Accordino “little agreement”

Agreement for the simplified exchange between Trentino-South Tyrol and the Austrian Bundesländer Tyrol and Voralberg. It permitted the cross-border trade and above all the trade of typical local food products. The act, known also as “preferential agreement”, was negotiated and signed every year, after being approved on 12th May 1949 between Italy and Austria for implementing a clause of the Degasperi-Gruber pact.
(SOURCE: M.Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)


On 10th September 1943, two days before the announcement of the signing of the armistice between Italy and the allies, Adolf Hitler signed an institutional decree of the Alpenvorland (pre-alpine operational area), including the territory of Trentino, South Tyrol and Belluno. The whole area was annexed to the German Reign. The operational area of Alpenvorland lasted until 25th April 1945
(SOURCE: M.Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)


Born at the end of WWII, the Autonomous Regional Studies Association was a movement that was decisive to obtain the special statute for the entire territory of Trentino-South Tyrol (the movement motto was in fact “full autonomy from Borghetto to Brennero”). The association, especially spread in Valsugana, Vallagarina, Fiemme and Fassa valley, opened shortly an office in Trento, few other separated offices throughout the territory and founded the newspaper “Autonomy”, managed by Silvio Bortolotti and Remo Defant. ASAR organised immediately many meetings and congresses in every area of the Region. On 5th September 1946 Italian Prime Minister Alcide Degasperi and the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Karl Gruber signed the Paris Agreement, in which for the first time regulations to protect the German minority in Trentino and South Tyrol were set. ASAR members weren’t fully satisfied, because the project included a “two-speed autonomy”, which means different statutes for Trentino and South Tyrol. ASAR organised then a first assembly on 15th September 1946 in Piazza Italia and a second one on 20th April 1947 in Piazza della Fiera, both in Trento and with the participation of thousands of people. On 27th April 1947, to celebrate the second ASAR congress, the first conflicts began to appear within the movement and led to its dissolution the next year. On 25th February 1948 the fourth ASAR congress took indeed place; inside the movement two factions began to emerge: one made of “independent Autonomists” and the other one willing to transform the movement into an actual party. During the fourth congress held on 25th July 1948 ASAR announced its dissolution and its transformation into a political entity, the Trentino Tyrolean Popular party (today’s PATT)
(Source: Wikipedia)

Autonomous Province of Trento

It’s part, with the province of Bolzano, of the autonomous Region Trentino South Tyrol. The Region was established by constitutional law 31/01/1948 n.1, including the special Statute for Trentino South Tyrol, in implementation of the agreement between Italian and Austrian government of 05/09/1946, constituting the IV annex of the peace agreement between Italy and the Allies. It was the only case in the Italian constitutional system in which legislative competences were conferred to the autonomous province of Trento (as well as to Bolzano). The old and new statutory provisions were coordinated in D.P.R. 31/08/1972 n.670- constitutional codified text of the new special Statute of autonomy. The main competences of the Province are set out by the Statute in articles 8 (main competences) and 9 (minor competences). The bodies of the province are the provincial Council, the provincial Government and its President, as laid out by art. 47 of the same Statute.
(Source M. Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)


With the term autonomy we refer to the general possibility to carry out tasks without interference or constraints by other members or external groups. In politics, particularly, with autonomy we refer to the granting of own administrative functions of a superior body to an inferior one, for particular needs, like in the case of special Autonomy of the regions Trentino-South Tyrol, Aosta Valley, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Sardinia and Sicily, as well as of the Autonomous Province of Trento and Autonomous Province of Bolzano.
(SOURCE: Wikipedia)
This is a power very different from decentralisation, which is based on the peripheral application of centrally established regulations and different also from the normal region system, which consists instead of assigning some State powers State to the regions (to be exercised by the enactment of regional laws)
(SOURCE: M.Marcantoni, G. Postal, Autonomy, history and meanings)



The Befreiungsausschuss Südtirol (BAS, literally: Committee for the liberation of South Tyrol) was a terrorist irredentist organisation which was founded in 2956 and by Sepp Kerschbaumer and Sepp Innerhofer and it became operational in 1958. The movement’s purpose was the self-determination of South Tyrol, through the secession from Italy and the annexation to Austria in order to obtain, under the sovereignty of the latter, the political unification of Tyrol, region historically part of Habsburg territories. BAS planned several attacks and it was, together with Bergisel-Bund, the organiser of the “night of the fires” on 11th June 1961 and of the “little night of fires” on 13th July of the same year. After a while most of the BAS components, including Kerschbaumer, were arrested. After a period of crisis, the organisation’s leadership was taken over by Norbert Burger who made it turn towards the extreme right wing, the pro-nazism and pangermanism. New attacks and massacres happened during the second BAS season.
(SOURCE: Wikipedia and M.Marcantoni, G. Postal, Autonomy, history and meanings)


The Bergisel-Bund, Schutzverband für Südtirol (BIB), (“Lega del Bergisel”) is an Austrian political association that was founded in 1954. It stood out as an irredentist organisation, having as purpose the re-annexation of South Tyrol to Austria and it flanked the Befreiungsausschuss South Tyrol terrorists (BAS). It takes its name from Bergisel Mount, the mountain on which Andreas Hofer and his insurgents defeated the Napoleon and Bavarian armies at the beginning of the nineteenth centuries.
(Source: Wikipedia)


