European Documentation and Information Centre

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Group.png European Documentation and Information Centre  
(Deep state milieu)Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Founder• Alfredo Sanches-Bella‎
• Otto von Habsburg‎
Membership• Alberto Martín Artajo
• José Ignacio Escobar Kirkpatrick Marqués de Valdeiglesias
• Hans-Joachim von Merkatz
• Richard Jaeger
• Eugen Gerstenmaier
• Otto B. Roegele
• Georg von Waldburg zu Zeil und Trauchburg
• Alois Graf von Waldburg-Zeil
• Edmond Michelet
• François de la Noë
• Michel Habib-Deloncle
• Marcel de Roover
• Arvid Fredborg
• William Teeling
• Frederick Corfield
• John Rodgers
• Georg von Gaupp-Berghausen
Transnational network between European conservative politicians. Used by Francoist Spain to end its international isolation.

The European_Documentation_and_Information_Centre (CEDI) was an important transnational network of contacts between European conservative politicians. Founded in 1952 in Spain, then ruled by General Franco, the initiator and head of the organization was Otto von Habsburg, the eldest son of the last emperor Charles I of Austria-Hungary.


Francoist Spain made use of the CEDI to get in contact with high-ranking persons of the political, military, economic and cultural life from Western Europe and thus end its post-war international isolation. By preaching the necessity of cultural exchange and the religious unity of the West, the CEDI aimed at a political, military and economic inclusion of Spain into the beginning process of European Integration.

Organization and members

CEDI brought together various Christian conservative groups that had emerged in Western Europe during the period of reconstruction, the onset of the Cold War and the beginning of European integration. The initial «Circle of Friends», hardly noticed by the outside world, soon developed into an important transnational network of contacts. Under the pretext of cultural exchange and an "Western" togetherness, CEDI made it possible for Francoist Spain, which was then isolated in terms of foreign policy, to meet regularly with prominent conservatives from Western Europe.[1]

The annual congresses of the CEDI, which were nearly always held in Spain, brought together many office bearers and dignitaries of the conservative milieu. Besides the Spanish initiators – including Franco’s foreign minister Alberto Martín Artajo, the director of the Institute for Hispanic Culture Alfredo Sánchez Bella and José Ignacio Escobar Kirkpatrick Marqués de Valdeiglesias – there was strong support for CEDI’s activities in Germany, Austria and France. The expelled Austrian Heir Apparent Otto von Habsburg was the founding and, later on, honorary president of the organization. Germany was represented by high-ranking members of the Christian Democratic and Christian Social Union of Bavaria parties, as for example the ministers Hans-Joachim von Merkatz, Richard Jaeger, Eugen Gerstenmaier, Otto B. Roegele, Georg von Waldburg zu Zeil und Trauchburg and his brother Alois Graf von Waldburg-Zeil. From France Edmond Michelet, Count François de la Noë and Michel Habib-Deloncle attended, as didChevalier Marcel de Roover from Belgium und Arvid Fredborg from Sweden.

Among the first British supporters were William Teeling, Sir Frederick Corfield MP and Sir John Rodgers MP, who even held CEDI’s international presidency from 1965 to 1967. Over the years, the Austrian secretary general Georg von Gaupp-Berghausen turned more and more out to be the actual organizational and programmatic head of the Documentation Centre.


The French section played an important role when, in May 1958, Charles de Gaulle entered the political scene. It is through CEDI that the German government learned about the international objectives pursued by the new French government. The Gaullist UNR-UDT for its part used the European Center to contact German Christian Democrats. During the 1960s, however, Gaullist engagement in CEDI declined, and it was the Spanish protagonists who rediscovered the Center as a useful tool in their policy towards the "Hispanic" states of America Latin.

Faced with the major political breaks at the end of the 1960s, CEDI was increasingly faced with the limits of its diplomatic activities. The process of democratic transformation in Spain deprived CEDI of the most important material and ideological foundations. When, in the late 1980s, the split in Europe was gradually overcome, anti-communism could no longer serve as a means of integration into CEDI. The dissolution of the organization in 1990 was the logical consequence.


Known members

2 of the 17 of the members already have pages here:

Richard JaegerGerman politician
Hans-Joachim von MerkatzFirst president of the Vaduz Institute
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