10 Facts About Altiero Spinelli


Altiero Spinelli was an Italian communist politician, political theorist and European federalist, referred to as one of the founding fathers of the European Union.

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Altiero Spinelli had a leading role in the foundation of the European federalist movement, and had strong influence on the first few decades of post-World War II European integration.

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Altiero Spinelli was born in Rome, and joined the Italian Communist Party at an early age to oppose the regime of Benito Mussolini's National Fascist Party.

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Altiero Spinelli played a significant role in advising the drafting of the Assembly's proposal for a European "Statute".

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Altiero Spinelli decided to run in the first direct elections to the European Parliament in 1979.

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Altiero Spinelli did so as an independent candidate on the list of the Italian Communist Party, which by then had become a Eurocommunist party and was keen to have prominent independent figures to stand on its list of candidates.

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Altiero Spinelli was elected and used the position to urge the first elected parliament to use its democratic legitimacy to propose a radical reform of the European Community, to transform it into a democratic European state.

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Idea was that the European Parliament should act as a constituent assembly, although Altiero Spinelli was prepared to make compromises on the way to secure broad majorities behind the process.

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Altiero Spinelli's project was buried by the governments of the member states.

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Altiero Spinelli married Ursula Hirschmann, a German anti-fascist activist and fellow advocate of European federalism in 1945 and they had three daughters: Diana Spinelli, Barbara Spinelli and Sara Spinelli.

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