It’s a tool for the protection of linguistic minorities which applies to the province of Bolzano, based on articles 99 and 100 of the Statute, in which the German and Italian language are equalised and the citizens are given the opportunity to use their mother tongue in relationships with public administration. In order to give substance to these prescriptions, it’s necessary that the acts of public administration are written in the two languages and that public service workers know both German and Italian. For this reason the implementation rule that regulates the ethnic changeover has knowledge of the two languages as a qualification for public state and provincial jobs hirings in South Tyrol. Bilingualism is verified through an exam and it’s not required for political purposes.
(SOURCE: M.Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)


Committee of 6

Its composed by half of the committee of 12 and it is responsible exclusively of forms of implementation rules relating to the Province of Bolzano,
(SOURCE: M.Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)

Committee of 12

The Committee of Twelve is a joint commission established by the Trentino/South Tyrol region Statute, with the approval of the autonomy “Package”, to give an opinion about the implementing rules for the Statute, that are issued by the government with legislative decrees. The committee is composed of twelve members, six of which are representatives of the State, two of the regional Council, two of the provincial Council of Trento and two of the provincial Council of Bolzano. Of these, three have to belong to the German linguistic group. In the Committee of twelve a special commission is established for the implementing rules on matters falling within the competence of the province of Bolzano; this second committee is composed by six members (see a Committee of 6), three of which representing the State and three representing the province of Bolzano. One of the members representing the State has to belong to the German linguistic group; one of those representing the province of Bolzano has to belong to the Italian linguistic group.
(source Wikipedia)

Committee of 19

It was established on 1st September 1961 by the Italian Government, for studying the South Tyrolean issue and suggesting solutions. Seven South Tyroleans, a Ladin and eleven Italian representatives were part of it. It was headed by social democratic deputy Paolo Rossi. The committee finished the works on 10th April 1964, delivering Prime Minister Aldo Moro a basic document for the interviews of Geneva between Italy and Austria on the South Tyrolean issue.
(SOURCE: M.Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)

Congress of Vienna

It was the location where, between 1814 and 1815, the European powers established a new continental order after the ultimate downfall of Napoleon. Austria kept possession of Trentino under the congress treaties and Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, made it part of the princely County of Tyrol, administered by an Assembly, with capital Innsbruck and with a territory going from Kufstein until Verona. Tyrol county was then embedded into the German confederations. The location of Trentino, Italian speaking territory, within Tyrol, gave rise throughout the years to widespread dissatisfactions, which turned into repeated requests for provincial autonomy.
(SOURCE: M.Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)

Consortium of the mountain catchment area’s municipalities.

(B.I.M.) It’s an institution which includes the municipalities of a mountainous territory or a valley which are part of a river basin that is used for producing electric energy. In the consortium, according to a State law, some additional fees are paid by the energy producers, by way of compensation for the use of the watercourse and the damages that are entailed to the territory. The collected funds are then invested with contributions and loans provided to the municipalities. The Adige B.I.M. is operational in Trentino and it includes the territory of Adige valley, Avisio valley and Noce valley, Sarca B.I.M., Chiese B.I.M., Brenta B.I.M and Cismon B.I.M. every consortium has its own branches in the valleys.
(SOURCE: M.Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)



(“The left overs” or “those who remain”). They were the poeple who, following the “Pact on the options” in 1939, decided to stay in South Tyrol and keep the Italian citizenship. They are opposed to “those who opt”.
(SOURCE: M. Marcantoni, G. Postal Autonomy, history and meanings AND Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)

Degasperi-Gruber Agreement


Trento Province has created districts for the completion of urban planning, economic development and the mountain communities’ tasks. They are local authorities of intermediate dimension between Municipality and Province, their duty is to take on activities and events aimed to promote economic, social and civil growth of the people they represent. They were replaced in 2006 by the Valley Communities
(SOURCE: M.Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)


Eagle of Saint Wenceslas

Since October 18, 1988 (date of publication on the official regional bulletin) it became the emblem of the autonomous Province of Trento. The symbol in Trentino has a story that goes back to August 9, 1339, when the king of Bohemia, John the blind (count of Luxembourg), (with his own diploma)*given its powers, allowed the Prince Bishop of Trento Nicolò da Bruna to use the eagle of the patron saint of Bohemia for the emblems of the Principality. From then on the black eagle of Saint Wenceslas, surrounded by red flames, became gradually the symbol of the Principality of Trento and eventually of Trentino. In the spring of 1971, in the State Archive in Trento, the scholar father Frumezio Ghetta found the original diploma given by John count of Luxembourg, reawakening new interest in Saint Wenceslas’ 1988, after a long procedure, which was started on the basis of the last paragraph of article 3 of the autonomy Statute, the Province of Trento chose, and was officially assigned as its official emblem, exactly the eagle of Saint Wenceslas
(SOURCE: M.Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)

