Lecture Altiero Spinelli
The Centre for Studies on Federalism organises an annual Lecture on topical issues of European interest. This initiative originated from the idea of naming after Altiero Spinelli, one of the great Fathers of European federalism, an international meeting addressing the issues related to the process of European integration, how Europe is perceived and its role on the world scene. The event, which involves the participation of well-known international scholars and intellectuals, offers a lectio magistralis on Europe, which becomes an online and paper publication of the Centre.
Altiero Spinelli (1907-1986), together with Ernesto Rossi and Eugenio Colorni, wrote the Manifesto per un’Europa libera e unita (Manifest for a Free and United Europe, better known as “The Ventotene Manifesto”) during his internment on the island of Ventotene. In 1943 he founded in Milan the Movimento Federalista Europeo (European Federalist Movement, MFE) and in the following years, in Paris, he took part in the foundation of the European Union of Federalists (UEF). During the post-war period, he was a leading figure in the action pursuing European political unity, giving birth to numerous initiatives aimed at steering the European integration process towards the creation of a continental federation. He was a member of the European Commission in Brussels from 1970 to 1976 and a member of the first European Parliament elected by universal suffrage in 1979. For ten years he was one of the main political actors on the European scene, promoting the reform of the Community Institutions from within the European parliamentary institution. Spinelli was the inspirer of the Treaty of the European Union with marked federal features, adopted by the European Parliament in 1984. This project had a significant influence on the first attempt at an extensive revision of the treaties instituting the EEC and Euratom, paving the way to the following treaties reforming the European institutions.