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Godfather of the European Union - Alterio Spinelli Godfather of the European Union - Alterio Spinelli
by Lindsay Jenkins. £3.95
Pamphlet, 27pp
This paper offers clear evidence that Spinelli - a powerful and influential post-war Communist - was the true architect of the Maastricht Treaty.
Reviewer Clive Linton

[eurofacts (Vol 2 No 5) – 20th December 1996]

Can it be mere coincidence that one of the key players in the creation of the European Union was a dedicated Communist who never recanted?

This book sheds light on a figure who is still practically unknown in the UK: Altiero Spinelli. He joined the Italian Communist Party in 1924, aged 17, spent 15 years in Mussolini's prisons, ensured that the 1947 Italian constitution included a clause saying that Italy wanted to be part of a federal Europe, and went on in the seventies to become a European Commissioner of industrial policy and a Communist MEP. In the eighties he was instrumental in getting the European "Parliament" to adopt a fully-worked out, highly-detailed draft treaty on European union, on which subsequently Maastricht was based.

Spinelli realised early on the federalising potential - indeed inevitability - of what Lindsay Jenkins calls the political trick of subsidiarity. Even at this late stage, the British Government would have us believe that subsidiarity means less interference from Brussels.

As Lindsay Jenkins says in her booklet, "John Major is under the illusion that a federal Europe does not yet exist. He is wrong: three quarters of it is already operational". In her account of Spinelli's career she shows that the objective of a single European state was being actively developed well before Heath began the first set of negotiations for British entry in the early sixties. Her booklet is a valuable contribution to the growing corpus of knowledge on the origins of the European Community.

the june press