Ethnic changeover

It’s the process regulated by article 30 of the autonomy Statute by which in the first two and half years (30 months) of legislation the regional Council meets in Trento and it has a councilor of the Italian linguistic group as President and a councilor of the linguistic German group as Vice President. In the next two years and a half of legislation the regional Council meets in Bolzano and it has a German councilman as President and an Italian Vice President. The same procedure of presidencies’ changeover is valid also for the provincial Council of Bolzano. The ethnic changeover aims to guarantee equality of institutional conditions to the Italian and German linguistic group.
(SOURCE: M.Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)

Ethnic linguistic Minorities

It’s a group of citizens in a State who differ from the majority for ethnicity and language. In Italy the Albanian, Catalan, German, Greek, Slovenian and Croatian minorities were recognised as historical linguistic minorities in Italy (1999) as well as the populations speaking French, Provençal, Friulan, Ladin, Occitan and Sardinian. (Source In Trentino South-Tyrol there are four minorities: the main one is German and it prevails in South Tyrol, while in Trentino it’s present a leftover of an ancient migration in Fersina valley at Pergine, known also as Mòcheni valley. The inhabitants of that area are in fact called with this name (Mòcheni). There are then Ladin minorities who are both present in South Tyrol and in Trentino, in the valleys of the Dolomites, Badia Gardena and Fassa valley. There are Ladin people also in the adjacent area of Livinallongo in the province of Belluno. Lastly, the Cimbrian minority is present in Trentino, too, in the territory of Lucerne municipality, on the border towards Vicenza, overlooking the Valdastico: there they speak Cimbrian, an ancient German dialect.
(SOURCE: M. Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)

Ethnic proportion

It’s the regulation that protects the German, Italian and Ladin speaking groups in the province of Bolzano and it aims to maintain the importance of their respective numerical strength which is determined by the survey. The ethnic proportion system is applied particularly in public service hirings, in the formation of bodies of the public authorities and in the distribution of the provincial budget funds.
(SOURCE: M. Marcantoni, G. Postal, Autonomy, history and meanings)


(Europe -Region) it’s a form of combined cross-boundary cooperation, some examples of which already exists in the continental context. (SOURCE M. Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy) The Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino Euregio (Europaregion Tirol-Südtirol-Trentino in German, Europaregion Tirol-Südtirol-Trentin in Ladin, European Region Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino in English) is a common project of cross-border collaboration that consist of the Austrian Federal State of Tyrol and the Italian region Trentino- Alto Adige, that together form the euroregion. The body governed by community law corresponds, with good approximation, to the territory of the former Habsburg historical region of Tyrol from 1815 until 1918. On 27th January 1993 Italy and Austria closed a deal on the cross-border collaboration. In October 1995 a representative office common to the three provinces was opened in Brussels and initially it was strongly opposed by the Italian Republic that opened litigation before the Constitutional law. In 1998 the three local Councils signed their own convention on cross-border cooperation that coincided temporarily with the opening of the borders in accordance with the 1985 Schengen Treaty. Among the most important initiatives of the Euroregion there’s the creation of a joint representative office at the EU in Brussels and the joint approval of the two region councils and of the state of Tyrol in “Manifesto of the Alps” on 26th January 2001, with the purpose of coordinating the projects concerning agriculture and forests, preservation of nature, tourism, enterprises, transports, education, development and research, culture.
(Source: wikipedia)



It’s a union of States or sovereign territories that permanently create a sovereign State to which state organisation typical functions and competencies are designated.
(SOURCE M. Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)

Final discharge

It’s a diplomatic act with which, on 11th June 1992, Austria officially declared that the “Package” for South Tyrol had been completely put into effect and that the Italian-Austrian dispute, which began at the UN in 1990, was permanently closed.
(SOURCE: M. Marcantoni, G. Postal, Autonomy, history and meanings)

Frankfurt Assembly

It was the Parliament of the German Confederation, an organisation wanted by the Congress of Vienna and that was a group of 39 German states. In 1848 the Trentino delegation, guided by Giovanni a Prato, delivered the first official demand of autonomy for Trentino. The noun Dieta comes from the Latin words “dies indicta” which means “designated day”.
(SOURCE: M. Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)




Implementing rules

They implement constitutional rules. According to article 107 of the Statute of autonomy of 1972, the implementing rules of the Statute are enacted by the Government with legislative decrees after consulting a joint committee made of twelve members, named Committee of 12. For issues only pertaining to the province of Bolzano, the committee is called Committee of 6.
(SOURCE: M. Marcantoni, G. Postal, Autonomy, history and meanings)

Innsbruck Assembly

It was the Parliament of the princely Tyrol County, part of which was also Trentino, from the Congress of Vienna (1814-1815) onwards. Numerous projects for the autonomy of Trentino were proposed unnecessarily at the Dieta . For many decades the Trentino representatives at the Dieta largely practiced abstention really to signify their desire to separate and as a protest for the numerous unheard applications and projects for an autonomous Trentino.
(SOURCE: M. Marcantoni, G. Postal Autonomy, history and meanings AND Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)

