The goal of the Free Trieste Movement is to restore the rule of law in the Free Territory of Trieste – Territorio Libero di Trieste – Svobodno tržaško ozemlje, established on 15 September 1947 as independent, neutral and demilitarized State with the only international Free Port in the world. The acts, documents, and legal actions of the Free Trieste Movement (LINK) are all based on the international laws and treaties in force described on this page.
United Nations Security Council Resolution S/RES/16 (1947)
and the Treaty of Peace with Italy:
On 10 January 1947, one month before the signature of the Treaty of Peace with Italy, the United Nations Security Council accepted the role of guarantor of the integrity and independence of the Free Territory of Trieste – F.T.T. with Resolution S/RES/16 (1947), and approved its establishment.
The Resolution, in English and in French, can be read and downloaded from the official website of the United Nations: LINK
On 10 February 1947, the Treaty of Peace with Italy was signed: in 1943, Italy had surrendered without conditions after causing World War II as an ally of Nazi Germany.
Italy had only enjoyed sovereignty over the area of the newly established Free Territory of Trieste for 27 years, from 1920 to 1947.
The official version of this Treaty of Peace, in English, French, and Russian, is published with an unofficial Italian version in the U.N.T.S. – United Nations Treaty Series, Volume 49: LINK
Article 21 of the Treaty of Peace rules that Italian sovereignty over Trieste ceases at the coming into force of the same Treaty, for the city and its province to become a new, independent State: the Free Territory of Trieste – F.T.T. The Treaty does also provide the rules for the provisional regime of Government of the new State (Annex VI) in the expectation that the U.N. Security Council appoints its Governor, in charge of enforcing the Permanent regime of Government.
The provisional regime of Government establishes that, in the wait, all compatible norm of the Permanent Instrument (Annex VI) can be enforced anyways.
Annex VII does also establish that the first Government of State of the Free Territory of Trieste be entrusted to the military commands of the Allied Governments that were already in the area (British and U.S. in the main administration zone “A”, Yugoslav in the secondary zone “B”).
On 15 September 1947, at the coming into force of the Treaty of Peace with Italy, the British-U.S. Allied Military Government of the Free Territory of Trieste (A.M.G. F.T.T.) declared that the new independent State was established with this trilingual proclamation: LINK
The Italian legal order ratifies, recognises, and enforces this territorial change and all of its legal consequences. The most complete and updated analysis on the subject is published in the expertise of the Law Commission of the I.P.R. F.T.T. (International Provisional Representative of the Free Territory of Trieste): LINK
The Memorandum of Understanding
regarding the Free Territory of Trieste
On 5 October 1954, in London, the Governments of the United States, of the United Kingdom, of Italy, and of Yugoslavia signed the Memorandum of Understanding regarding the Free Territory of Trieste. With this practical arrangement the temporary military administration of the Free Territory of Trieste ended, becoming a temporary civil administration instead.
With this Memorandum of Understanding, the British and the U.S. Government have sub-entrusts the temporary civil administration of the present-day F.T.T. – then “zone A” – to the Italian Government. The temporary civil administration of the secondary zone “zone B” was assigned to the Government of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
The Memorandum of Understanding is an additional, executive instrument of the Treaty of Peace, and it justified the transition to civil administrations due to the impossibility to put into effect the provisions of the Italian Peace Treaty regarding the short lasting of the military administrations.
The Memorandum of Understanding was enforced with proper laws in the legal order of the Italian Republic as well as in that of Federal Jugoslavia.
The official version of the document, in English and in French, is published in the U.N. Treaty Series, Volume 235: LINK
Under the Memorandum of Understanding regarding the Free Territory of Trieste, the Italian and the Yugoslav Government received an additional role, different from that they exercised over their own State: it is the role of provisional Government of another State – the Free Territory of Trieste. This means that the Memorandum of Understanding did not change, but confirm also the international and mutual obligations of the three States – Italy, Trieste, and Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – established under the Treaty of Peace with Italy.
After the dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and of its Federal Government, the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council recognized with specific resolutions the new independent Republics of Slovenia and of Croatia in their existing borders, after plebiscites. The two Resolutions of the U.N. Security Council, S/RES/754 (1992) and S/RES/753 (1992), are published on the website of the United Nations: LINK
Said borders included the secondary “zone B” of the Free Territory of Trieste, which the Yugoslav Federal Government had sub-entrusted to the two, previous Federative Republics.
