted to all parties for preliminary discussion, and given final approval by the Fifth Congress.


1. The Third Congress adopted a motion ‘to establish a provisional Control Commission, by common agreement between the new Executive Committee and the first voting category, that is, the leadership of the largest delegations. If such an agreement is reached, then the provisional Control Commission should function for this year’. Its concerns were specified as: ‘the Executive Committee’s activities ... and especially for its activity outside Soviet territory in relationship to the parties and their activity’.

2. See Riddell (ed.), Workers of the World and Oppressed Peoples, Unite! (New York: Pathfinder, 1991) vol., 2, pp. 694 – 9.