The Rome Protocols were a series of three international agreements signed in Rome on 17 March 1934 between the governments of Austria, Hungary and Italy. They were signed by Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini, Austrian Prime Minister Engelbert Dollfuss and Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Gömbös. All the three protocols went into effect on 12 July 1934 and were registered in League of Nations Treaty Series on 12 December 1934.
The protocols, even though only dealing with economic development, were part of the process of cooperation between the three signatory governments against the revisionist policies of Hitler, who had just come to power in Germany, as well as against the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia, which they wished to dismember among themselves. Cooperation under these protocols was short-lived, as Mussolini joined hands with Hitler against Austria, and the Hungarian government under Miklós Horthy also joined the Third Reich in 1938.
Terms of the protocolsEdit
Protocol No 1 was very brief and contained no clauses, but only a brief statement in which the signatories undertook "To confer together on all problems which particularly concern them, and on problems of a general character, with a view to pursuing, in the spirit of the existing treaties of friendship between Italy and Austria, Italy and Hungary and Austria and Hungary, which are based on a recognition of the existence of numerous common interests, a concordant policy directed towards the promotion of effective co-operation between the States of Europe and particularly between Italy, Austria and Hungary". In the following paragraph, the three governments undertook "to hold joint consultations whenever at least one of them deems it desirable".
Protocol No. 2 dealt with economic relations between the three governments. In article 1 the three governments undertook not to place any obstacles to trade between them, and to conclude commercial treaties to that effect. In article 2 the parties undertook to assist the Hungarian government due to the fall in the price of wheat. In article 3 the parties undertook to facilitate the rapid transit of goods through the ports of the Adriatic Sea. In article 4 the parties undertook to establish a commission of experts to make further recommendations in the economic field.
Protocol No. 3 was only concluded between the governments of Italy and Austria. In article 1 the two governments undertook to negotiate a new trade treaty between them as soon as possible. In article 2 the two governments undertook to grant each other trade privileges in the new trade treaty to be negotiated.
- League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. 154, pp. 282-303.