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Alcide de Gasperi

Alcide De Gasperi's Speech

Politician and Prime Minister of Italy (1945–53) who contributed to the material and moral reconstruction of his nation after World War II. In those days, he met often with Robert Schuman and Konrad Adenauer setting up the conditions of ulterior advancements in the European integration.

De Gasperi was elected deputy to the Italian parliament in 1921 as one of the founders of the Italian Popular Party (Partito Popolare Italiano; PPI). Hostile to the fascists, in 1927 he was arrested and sentenced to four years imprisonment.

Active in the resistance during World War II, he succeeded in reorganising the PPI as the Christian Democratic Party (CDP). He became secretary of the CDP. Minister of foreign affairs in the two succeeding cabinets, De Gasperi formed his own cabinet on Dec. 10, 1945. He was to remain in office for more than seven years.

In foreign affairs he fought to restore an influential role in international politics for Italy. Seeking closer ties with the West, Italy entered the NATO in 1951. A leading proponent of the formation of a federation of democratic European states, he helped organise the Council of Europe and the European Coal and Steel Community (1951). 

Juan Carlos Ocaña

European Union The European Union: integration
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