Since all U.N. Member States, including the Signatories of the Treaty of Peace with Italy, approved those Resolutions, the conditions set at art. 30.3 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (LINK) came into effect, making unenforceable only the provisions of the Treaty of Peace and of the Memorandum of Understanding that regard former “zone B”.
This is why, since 1992, the present-day Free Territory of Trieste consists of its main area, which includes the Capital City, Trieste – Trst – Triest, its international Free Port, and five smaller Municipalities: Muggia – Milje, Duino Aurisina – Devin Nabrežina, Dolina, Zgonik – Sgonico, Repentabor – Monrupino.
Its temporary civil administration is sub-entrusted to the Italian Government, which exercises it to date, by the Governments of the United States of America and of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as primary administering Governments on behalf of the United Nations.
The sub-administering Italian Government is also bound to maintaining the Free Port at Trieste in general accordance with the provisions of Articles 1-20 of Annex VIII of the Italian Peace Treaty (Instrument for the administration of the international Free Port of Trieste); the international Free Port is established as a State corporation of the Free Territory at service of all Countries, to which it offers special economic benefits.
also known as the “Treaty of Osimo”
The 1975 agreement known as “Treaty of Osimo” is a political, bilateral agreement between Italy and Yugoslavia, registered with the U.N. Secretariat only in 1987, with which, essentially, the two Countries renounced to mutual claims on the Free Territory of Trieste.
Indeed, art. 7 of the 1975 Italian-Yugoslav agreement confirms that the obligations established with the 1954 Memorandum regarding the Free Territory of Trieste cease to have effect (only) in relations between the signatory States, therefore, not in their international relations or domestic legal order.
This means that the 1975 Italian-Yugoslav agreement did not intend, and could not, amend the multilateral 1947 Treaty of Peace with Italy, the 1954 Memorandum of Understanding, or the consequent international obligations of the two States and of their Governments respect to the Free Territory of Trieste, and the rights of all other States over its international Free Port.
The 1975 agreement is published, in English and in French, in the U.N. Treaty Series, Volume 1466: LINK
In addition, we suggest reading the “Note by the Secretariat” published at the end of the index, which details, among other things, that Registration of an treaty of agreement does not imply a judgment by the Secretariat on the nature of the instrument, the status of a party or any similar question.
On 23 October 2015, the United Nations published they analysis S/2015/809 regarding international trusteeships and administrations starting from 1920, confirming, at point V, the unchanged status of the present-day Free Territory of Trieste. Analysis S/2015/809 is published in English, French, Russia, Chinese, Arabian, and Spanish on the website of the United Nations: LINK
The present-day Free Territory of Trieste
For all those reasons, the present-day Free Territory of Trieste is a small, independent European State that covers 212 km2, it has almost 240,000 inhabitants, and is provided with the only international Free Port in the world, it borders with Italy and with Slovenia, as well as being an important factor of cooperation when it comes to the development of international trades.
It remains sub-administered by the Italian Government under a special trusteeship mandate it received by the British and U.S. Government, which remain its primary administering Governments on behalf of the United Nations.
The Italian Government exercises the temporary civil sub-administration of the Free Territory of Trieste employing, for this purpose, public bodies and officers of the Italian Republic who, therefore, have the duty to enforce the international obligations and respect the rights of the administered Free Territory of Trieste and of all States over its international Free Port.
The rights of the Free Territory of Trieste and of the other States over its international Free Port constitute a corpus juris of international law that cannot by amended by the temporary administering authorities or by their political bodies, who are bound to enforce them.
This means that the full enforcement of the rights of the Free Territory of Trieste and of the related rights of all States is not a subject for political debates; rather, it is a legal obligation and economic interest of the whole International Community.
Instead, the sub-administering Italian Government omitted for several decades to properly enforce those rights, thus causing serious economic damages to the Free Territory of Trieste, to the other States, to their enterprises, and to international economy.
This means it is time for this state of illegality to be rectified at the earliest possible time by the sub-administering Italian Government, which, otherwise, must be substituted with other administering authorities.
Free Trieste exists and works for this since 2011, following the principle of absolute respect for legality, using the instruments of law and information that better suit the positive solution to the problem, and causing the least embarrassment to the international parties involved.