Free Trieste Movement




When, on 5 October 1954, the Memorandum of Understanding  signed by the Governments of the United Kingdom, United States of America and Italy for the handover of the temporary civil administration over the Free Territory of Trieste from the Allied Military Government (A.M.G. F.T.T.) to the Italian Government, the issue of the neutrality and demilitarisation of the new State arise, as that had to be granted in compliance with the Treaty of Peace.

The Free Territory of Trieste as independent State (article 21 of the Treaty of Peace of 1947) is to be protected by the United Nations Security Council, responsible to grant its neutrality and demilitarisation established under Annex VI of the Treaty of Peace.

These obligations were entrusted to the A.M.G. F.T.T. at first and then to the Italian Government, its successor in the temporary civil administration of the new State. Yet, an administration of the Free Territory that was only civil, since the military part was maintained (to this day) by the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

When the Anglo-American troops retreat, the defense of the Free Territory of Trieste from all aggressions became a competence of the NATO, of which Italy was a founder. The Italian Armed Force could not, for instance, access to the Free Territory of Trieste without the authorisation of the Atlantic Alliance, and their presence within the F.T.T. was only necessary to grant its existence.

This was the exact mandate they received from the NATO, as made very clear with the entrance of Italian troops in Trieste, as the NATO itself, in February 1955, underlined it its classified communications that the area of Trieste, included within the areas under responsibility of the Atlantic Alliance, had to be considered a territory under simple “Italian administration”.

Administration, again, not sovereignty. This is why, one year the NATO explained to Italian authorities that in the list of its sites in Italy (ACP 104) could not be listed the Free Territory of Trieste and, actually, any mentioning of the “Territory of Trieste” and “Free Territory of Trieste” had to be removed by the lists of NATO sites.


Because the NATO should only grant the neutrality and independence of the State “Trieste free Territory” with its troops that, for practical matters, since the provisional Government was that of Italy, were granted by the Italian Armed Forces. NATO troops instead of the UN Blue Helmets, but for the same task.

Nothing has changes since that time. The Italian Armed Forces within the Free Territory of Trieste can remain here as NATO divisions and only to protect the temporary civil administration of the Italian Government, in recognition of the international rights of the Free Territory of Trieste and of its citizens.


Translated from blog “Ambiente e Legalità” – “Environment and Legality” by Roberto Giurastante.

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