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Altiero Spinelli: an unrelenting federalist

Life and times

After the Second World War, Spinelli established the Federalist Movement in Italy. Throughout the rest of the 1940s and 1950s, he was a staunch advocate of the federalist cause of a united Europe. In the 1960s, Spinelli, as a government adviser and researcher, established the Institute of International Affairs in Rome. He was a member of the European Commission from 1970 until 1976, and in 1979, he was elected as a Member of the European Parliament.

A vision for Europe

In 1980, together with other federalist-minded MEPs, he founded ‘The Crocodile Club’, whose members tabled a motion for the Parliament to draft a proposal for a new treaty on the European Union. On 14 February 1984, the European Parliament adopted his proposal with an overwhelming majority and approved the ‘Draft Treaty Establishing the European Union’, the ‘Spinelli Plan’.

Altiero Spinelli speaking on 8 July 1981 in Strasbourg


More about Altiero Spinelli’s life, work and contribution to the European project