Paul-Henri Spaak

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Spaak (1957)

Paul-Henri Charles Spaak (25 January 189931 July 1972) was an influential Belgian Socialist politician, diplomat and statesman. Along with Robert Schuman, Alcide De Gasperi and Konrad Adenauer he was a leader in the formation of the institutions that evolved into the European Union.

A member of the influential Spaak family, he served briefly in World War I before he was captured, and rose to prominence after the war as a tennis player and lawyer, becoming famous for his high-profile defence of an Italian student accused of attempting to assassinate Italy's Crown Prince in 1929. A convinced socialist, Spaak entered politics in 1932 for the Belgian Workers' Party (later the Belgian Socialist Party) and gained his first ministerial portfolio in the government of Paul Van Zeeland in 1935. He became Prime Minister of Belgium in 1938 and held the position until 1939. During World War II, he served as Foreign Minister in the Belgian government in exile under Hubert Pierlot, where he negotiated the foundation of the Benelux Customs Union with the governments of the Netherlands and Luxembourg. After the war, he twice regained the position of Prime Minister, first for under a month in March 1946 and again between 1947 and 1949. He was Belgium's Foreign Minister for 18 years between 1939 and 1966. Between 1957 and 1961, he served as the second Secretary-General of NATO.

Quotes[edit]

  • The real father of the Atlantic Alliance was Stalin. It is he who has the right to a monument in each of our countries.

Attributed but unsourced[edit]

External links[edit]

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