Thank you for visiting the webpage of the Südtiroler Volkspartei (South Tyrolean People’s Party) in English. The Südtiroler Volkspartei (SVP) is a collective party of all social stratums and professes to a humanistic-Christian concept of the world. The SVP stands up for the rights of the German and the Ladin minorities in South Tyrol and for the preservation of their cultures. The SVP is the dominant faction in the Provincial Assembly, reached the absolute majority and submits the Provincial Governor. The Party is represented in both chambers of the Italian as well as the European Parliament.
After World War I, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was divided into numerous individual states. South Tyrol was bequeathed to Italy on the premise that the latter entered the war on the side of the Western powers. In 1919 the ancient territory of Tyrol was divided and the Southern part was ceded to Italy. Beginning in 1921 the new fascist regime in Italy tried to forbid and eliminate everything German, including political parties. Only after World War II did South Tyrol get the chance to reinstate political representation for the German and Ladin minorities. On the 8th of May 1945, Erich Amonn, a merchant from Bozen, founded the Südtiroler Volkspartei with a few of his like-minded friends. They chose the Edelweiss, a typically alpine flower, as the party’s emblem. The new Party descended from the South Tyrolean resistance movement "Andreas-Hofer-Bund" (Andreas-Hofer-League). By the end of September 1945 the SVP had already amassed approx. 50,000 members. The Peace Talks of Paris in 1946 confirmed the injustice agreed upon in 1919 and South Tyrol was further part of Italy. In the “Treaty of Paris“ however, Italy assured South Tyrol of a local autonomy. In 1948 the first Statute of Autonomy was granted to South Tyrol by the Italian Constitutional National Assembly. However, some integrating provisions of the Paris Treaty were not fulfilled. In 1957 the biggest protest expression in the history of South Tyrol took place at Sigmundskron Castle. This protest march was organized by the new party leader Silvius Magnago. The 35,000 South Tyrolean participants followed their leader Silvius Magnago, demanded an independent autonomy for South Tyrol and protested against the non-fulfilment of the Paris Treaty on Italy’s part. In 1960 Silvius Magnago was elected Provincial Governor. He ruled the Province until 1989. In 1960, urged by the SVP, Austria took the South Tyrolean issue to the United Nations General Assembly. A Resolution was passed, in which both parts (Italy and Austria) were urged to take up new treaties over the South Tyrolean issue. In 1961 some South Tyroleans expressed their displeasure and their disappointment in Italy’s uncompromising attitude through bomb attacks on electricity pylons. After long difficult treaties, initially between Austria and Italy and later between the SVP representatives and the different Italian governments, a measures package was agreed upon, which assured minority rights and a vast autonomy to the South Tyrolean population. The “Paket” had narrowly been accepted by the SVP with a bare majority after a substantial heated debate in a historical extraordinary SVP Provincial Assembly meeting in 1969. The “Paket“ included all of the results reached in the treaties with a total of 137 measures for the better protection of South Tyroleans. On the 20th of January 1972 the new Statute of Autonomy, which was based on these measures, came into force. From that point on, the region began to flourish. In 1992 the “Paket“ was declared as implemented in a further extraordinary SVP Provincial Assembly and Austria and Italy declared to the UN that the South Tyrolean issue had been satisfactorily resolved. One year later the SVP Provincial Assembly passed a new political programme, which took into consideration the new initial situation and the new challenges in a Europe, that is getting closer and closer. The SVPs’ aim still remains to further consolidate autonomy in a federal unified Europe in order to maintain the identity of the German and Ladin minorities in Italy and also in the future to come.
This new found autonomy lays the foundation for the further development of South Tyrol For the last 50 years the SVP had been a synonym for stability, continuity and competence for South Tyrol. But apart from this, it had also been synonymous for openness with respect to the necessary reforms and synonymous for sympathy and closeness to the public.
The Südtiroler Volkspartei has some 50.000 members. The 293 village groups are organised into seven districts.
The SVP further consists of the following organisations:
* The SVP Womens’ Movement represents the women in the SVP ·
* The Young Generation in the SVP takes care of all members under the age of 30. ·
* The Provincial Advisory Board for Seniors’ work and Solidarity between Generations takes care of all members over the age of 60. ·
* The Social Committees of the SVP represent employees. ·
* The Economic Committees of the SVP take care of economic matters within the SVP. ·
* The Committees for Agricultural Policy work out proposals in order to solve the problems of agriculture in South Tyrol. ·
* The SVP Ladina represents the organisational structure for the representatives of the Badia Valley and the Gardena Valley, in both of which the Ladin language is spoken, in the SVP.
Extracts of the Political Programme of the SVP:
South Tyrol and Europe
The SVP stands in support of a unified Europe of the Regions. The Party endeavours to obtain international recognition of minority rights within the framework of human rights and stands up for the incorporation of these rights in the EU and in other international organisations.
South Tyrols relations with Austria
For many centuries South Tyrol was part of the Austrian Monarchy. According to the SVP ceding South Tyrol to Italy as a result of World War I represents a historical injustice. Spiritual and cultural belonging to the German language area and to the Central European cultural space is an integral structural element of SVP policy.
Language education in the mother language, but also education in a second and third foreign language is one of the main aspects of the SVPs’ educational policy.
Nature and ambience
Nature and agriculture represent a natural richness and have to be preserved for future generations. Agricultural holdings and agricultural structures hereby also represent a base for the preservation of the culture of the population. Agricultural holdings shall be rewarded for outstanding performance with regard to the preservation and cultivation of nature.
Family and women
Marriage and family are fundamental to our society and therefore deserve special protection. No disadvantages should be allowed to arise for families with children. Women and men are equal in every respect and a woman, who is a housekeeper and mother shall be as much appreciated by society as a woman working in paid employment.
Justice between generations
The SVP fosters youth in their education and training and their political commitment, without imposing its own will. Furthermore, everyone shall be entitled to a well-balanced basic pension.
The Südtiroler Volkspartei stands up for a free market economy with clear social and ecological structural conditions. The willingness to give something is part of this process. We shall strive for existential protection that one can rely on and not for a basic protection on a poverty level.