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Idea and Strategies of Altiero Spinelli for ‘United States of Europe’

SONPHIL LEE 1

1한국외국어대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

This research is on the federal idea and actions of Altiero Spinelli, an ardent Italian federalist who has devoted his whole life to construct a federal Europe. As a first author of the 'Ventotene Manifesto' that presented federalism as an alternative to european nation state system and for securing peace in Europe, Spinelli has laid down a cornerstone for european federalism. His federal idea is based on profound reflection on the 'crisis of nation state' and 'war and peace'. He thought that the sovereignty created by the combining of nation with state, led to an authoritarian governing on citizens inside the state and aggressive attitude outside. He was convinced that Imperialism and Fascism was the last stage in the historical progress of nation state. So he has convinced that it was a guarantee for peace to prevent Europe from returning to nation state system through forming a federal Europe. He presented United States of Europe as a goal toward which europeans should head, and acted at the head of political struggle for the goal, with definite strategy and tactics. The strategy was the so-called 'constitutional approach' that is a complete contrast to the functional approach. Different from the gradual integration that was invented by the functional federalists like Jean Monnet, it was a method to achieve European federation at a stroke, transferring all national sovereignties to supranational institution. And this would be possible through establishing a European Federal Constitution by constitutional assembly. As for the tactics, he proposed the creation of movements favorable to european federal integration and autonomous from national parties and ideologies. And for achieving the constitutional approach, he acted himself using the contradiction of functional approach and inducing political leaders to take initiatives. His strategy and tactics didn't have great success, but his idea and actions showed europeans what they have to aim at to be liberated from nation state's restriction and to live in peace, and guided how to act to obtain it. As for the prospect of regional integration in East Asia, his idea and strategy could teach us what we should do first.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.