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Alcide De Gasperi: an inspired mediator for democracy and freedom in Europe

The future will not be built through force, nor the desire to conquer, but by the patient application of the democratic method, the constructive spirit of agreement, and by respect for freedom

Alcide De Gasperi

Life and times

De Gasperi served as Italian Prime Minister between 1945 and 1953, a period during which democracy was consolidated in Italy and economic reconstruction took place.

De Gasperi also had a wider vision – that of international cooperation as the basis for peace. He was the man behind Italy joining the American Marshall Plan and becoming part of NATO. His leadership led to strong ties developing between Italy and the United States, no mean feat considering that Italy had one of the largest communist parties in Western Europe at the time.

A vision for Europe

Since the end of the war, De Gasperi had campaigned actively for European unity in the belief that only this could prevent a recurrence of conflict. He was motivated by a clear vision of a united Europe that would not replace individual states, but rather allow them to complement and support each other, and work together.

Ultimately, De Gasperi’s work helped create the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), which effectively removed the ability of European nations to wage war on each other.

Alcide De Gasperi, speaking on 12 January 1951 in Strasbourg


More about Alcide De Gasperi’s life, work and contribution to the European project

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