I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith
Paul of Tarsus, ascribed
(Second Epistle to Timothy 4:7)
Altiero Spinelli (Rome, 31 August, 1907 – Rome, 23 May, 1986)
Inspirator of the unity of Europe.
In 1943 Altiero Spinelli was released after sixteen years in Fascists prisons and founded the Movimento Federalista Europeo in Milan. Since then he was a consistent and devoted champion of the cause of a united Europe.
In 1966 he founded l’Istituto Affari Internazionali in Rome and in 1970 he joined the European Commission.
In 1976 Spinelli was elected to the Italian Chamber of Deputies and then in the Italian delegation to the European Parliament. In 1984 the European Parliament (after the first direct elections in 1979) approved the Draft Treaty, which designed a federal reform of the Community, promoted by the Crocodile Club, a group of MEPs founded by Spinelli.
The European Council met in the next year in Milan and decided to convene the Intergovernmental Conference that drafted the Single European Act, less ambitious than the Draft Treaty. In the following years the Single European Act relaunched the Community on a path which led to the Euro and to a further strengthening of the Parliament’s powers.