chapter  19
12 Pages

The Puerto Rico summit of 1976 and the end of Eurocommunism

ByDUCCIO BASOSI, GIOVANNI BERNARDINI

In recent years, historians have cast new light on the international strategies pursued by the Italian Communist Party (PCI) under the leadership of Secretary General Enrico Berlinguer, particularly in the period between 1973 and 1979. In those years, intense activism on the international scene brought the party leadership to tighten relations with the French and Spanish communist parties, and eventually to develop the idea of a form of communism respectful of political liberties and supportive of the demands for a New International Economic Order (NIEO) put forth by Third World governments and liberation movements. This complex movement was soon given the name Eurocommunism, a neologism coined by the press and eventually accepted by the PCI itself, that highlighted both its distinction from the monolithic Soviet model and the European flavor of the endeavor, which also encompassed a new relationship with the continent’s socialist and social-democratic movements.2