Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade
Abstract: The paper analyzes the role of the Serbian Orthodox Church Municipality in Trieste (SOCM) in Yugoslav-Italian relations in the period from the signing of the London Memorandum in 1954 to the early 1970s. In that period, the SOCM president Dragoljub Vurdelja, an anti-communist and an opponent of socialist Yugoslavia, had a decisive role. Yugoslavia perceived the SOCM under Vurdelja‘s leadership as a center of anti-Yugoslav propaganda, so it sought to take control over this church community. To that end, Yugoslavia raised this issue in its relations with Italy and used all available diplomatic means to persuade this country to remove Vurdelja from Trieste. However, the improvement in relations between the SOCM and Yugoslavia began only after Dragoljub Vurdelja died in 1971.
Keywords: Serbian Orthodox Church Municipality in Trieste, Italy, Yugoslavia, Dragoljub Vurdelja