Numerous dignitaries of all nationalities and beliefs have been the honoured guests of the Council of Europe. These men and women, often instrumental in the implementation of political, social and cultural initiatives, illustrate the dynamism and values which, since the 1950s, have governed the work of the Council of Europe
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Carlo Sforza [1873 - 1952]
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Italy
18 November 1950
fate of Europe is largely in your
Gentlemen, the fate of Europe is
largely in your hands. You can, if you wish, become the
successors, on this side of the Atlantic, of the men who in
America are still called the Fathers. The Fathers sacrificed
the wish for independence of the thirteen colonies and on
17th Sept. 1787 wrote the joint Constitution, beginning for
the first time with the famous words "We, the people of the
What a wonderful day it will be for the whole world, but one which must come if we wish to remain free men, when we proclaim at Strasbourg "We, the people of Europe." It is almost superhuman to imagine it. Yet this event will decide whether Europe is to remain Europe or to become the miserable little unknown peninsula of Asia which it was before the miracle of Athens and Rome.
I know that the task is enormous. But if your decide to undertake it, the grandeur of the task will determine the greatness of your deeds.