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A nuclear-free Europe


The "East-West Round Table" was one of many initiatives that were regularly organized in Eastern Europe and the West to keep an open dialogue between men of culture and politicians (who formally intervened on a purely private level) from the countries of NATO, the Warsaw Pact and the non-aligned countries.

The direction was Scandinavian and had important contacts that enabled high-level figures to be present. La Pira was invited to the Round Table in Moscow and subsequently hosted the next meeting in Florence.

At the 1965 session (in Belgrade) he was unable to intervene, but he sent the text which reflects on an envisaged role (then unimaginable) of a nuclear free and peaceful Europe:

... in relation to the ever-expanding geography of disarmament: in relation to the orderly growth, and orderly expansion of nuclear-free zones: "islands of peace" that will gradually spread until they extend to entire continents throughout the planet! A gradually nuclear-free Europe? Becoming, gradually, in an orderly fashion, a great "island of peace"? The "continent of peace"? (...)

Utopia? A dream? Or, rather, is this the only way to win the war and build peace? The way of the atomic age: the era in which "war" is not possible (war by definition: one atom). And "wars", "controlled wars!" do not make sense - being remnants of a 'Ptolemaic political and military era destined to decline rapidly and ineluctably!