Gianfranco Martini

Born in Lucca on 23 June 1925, Gianfranco Martini took refuge in Lendinara (Italy), to …

Born in Lucca on 23 June 1925, Gianfranco Martini took refuge in Lendinara (Italy), to escape forced enrolment in the army of the Republic of Salò, where he served as mayor for ten years from 1951. Subsequently, he became a provincial councillor in Rovigo (Italy), and in 1964 he finally moved to Rome and headed the Council of European Municipalities (CCE – now AICCRE) with Umberto Serafini.
Over the years, Gianfranco became a member of the Directorate of AICCRE and of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, establishing himself as one of the great promoters of the growth of the practice of twinning between local authorities across the continent.
Gianfranco Martini was among the initiators of the concept of Local Democracy Agencies and became the first President of ALDA when it was founded in 1999, until 2008. On 11 October 2012, his death leads the Association to the creation of an annual scholarship to honour his memory, as a friend and important mentor.
For his great ability to share and build the ambitious project of an ever more politically united Europe and for his personal commitment in many different political situations, carried out with the irony and the unshakeable optimism which have always distinguished him, Gianfranco Martini can be defined as a “little father” of Europe, who, although aware of the difficulties and inconsistencies of the current supranational system, never lost heart, always relaunching the goal of an accomplished European integration of peace and solidarity.