Altiero Spinelli

Altiero Spinelli in Europe

Life and Work of Altiero Spinelli (1907-86)

The Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union describes altiero spinelli (1907-86) in the following terms: [1] An Italian journalist, a romantic communist and an opponent of Mussolini’s fascism, Altiero Spinelli spent ten pre-war years in prison and his World War II years in internment, exiled to an island, where he wrote a federalist manifesto. Anti-Church, anti-American, anti-British, anti-nationalist, anti-capitalist, he saw the war as creating the revolutionary conditions through which popular socialism could flow like ‘molten lava’. Spinelli joined the Commission in 1970. In 1979 he became one of the first directly elected MEPs as part of the communist group. His major work as an MEP was the 1984 Draft Treaty establishing the European Union, which reflected his view of the European Parliament as a potential constitution-making body (or ‘constituent assembly’), able to enact a new constitutional Treaty if ratified by a majority of the large member states. Since this role was reserved under the Treaty of Rome for unanimous agreement among the member states, Spinelli’s Treaty eventually fizzled out, although it paved the way for the Single European Act of 1986 and in some ways anticipated the Maastricht Treaty of 1992. (See also Crocodile Club.)

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Notas y References

  1. Based on the book “A Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union from Aachen to Zollverein”, by Rodney Leach (Profile Books; London)

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