International anchoring

Title of the mechanism of international guarantee- for the protection of the German minority of South Tyrol- on the acts in favor of South Tyrol people autonomously adopted by Italy within its own legal system, in compliance with the agreements with Austria. After the Package approval in 1969 and until the 1992 discharge, the international Anchorage was constituted by the work plan. After the discharge and the conclusion of the dispute, the international Anchorage gives the possibility for Austria- if Italy violates the signed agreements- to appeal to the International Court of Justice.
PS so far SOURCE: M.Marcantoni, G. Postal, Autonomy, history and meanings


Irredentism is the ambition of a population to complete its national territorial unity obtaining lands subject to foreign domination (unredeemed lands) by reason of an ethnic identity or a previous historical tie. It’s often supported by nationalistic movements that are characteristic of a same political, cultural and geographical identity. The expression “unredeemed lands”, which means not recovered lands, was used for the first time in 1877 by Italian patriot and politician Matteo Renato Imbriani at the funeral of Father Paolo Emilio; a journalist from Vienna described him immediately as “irredentist” to deride him. The term was acquired in the Italian form also by other languages. The geographical area, object of irredentism, is defined as unredeemed. (source Wikipedia)

ITC Trentino Institute of Culture

It was transformed into Foundation Bruno Kessler by law n.14 of 2nd August 2005. It was founded by provincial law n.11 of 29th August 1962, it deals with research in both humanistic and scientific-technological fields. Over the years its centres established themselves in the international scientific field, without losing sight of the relationship with the territory and its specific needs. The institute had been identified as an instrument to overcome the constraint of the autonomous Statute, that didn’t predict nor it predicts legislative and administrative responsibilities on university matters for the Province. Right after the law was passed, on 12th September 1962, ITC founded, as its branch, the Higher Institute of Social Sciences, changed in 1972 into Free University of Trento, which is organised into the faculties of Sociology, Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences, Economics and Commerce. Other faculties were created over time, until the nationalisation of the Trentino university, by state law n. 590 of 14th August 1982. After the first phase, completely focused on the support and management of the new university, it established a research facility able to attract the best scientific expertises of Italy and, in the case of historical research, of the German area. The Italian-German Historical Institute was created to this end on 3rd November 1975 (ITC-ISIG), the Institute of Religious Sciences on 29th December 1975 (ITC-ISB) , the Institute for Scientific and Technological Research on 21st September 1976 (ITC-IRST) and lastly the international Centre for mathematical research on 11th July 1978.
(SOURCE: M. Marcantoni, G. Postal Autonomy, history and meanings)



Kessler plan

It was created by then-President of the Province Bruno Kessler in 1961, on the eve of a meeting in Klagenfurt between the Foreign Affairs ministers Antonio Segni and Bruno Kreisky. The plan included the amendment of the first Statute of autonomy to better safeguard the rights of the German ethnic minority. The plan didn’t take any step forward because the relationships were too compromised already, but it was anyway the turning point by the Italian political front towards the South Tyrolean requests.
(Source M. Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)


Ladin people

It’s an ethnic-linguistic minority which occupies three geographical areas, that correspond to the three main language variants: the Swiss Canton of Grisons (rumantsch), the Ladinia region in the Dolomites and Friuli (furlàn). These three parts represent the remaining part of a much larger Romance territory that expanded around 1000 A.D. on a region which was included between the sources of the Rhine and the Adriatic Sea. In the province of Bolzano the Ladin linguistic group is located in Gardena and Badia valleys while in the province of Trento it’s located in Fassa valley.
(SOURCE: M. Marcantoni, G. Postal Autonomy, history and meanings)

Linguistic groups

Art. 2 of the Statute of Trentino-South Tyrol specifies that: ”the Region recognises equal rights for citizens, regardless of the linguistic group to which they belong, and respective ethnic and cultural characteristics shall be safeguarded”. A number of measures are arranged in order to protect the linguistic groups, which are the Italian, German and Ladin one. The regional councilmen have to declare to belong to the linguistic groups: the councilmen elected in the Province of Bolzano do this at the time of the application’s acceptance, those elected in the Province of Trento have to do it in writing to the Presidency of the Council. Other regulations of the Statute impose the distribution of work assignments, assigned by election or by nomination to linguistic groups in proportion to their extent, also by competition in public establishments of the Province of Bolzano, and they guarantee citizens the use of their language, in their relationships with public administration.
(SOURCE M. Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)

Los von Trient

“Away from Trento” is the motto launched on 17th November 1957 at the Firmiano Castle in Bolzano by Silvius Magnago, during a gathering of thirty thousand South Tyrolean people that were protesting against the increasing presence of Italians in South Tyrol and against the non-implementation of the Paris Agreement . With “los von Trient” South Tyrol asked for its own autonomy.
(SOURCE: M. Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)



