This essay aims at reconstructing the nature of the relations between the Italian Communist Party and the German Social Democrats during the years in which the Italian «Communist question» was assuming key importance in the European political debate. While a common point of view emphasizes the consonance between the ideas of the two party leaders - Willy Brandt and Enrico Berlinguer -, the author rather focuses on the concrete moments of political dialogue between the parties, of whom he analyses the significance. The analysis of both the Italian and German archival evidences shows that - even in the decade of international détente - what characterized the relations between the most relevant representatives of the Communist and Social Democratic movements in Western Europe was their cautiousness, and that the parties held different strategies for the continent’s development. The relations with Social Democracies played a role in the renewal of Berlinguer’s Pci, but, as they were never pursued as a key goal, their political significance was eventually limited.
Keywords: Italian Communist Party (Pci), German Social Democratic Party (Spd), eurocommunism, détente, European left, Brandt-Berlinguer