Altiero Spinelli

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Altiero Spinelli (31 August 1907 – 23 May 1986) was an Italian political theorist and a European federalist. Spinelli is referred to as one of the "Founding Fathers of the European Union" due to his co-authorship of the Ventotene Manifesto, his founding role in the European federalist movement, his strong influence on the first few decades of post-World War II European integration and, later, his role in re-launching the integration process in the 1980s. By the time of his death, he had been a Member of the European Commission for six years, a Member of the European Parliament for ten years right up until his death. The main building of the European Parliament in Brussels is named after him.

Early life

Spinelli was born in Rome, and joined the Italian Communist Party (PCI) at an early age in order to oppose the regime of Benito Mussolini's National Fascist Party. Following his entry into radical journalism, he was arrested in 1927 and spent ten years in prison and a further six in confinement. During the war he was interned on the island of Ventotene (in the Gulf of Gaeta) along with some eight hundred other political opponents of the regime.See Spinelli, Altiero: Come ho tentato di diventare saggio (1987). This autobiographical work was to be in two parts. The first part, which appeared during Spinelli's life-time under the title Io Ulisse (1984), covers the life of the author until the Liberation (1943). Spinelli's writing on the second part (La...
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