It’an ethinc-linguistic minority that occupies the left bank and part of the right bank of the Fersina Valley or Valley of Mòcheni (Bernstol in Mòcheno language), a enclosed wide valley of glacial origin, whose entrance is three kilometres north from Pergine Valsugana. The valley was exploited since ancient times for its woods, pasture and rich mineral deposits. The settlement period of Mòcheni began during the XIII century, following one of the Alemannic migrations that, from central Europe, moved towards the southern Alps to keep on the transformation of woods into fields and cultivable grasslands. The Mòcheno/Bernstoler, that has the typical characteristics of medium-high Bavarian idioms, was reported since ancient times as “alemannic that is German”.
(SOURCE: M. Marcantoni, G. Postal, Autonomy, history and meanings)

Mountain Communities

The mountain Communities are local institutions, because they are intended to work within a limited section. Delegated administrative power may be conferred to them, according to art. 18 of the Statute.they have duties concerning the formation and implementation of development plans and the drafting of urbanistic plans for their region’s areas. Their institution is planned by l. 3 December 1971, n.112, that establishes the framework law on valorisation of the mountain territories.
(SOURCE: M.Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)


It’s a local authority, as a territory, in addition to circumscribing the limits, it constitutes the essential element of it; it has Constitutional guarantee (art.5 of Const.). According to art. 128 of the Constitution, Municipalities are autonomous bodies and the Republic determines their responsibilities and lays down the principles of their autonomy. The Municipality’s components are: Mayor, town Council and municipal Council. The municipal Council, direct people’s representative, is the highest deliberative authority.
(SOURCE: M.Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)


Night of fires

(Feuernacht) it’s the night between 11th and 12th June 1961, when a group of South Tyrolean terrorists, members of the Befreiungsausschuss Südtirol (BAS), committed several bomb attacks by blowing up dozens of power lines. In South Tyrol during this night the so called fires of the Holy Heart are usually lit up to remember the victory of Andreas Hofer against the French napoleonic troops. These attacks represented the most critical moment of the ethnic confrontation to obtain the new autonomy. The political environment was highly charged and the Italian-Austrian relationships reached extreme tension. The Italian Government chose the path of the revision of the first Statute and on 1st September of that same year it installed the Committee of 19
(SOURCE: Wikipedia and M. Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)



They are those who, according to the “Pact of Options” of 22nd June 1939, opted for moving into the German territories, renounced their Italian citizenship.
(SOURCE: M. Marcantoni, G. Postal, Autonomy, history and meanings)


The options in South Tyrol (in German Option in South Tyrolean Umsiedlung) were the system chosen in 1939, by a former agreement between Italy and Germany signed in Berlin on 22nd to solve the litigation about South Tyrol and other linguistic Ladin and German islands in Italy. Other populations of German, Ladin, Mòcheno and Cimbrian language had to choose, within 31st December 1939, if they wanted to become German citizens or consequently move into the third reign territories or if to keep being Italian citizens integrating with the Italian culture and to renounce to be recognised as linguistic minority. Within that date almost 170000 citizens from the province of Bolzano opted for Germany, more than 16000 from the province of Trento and several thousands from the provinces of Udine and Belluno. In reality, during the following months only 75000 actually moved, being nicknamed “optants”. Those who remained were instead called “Dableiber”. The options ended in fact in September 1943, with the German occupation of the province of Bolzano. When the war was over the optants who wanted to go back to Italy were reintegrated and the positions of whom had opted and didn’t leave were clarified. Through subsequent bilateral consultations Italy-Austria the issue was solved by reintegrating almost everyone who had asked for it in the possession of the Italian citizenship. In 1961 there were 201.305 optants who obtained it.
(SOURCE: M. Marcantoni, G. Postal, Autonomy, history and meanings)



This definition is used to indicate all 137 measures for the defence of the linguistic group of South Tyrol. Its making dates to 16th December 1964, in a meeting between the Italian Foreign Affair minister Giuseppe Saragat and the Austrian minister Bruno Kreisky, and in november 1969, in a conversation between Italian Foreign Affairs minister Aldo Moro and Austrian minister Kurt Waldheim in Copenhagen, and adopted in December 1969. The following step was the Statute of autonomy’s reform, with the strengthening of skills of Trento and Bolzano provinces. A first remark was created by the Committee of 19 in the context of direct confrontation between the State and South Tyrolean minority. Further negotiations- accompanied at an international level by meetings between Italy and Austria on the international anchoring- resulted in the final list of Measures in favour of South Tyrolean people, contained in what has indeed defined the “Package”.
(Source M. Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)

Paris Agreement

Also known as “Degasperi-Gruber Pact”, it’s the document undersigned on 5th September 1946 by Italian Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Alcide Degasperi and by the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Karl Gruber, with whom the particular protection of the linguistic German group of South Tyrol was recognised. The pact was signed on the occasion of the peace Treaty after WWII and it is an essential part of it.
(SOURCE: M.Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)

Preferential Agreement

President of the Provincial Council

The Provincial and Regional Council elects the President among its members. In case of resignation or death of the President, the Council arranges an election for a new President at the next sitting; while in case of absence or impediments the President is replaced by the vice President (art. 48 of the Statute). For the provincial Council of Bolzano, the President is elected for a term of two and a half years among German speaking councillors and for a two year term among the Italian speaking ones, according to the belonging of the linguistic group declared by the same councillor at the time of acceptance of the application (art. 49).
(Source M. Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)

