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angle-left null 1969 - Fifth Secretary General takes office
Event's background
Secretaries General of the Council of Europe
16 September 1969

Fifth Secretary General takes office

Austria Austria

Lujo Tončić-Sorinj of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) became Council of Europe Secretary General after serving for two years as his country’s foreign minister, during which time he was deeply involved in negotiations with Italy over the autonomy of South Tyrol.

His autobiography “Erfüllte Träume” (Dreams Fulfilled) talks about the sense of threat from Communist Eastern Europe at the time and of Austria’s first hesitant steps to join the Council of Europe, quickly overcome by a growing conviction of the importance of closer European integration.

He was born in Vienna to a Croatian family. A strong supporter of Croatian independence following the break up of Yugoslavia during the 90s, he took Croatian citizenship in 1992. He died in 2005 at the age of 90.