“No one should choose between being in Europe and in the Mediterranean, since the whole of Europe is in the Mediterranean”: it is one of the countless, famous political perceptive insights of Aldo Moro (1916-1978), grown up in the ranks of the Italian Catholic University Federation, a father of the Constitution, a prominent figure of the Christian Democrats, several times President of the Council of Ministers, killed after a tragic and long kidnapping by the Red Brigades.
Moro is often remembered in political circles and in the realm of historiography, for his contribution to Italian politics. But he
also was a great “thinker of Europe” a national leader who understood the international dimension of problems,
at a time blemished with the scars of the Second World War, a time of inner reconstructions against the backdrop of the Cold War and of CEE developments. It is no coincidence that on February 24 a hall of the European Parliament in Brussels will be dedicated to Moro, to the presence of Italian and EU political leaders.
Martin Schulz, German, President of the European Parliament, said that Moro “has been an example of ‘high’ politics, in Italy and in Europe. The political philosophy of Moro, his respect for pluralism, his quest for dialogue and political synthesis, strengthening institutions and their legitimacy, are a legacy that Moro has left Italy and the Union, which we must defend in these times of great difficulty for the European project.” A year ago, during an official ceremony, the President of the Italian Senate Pietro Grasso highlighted another aspect regarding Aldo Moro’s contribution to Europe, whose vision extended to the Atlantic, to the Middle East and to the Mediterrean (stressing the extent of his prophetic vision): “The greatest legacy of Moro’s international vision is the ability – which too often is lacking in Italian institutions and politics – to look beyond individual crisis, to think strategically, to consider the medium and long term as normal temporal dimensions of foreign policy. The critical issues that we live today must be seized … to strengthen the tools, processes, values as well as the potentialities that abound in our Country. ” This course of action “requires, first and foremost, a political approach capable of defining and implementing not partisan interests but rather the interests of all citizens and of our Country worldwide.”
Thus Moro’s lifelong contribution – begun in Maglie, in the Apulia region, on September 23 1916, ended with an extreme sacrifice inflicted by terrorism in Rome, on May 9 1978 – has left a deep mark in Italy and in Europe, so much so that Moro is forever placed in the limelight of the supporters of united Europe, whose Christian inspiration left a deep trace within Moro’s life, thought and action, at private and public level alike. “In the story of his life – wrote one of his biographers, Guido Formigoni – emerges the story of a Catholic leadership, formed in the years of the dictatorship, that governed one of the most delicate phases of Italy’s democratic government. ” Formigoni pointed out:
“Moro was primarily an intellectual, who must be understood beyond his political role, in the light of the peculiar traits of his thought, which was that of a brilliant jurist and a virtuoso interpreter of his time.”
A “politician” who is also “an interpreter of his time”: Brussels pays tribute to this personality, whose specific traits today – at a time when Europe is withdrawn and under pressure – we feel the want of and the need for.