President of the provincial Government

It represents the Province. It’s elected by the provincial Council among its members. In order for the election to be valid, it’s requested the presence of at least two thirds of the members of the Council and their absolute majority. Art.50 of the Statute lays down that the President of the provincial Government shall organise and participate in the Government works; it shall promulgate laws and issue provincial regulations; it shall speak at meetings of the Council of ministers when dealing with provincial issues; it shall speak at the meetings of the interregional Committees; it shall allocate the affairs among the individual effective Government members; it shall exercise certain powers pertaining to the public security authority; it shall take necessary and emergency measures in matters of safety and public health when the interests of the populations of two or more municipalities are involved; it shall provide for the nomination, decadence, revocation and dispensation of judges and vice mediators.
(Source M. Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)

President of the regional Council

The regional Council elects, among its members, the President who has a term of two and a half years and who is chosen alternatively among the Italian speaking and German speaking councilmen, based on the statements made by individual councilmen at the time of acceptance of the application (Art 30 of the Statute). The internal rules of the regional Council regulates the activity of the President. In case of resignation, death or end of term office of the President, the Council elects a new President of the same linguistic group to which the outgoing President belonged. The nomination is valid until the expiration of the two years and a half of term. The vice President replaces the President in case of absence or impediment. The President may be withdrawn by the Council by a majority of members, if it doesn’t comply with the obligations of its term.
(Source M. Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)

President of the regional Government

It represents the Region. It runs the administrative functions delegated by the State to the Region, conforming to the Govern instructions; it shall decide on the allocation of responsibilities between the regular councillors by decree published in the official bulletin of the region; it shall issue by its decree the regulations decided by the Council; it shall also take part in meetings of the Council of ministers, when dealing with matters issues concerning the Region. The President of the regional Council (similarly to vice Presidents and councillors) is elected by the regional Council among its members by secret ballot and majority.
(Source M. Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)

Provincial Council

The provincial Council of Trento Province and that of Bolzano Province are made of members of the regional Council, elected in both respective provinces: this is a peculiarity of Trentino South Tyrol Region, required by art. 48 of the Statute. At present, in each province, 35 members are elected. The provincial Council stays in charge for five years and it chooses, within its power, internally, President, vice President and Council commissioners. Article 49 of the Statute provides for the adoption of rules of procedure that concern the organisation of the Council bodies, the regulation of meetings and votes, legislative and inspectoral activity. The provincial Council meets in ordinary sessions during the first week of every semester; they meet in extraordinary sessions on demand of the provincial Government or its President or of one fifth of the councillors in charge. Regarding their services, the Council has legislative power; it issues the internal regulation; it resolves the appeal of laws of other Regions or of laws and deeds having Republic law value for infringement of the Statute, with particular consideration to the provincial powers; it performs control and address tasks through interrogations, interpellations, motions and omissions of oìivestigation and with a trust relationship (motions of trust and distrust of the provincial Government).
(SOURCE: M.Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)

Provincial Government

It‘s a state organisation of the Province. It’s made of the President and Council members, elected by secret ballot among the members of the provincial Council. It’s the Council who is entitled to govern the autonomous Province. The assignments of the Council are stated in art.54 of the Statute: it approves the regulations for the implementation of laws approved by the provincial Council, as well as those concerning matters devolved to the regulatory authority of the province; it has administrative power relating to business of provincial interest and heritage; it controls the management of special provincial enterprises of Special provincial customer service companies and charitable organizations, the consortia and the other local organisations. Moreover, to the Council all the powers delegated to the Province by the Stature or by laws of the Republic or by the Region, it may adopt, in urgent situations, measures under the competence of the Council, but it cannot replace it in the exercise of the legislative function.
(SOURCE M. Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)

Provincial Councillor

The provincial councillors are nominated by secret ballot by the provincial Council, among its members. The members’ amount is decided discretionary by the same Council that has the power to dismiss when they fail to fulfil the obligations established by the law. They constitute, with the President,the Provincial Government. With decree of the Provincial Government’s President, the business among the individual councillors started back up again; the matters not assigned to the councillors remain with the President. The councillor, within his competence, that is matters allocated to him, has instruction power and, with the limits required by the provincial law, executive power.
(SOURCE: M.Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)

Provincial law

The provincial Council is entitled to practice of the legislative power (art. 54 point n.1, Statute). It shall lay down, by means of a regulation, its procedure. The legislative initiative is up to the people, to the provincial councillors and to the Provincial Council. A draft law must be drawn up and transmitted to the President of the provincial Council, who gives it to all councillors, to the competent Committee and to the provincial Council for the approval by debate and by vote for articles (wit any possible amendments) and as a whole. The draft law is approved if it overcomes the simple majority of voters. The legislative competence of the provincial Council is classified into: primary or exclusive, secondary or concurrent, tertiary or supplementary and implementational. The Statute determines the matters object of the different typologies of competence.
(SOURCE: M. Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)



