The Manifesto puts forward proposals for creating a European federation of states, the primary aim of which was to tie European countries so closely together that they would no longer be able to go to war with one another. As in many European left-wing political circles, this sort of move towards federalist ideas was argued as a reaction to the destructive excesses of nationalism. The ideological underpinnings for a united Europe can thus be traced to the hostility of nationalism.
Having finished his period on the Commission, Spinelli decided to run for the European Parliament as an independent candidate on the list of the Italian Communist Party. He was elected in the first direct elections to the EP in 1979.
During the following years, one would often see him in restaurant Crocodile in Strasbourg, where he continued to explain why the European federation is a necessary thing. The federalist proposal of the "Crocodile Club", of which Spinelli was a co-founder, soon prevailed among the members of the European Parliament.
Spinelli thought that the European Parliament should act as a constituent assembly. This actually happened on 14 February 1984, when the European Parliament adopted the Draft Treaty Establishing the European union, the drafter of which had been Spinelli himself. The decision was taken with 237 votes for and 31 against (43 absent).
While that text was not adopted by the member states, it triggered the negotiations and provided the impetus for the Single European Act and the Maastricht Treaty (which established the European Union).
The Single European Act, which was later adopted by the governments, was not a constitution but an enlarged free trade treaty.
In 1993, one of the buildings of the European Parliament in Brussels was dedicated the Altiero Spinelli Building in honour of his lifetime of work toward building the European community (it commonly abbreviated as the ASP building).
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