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The role of Altiero Spinelli on the path towards European Union

Written by Renato Lugarini,

© European Union

On 14 February 1984, the European Parliament debated and adopted the draft ‘Treaty establishing the European Union’, also known as the ‘Spinelli Draft’ after the rapporteur-coordinator of the parliamentary committee that drafted the text. Two years later, on 23 May 1986, Altiero Spinelli died in Rome. Now, 30 years on, Spinelli and the draft treaty he championed are considered to be key elements in the European Union’s integration process. Yet the draft treaty was just the culmination of the political career of Spinelli – a man who was able to imagine a united Europe even before the European Community was born.

The way Spinelli’s thinking and work developed can be better understood if we consider first the arguments set out in the Ventotene Manifesto and then his activities in the European Federalist Movement, right up until his entry into the European institutions as a Commissioner and then Member of the European Parliament.

Not only did this Italian politician, during his career, live through the various stages of European integration, he often anticipated them. He pursued the goal of establishing a political union between the countries of Europe with determination and confidence to the very end. The final step was to be taken within the institution that Spinelli had always considered to be the most representative and best suited to playing a leading role in the integration process – the European Parliament.

Read the complete briefing on ‘The role of Altiero Spinelli on the path towards European Union‘.

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