Regional Council

The Council of Trentino South Tyrol Region shall be elected by a system of proportional representation based on universal, direct and secret suffrage. It’s made up of 70 members, elected according to the rules of art.25 of the Statute; it holds office for a term of five years. Its activity is held in two same term sessions that take place, alternately, in the cities of Trento and Bolzano. Its members represent the entire region. The President and vice president are elected internally, they belong to Italian and German speaking groups that stay in charge for two and a half years. The rules that govern its activity are established by rules of procedure approved by an absolute majority of the councillors.
The regional Council exercises first of all the legislative power given to the Region Trentino-South Tyrol by the Statute and by other State laws. It exercises moreover other functions: it shall decide its rules; appoint and dismiss the regional Council; approve the budgets; resolve the challenge of provincial laws and laws or acts having value of a law of the Republic; exercise the initiative for the Statute’s revision and approve requests for its amendment; appoint delegate at the Parliament for the President of Republic’s election; promote possible referendums; it has inspection and political duties.
(SOURCE: M.Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)

Regional Government

It’s a community institution made of the President, two vice Presidents and permanent and alternate members, elected by the regional Council internally by secret ballot and by an absolute majority. Its composition has to take into account the linguistic groups represented in the regional Council. One of the vice Presidents belongs to the Italian speaking group and one to the German speaking group (art.36 of the Statute). The regional Council is the executive body of the Region; its powers are dictated by art.44 of the Statute. The regional Board can delegate to the Council the treatise of matters of its competence, except for the adoption of legislative measures (art.46). It also has advisory functions towards the State. For example the opinion must be expressed by the Council for the purposes of education and regulamentation of the national communication and transport services, that interest particularly the Region, as decided by art. 45 of the Statute.
(SOURCE M. Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)

Regional law

The Region Trentino South Tyrol practices different types of legislative power: it shall be responsible for exclusive or primary power (art. 4, Statute), concurrent or secondary legislation and supplementary or tertiary legislation (art.6). The regional laws have certain limits, which can be divided into limits of legitimacy and limits of merit. With regards to the position of the regional law, the prevalence between regulatory state and regional source is attributed through competence, not through a hierarchical structure. The practise of legislative power is under the responsibility of the Regional Council (art.26) that decides, with an internal regulation, the execution of its activity (art.31). The regional law regulates the practise of the people initiative and the referendum (art 60).
(SOURCE: M. Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)


Saint -Germain Treaty

It’s the peace treaty signed on 19th September 1919 at Saint-Germain in Paris between Italy and Austria at the end of WWI. Italy officially obtained the Brenner frontier, the Venezia Giulia, Istria, part of Dalmatia but not Rijeka.
(Source M. Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)


It refers to the people’s right to establish their own belonging. In this perspective self-determination was at the political program’s third point of the newly created SVP in May 1945: that is the request of a referendum among the South Tyrol population to decide whether they wanted their territory to become part of the Austrian state. Self-determination, requested also by the Austrian government, wasn’t accepted by WWII victorious powers, but it long remained an inspiration of the German-speaking South Tyrol environment.
(SOURCE: M.Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)


It’s a movement that aims to separate a territory from a State in order to aggregate it to another State or to make it autonomous and sovereign. At the beginning of WWII the Sicilian separatist movement began to carry weight. The Trentino separatist movement carried a minor weight, it was tied to the SVP of Bolzano, it aspired to become an independent alpine Republic or a Trentino Austrian protectorate. The separatist movement was then monopolized and made less radical within the ASAR.
(Source M. Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)

South Tyrol

The denomination “South Tyrol” appears for the first time in 1810 when, with the Paris Treaty, at the end of the Napoleonic war, the territory that extends from Stelvio mountain until Chiusa and to Dobbiaco was taken from the Austrian Empire and given to the Italian Reign under the name of “South Tyrol Region”. Südtirol is instead the German elocution of the territory of Bolzano province and it refers to the geographic position in relation to Austrian Tyrol.

Statute of autonomy

It’s a constitutional law, provided by art.116 of the Italian constitution that controls the autonomy of the special Statute Regions. In the Trentino-South Tyrol/Südtirol Region there is an operational Statute of autonomy that came into effect in 1972 and it modified the first Statute of 1948, passing from a markedly regional footprint to the current provincial one. The second Statute assigns indeed extensive expertises to the two provinces of Trento and Bolzano. It’s the result of the negotiations between the South Tyrolean minority and the State- with the Austrian endorsement-for the solution of the South Tyrolean issue. The further Statute amendment approved by the Parliament by constitutional law of 31st January 2001, gave the provinces the power to establish by law their own form of government and specifically the electoral system of the Provincial Council, of the President of the Province and of the councillors, as well as the relationships among the provincial authorities, removing this power from the Region
(SOURCE: M. Marcantoni, G. Postal, Autonomy, history and meanings)

Südtiroler Volkspartei

SVP was founded in May 1945, it’s the historical and gathering party of South Tyrolean German speaking people. It’s widely prevailing in the province of Bolzano. Its political struggle was the autonomy’s consolidation and expansiont.
(SOURCE: M. Marcantoni, G. Postal, Autonomy, history and meanings)


