The Italian politician Altiero Spinelli was one of the fathers of the European Union.He was the leading figure behind the European Parliament’s proposal for a Treatyon a federal European Union - the so-called ‘Spinelli Plan’. This was adopted in1984 by an overwhelming majority in the Parliament and provided an importantinspiration for the strengthening of the EU Treaties in the 1980s and ‘90s. As a 17-year old, Spinelli joined the Communist Party, as a consequence of whichhe was imprisoned by the Italian fascist regime between 1927 and 1943. At theend of the Second World War, he established the Federalist Movement in Italy. In his role as adviser to personalities such as De Gasperi, Spaak and Monnet, heworked for European unification. A trained juror, he also furthered the Europeancause in the academic field, and created the Institute for International Affairs in Rome.As a member of the European Commission he took over the area of internal policy from 1970 to 1976. For three years he served as a Member of the Italian Parliament for the Communist Party before being electedto the European Parliament in 1979.