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