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Détente in Europe

From the end of World War II until the late 1980s, Europe was the area of the world with the highest tension, and the most at risk from direct conflict between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. 

This was why many personalities in western and eastern Europe focussed their efforts on easing the tension, both military and political and cultural, on the continent. La Pira also made substantial contributions in this sense up to the Florence Conferences of the Fifties.

Armaments reduction in Europe was one of the themes he dwelt on in the East-West Round Tables  and in his letters to the Popes (see e.g. Pellegrino dell’unità); it was a central issue of his presidency of the Federation of United Cities (go to Parigi 1967) and of his activity in the early Seventies  up to the Helsinki Conference .

The latter was a fundamental objective for La Pira, not only for the history of Europe but for the beginning of a new approach to international relations: “the whole of Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals becomes Archimedes’s lever that will move the whole world upwards towards the mount of  unity and justice … this is where we begin to overcome blocks and, together with disarmament, it will reach all continents; this is where the tide of negotiation and peace begins that will reach the peoples of all the earth!...” (speech to the FMCU Congress Sofia)