Paris Peace Treaties, 1947
|Signed||10 February 1947|
|UK, USA, Soviet Union, France, Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Finland|
|Ratifiers||U.K., Soviet Union, USA, France, Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Finland|
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The Paris Peace Treaties (French: Traités de Paris) were signed on 10 February 1947, as the outcome of the Paris Peace Conference, held from 29 July to 15 October 1946. The victorious wartime Allied powers (principally the United Kingdom, Soviet Union, United States, and France) negotiated the details of peace treaties with Italy, the minor Axis powers (Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria), and Finland, following the end of World War II in 1945.
The treaties allowed Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Finland to resume their responsibilities as sovereign states in international affairs and to qualify for membership in the United Nations.
The settlement elaborated in the peace treaties included payment of war reparations, commitment to minority rights and territorial adjustments including the end of the Italian Colonial Empire in Africa, Greece, and Albania, as well as changes to the Italian–Yugoslav, Hungarian–Czechoslovak, Soviet–Romanian, Hungarian-Romanian, French–Italian, and Soviet–Finnish borders.
The political clauses stipulated that the signatory should "take all measures necessary to secure to all persons under (its) jurisdiction, without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion, the enjoyment of human rights and of the fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression, of press and publication, of religious worship, of political opinion and of public meeting."
No penalties were to be visited on nationals because of wartime partisanship for the Allies. Each government undertook measures to prevent the resurgence of fascist organizations or any others "whether political, military or semi-military, whose purpose it is to deprive the people of their democratic rights".
Italy lost Italian Libya and Italian East Africa. The latter consisted of Italian Ethiopia, Italian Eritrea, and Italian Somaliland (Italy continued to govern the former Italian Somaliland as a UN trust territory until 1960). In the peace treaty, Italy recognized the independence of Albania (in personal union with the Italian monarchy after the Italian invasion of Albania in April 1939). Italy also lost its concession in Tianjin, which was turned over to China. The Dodecanese Islands were ceded to Greece.
Italy had to cede all islands in the eastern Adriatic and most of Istria, including the provinces of Fiume, Zara, and most of Gorizia and Pola to Yugoslavia. The rest of the province of Pola, as well as the province of Trieste, became a new sovereign State (Free Territory of Trieste) under a provisional regime of Government  of which United Nations Security Council was responsible. Trieste officially returned to Italy with the Treaty of Osimo in 1975.
The border with France was only slightly modified in favor of France, mostly in uninhabited Alpine areas (except for the Tende valley and La Brigue) thus de facto remaining the same of 1860. Italian diplomats were able to maintain the French-speaking Aosta Valley despite the demands of France and the German-speaking South Tyrol (thanks to the Gruber–De Gasperi Agreement signed some months before).
Italy avoided the occupation of the country, a fate that Germany and Japan shared, but its territorial losses included areas that had been part of the country before the advent of the Fascist regime in 1922 ( e.g. Libya and Dodecanese, which were conquered in 1911-12; East Gorizia, Istria, Adriatic Islands, and Zara, annexed in 1919).
Finland was restored to the borders of 1 January 1941 (thus confirming the territorial losses after the Winter War), except for the former province of Petsamo, which was ceded to the Soviet Union. In Finland, the reparations and the dictated border adjustment were perceived as a major injustice and a betrayal by the Western powers, after the sympathy Finland had received from the West during the Soviet-initiated Winter War of 1939–1940. However, this sympathy had been eroded by Finland's pragmatist collaboration with Nazi Germany between 1941 and 1944. During this time, Finland not only recaptured territory it had lost in 1940, but continued its offensive deeper into Soviet lands, occupying a broad strip of Soviet territory. This prompted the United Kingdom to declare war on Finland in December 1941, further weakening political support in the West for the country. The Soviet Union's accessions of Finnish territory was based on the Moscow Armistice signed in Moscow on 19 September 1944 and resulted in an extension of the accessions in the Moscow Peace Treaty that ended the Winter War.
Hungary was restored to its borders before 1938. This meant restoring the southern border with Yugoslavia, as well as declaring the First and Second Vienna Awards null and void, cancelling Hungary's gains from Czechoslovakia and Romania. Furthermore, three villages (namely Horvátújfalu, Oroszvár, and Dunacsún) situated south of Bratislava were also transferred to Czechoslovakia.
Romania was restored to the borders of 1 January 1941, with the exception of the border with Hungary giving Northern Transylvania back to Romania. This confirmed the 1940 loss of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina to the Soviet Union and the Treaty of Craiova, which returned Southern Dobruja to Bulgaria.
Bulgaria was restored to the borders of 1 January 1941, returning Vardar Macedonia to Yugoslavia and Eastern Macedonia and Western Thrace to Greece, but keeping Southern Dobruja per the Treaty of Craiova, leaving Bulgaria as the only former Axis power to keep territory that was gained during the Second World War.
The war reparation problem proved to be one of the most difficult arising from post-war conditions. The Soviet Union, the country most heavily ravaged by the war, felt entitled to the maximum amounts possible, with the exception of Bulgaria, which was perceived as being the most sympathetic of the former enemy states. (Bulgaria was part of the Axis but did not declare war on the Soviet Union). In the cases of Romania and Hungary, the reparation terms as set forth in their armistices were relatively high and were not revised.
War reparations at 1938 prices, in United States dollar amounts:
- $360,000,000 from Italy:
- $125,000,000 to Yugoslavia;
- $105,000,000 to Greece;
- $100,000,000 to the Soviet Union;
- $25,000,000 to Ethiopia;
- $5,000,000 to Albania.
- $300,000,000 Finnish war reparations to the Soviet Union
- $300,000,000 from Hungary:
- $200,000,000 to the Soviet Union;
- $100,000,000 to Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.
- $300,000,000 from Romania to the Soviet Union;
- $70,000,000 from Bulgaria:
- $45,000,000 to Greece;
- $25,000,000 to Yugoslavia.
The dissolution of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia did not lead to any renegotiation of the Paris Peace Treaties. However, in 1990 Finland unilaterally cancelled the restrictions the treaty had placed on its military.
- Aftermath of World War II
- Allied Commission
- Potsdam Agreement (1945, regarding Germany)
- Moscow Conference (1945)
- Treaty of Peace with Italy, 1947
- Treaty of San Francisco (1951, regarding Japan)
- Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany (1990)
- Soviet occupation of Romania
- World War II reparations towards Yugoslavia
- United States Department of State Foreign relations of the United States, 1946. Paris Peace Conference Proceedings
- United States Department of State Foreign relations of the United States, 1946. Paris Peace Conference Documents
- United Nations Treaty Series volume 49 (Full text of the treaties as registered at the United Nations. French, English and Russian texts are authentic).
- "Paris-WWII Peace Conference-1946: Settling Romania's Western Frontiers", at the Honorary Consulate of Romania in Boston, has pictures of the Romanian delegation