The Cimbri

The cimbri represent the ethnic and linguistic minority currently allocated in few centres spread in the mountainous area among the provinces of Trento (Luserna), Vicenza (Seven Districts Plateau, in particular Roana) and Verona (Thirteen Municipalities, in particular Giazza). A tiny Cymbrian island, of more recent origin, is located on Cansiglio plateau (Belluno and Treviso province). The Cimber speak zimbar, an ancient Bavarian idiom, translated in Italian with “cimbro”. Although their characteristic idiom, the Cimbrian language, is in strong regression and spoken only by a scant minority, the cimbri can be in any case considered an ethinic group with traditions derived from their German descent.
(Source Wikipedia)


(“death march”) South Tyrolean motto in vogue during the years of the strongest autonomous and anti-Italian claim: it wanted to highlight how the German speaking population of South Tyrol was destined to be progressively marginalized. The motto was launched for the first time by the canon Michael Gamper in the daily Dolomiten of Bolzano on 28th October 1953, on the anniversary of the fascist march on Rome.
(SOURCE: M. Marcantoni, G. Postal, Autonomy, history and meanings)


It’s the territory of the Province of Trento. There’s a Ladin speaking minority in Fassa valley and German ethnic islands in Mòcheni valley and a Cimbrian minority in the area of Luserna. Trentino, with South Tyrol, is part of the Trentino South Tyrol Region, ruled by a Statute of autonomy that establishes legislative and administrative powers for the two Provinces.
(Source M. Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)

Trentino South Tyrol Region

It includes the territory of the provinces of Trento and Bolzano. It has an area of 13607 km2, 6206 km2 of which in the province of Trento and 7400km2 in the province of Bolzano. The population census on 30/10/2019 shows 1 075 696 units. Politically and administratively speaking the Region is autonomous as part of the Italian State and it’s governed by a statute which guarantees its autonomy.
(Source M. Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy. Population data from Wikipedia)


University of Trento

It was founded in 1962 as “university Institute for social sciences” through the work of Trentino Culture Institute and it was recognised by the State as free higher Institute for social sciences for higher education by law 8 June 1966, n.432. The approval of the Statute of “free university of Trento” dates back to 1972 and thanks to its own Statute (approved by D.P.R. 26 April 1984, n.487) it benefits of a special autonomy that, in addition to establish powers, courses and seminars, allows also to organise the entire set-up and operation. The Province of Trento has the power to issue legislative rules in matters of university building, particularly concerning the areas’ choice and the acquisition of necessary real estates. Otherwise, the general legislative power is reserved to the State. In the university of Trento there are seven faculties or departments (Economics, Laws, Engineering, Literature and Philosophy, Cognitive Science, Mathematical Physical and Natural Sciences, Sociology) and the School of International Studies. The government bodies of the university define the political guidelines, as well as the development directorates of the university as a whole. The university authorities are: the Dean, the administrative Council and its President, the executive Board of the administrative Council, the Academic Senate, the Committee of Scientific Research.
(SOURCE: M. Marcantoni, G. Postal, Autonomy, history and meanings)


Valley Community

The valley Communities are local authorities of the autonomous province of Trento and they depict the intermediate institutional level among municipalities and the autonomous Province. They were established with provincial law 16th June 2006, n.3, they are formed by an associative structure, made compulsorily of municipalities included in each territory which has to be considered suitable for the exercise of important administrative jobs. They replaced the districts which had already taken the mountain Communities’ place (established by law 3 in December 1971, n.1102). The valley Communities are disciplined, other than by the founding law, also by the implementing and Statute measures approved by not less than two thirds of the municipalities belonging to the same territory and representing at least the two thirds of the population residing in them.Altogether the Community valleys in Trentino are 16.
(Source: wikipedia)

Venezia tridentina

It’s a geographical term used in the past to refer to the current Trentino South Tyrol. The term had a political and administrative meaning for a period beginning from 1919 when the military government took office in Trento at the end of the Great War and defined itself “provincial administration of Venezia tridentina” with powers on Trentino, South Tyrol and Ampezzano. After the Saint Germain treaty, Luigi Credaro was nominated commissioner for the Venezia tridentina in 1920. With the partition of the territory in two provinces, Bolzano and Trento, decided by the government in January 1927,only the provincial dimension carried some weight. Venezia tridentina began to be a topic of conversation again in political offices and it was considered as an administrative territory from Brennero to Borghetto, in the years between 1945 and 1948, during the phase of study and elaboration of the several projects of the Statute of autonomy. However, the Italian Constitution established the denomination of Region Trentino South Tyrol by article 131 that also determined the denomination of Statute of autonomy. Since 1948, Venezia tridentina went back to have more and more a geographical meaning, fallen gradually into disuse.
(Source M. Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)


Work plan

That’s the term used for the 18 paragraphs that stated the itinerary according to which the “Package” for South Tyrol, arranged with Italy and Austria, would have been realised. It was submitted in 1967 by then-Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Kurt Wladheim and agreed by him with Aldo Moro on 30th November 1969. Until 1992 it represented the international anchoring of the agreements between the State and South Tyrolean minority.
(SOURCE: M.Marcantoni, G. Postal Autonomy, history and meanings and M.Lando, M.Marcantoni, Words of Autonomy)