Following up the series of commemorative stories, the EUROM and the Jean Monnet House published a new publication on the 80th anniversary of the Draft Manifesto for a Free and United Europe, best known as The Manifesto of Ventotene. The 150 pages hard copy version is a bilingual (English and Italian) limited edition publication and has been organized as a compendium of historical biographies and memorialization of public and symbolic places, highlighting a crosscutting gender approach. The project was jointly organized in collaboration with the Istituto di Studi Federalisti Altiero Spinelli.
Jordi Guixé underlines, in the foreword, that the publication is an endeavor to restore the values of European construction based on history and memory, and Martí Grau reminds us that 2021 is a year of double celebration:
Seventy years ago, the signing of the Treaty of Paris paved the way for the first European Community, devoted to the sharing of Coal and Steel Production. It was the very first practical step towards the integration of our continent. Eighty years ago, on the tiny Italian of Ventotene, in the heat of WWII, a group of prison inmates wrote a compelling blueprint for a future without war, with the title For a Free and United Europe. A Draft Manifesto
Giorgio Anselmi, Michele Fiorillo, and Mario Leone discuss the crisis of civilization and the fight for European Unity triggered by the Manifesto. Their contribution is complemented by a text by Pier Virgilio Dastoli, focusing on the milestones of the Federalist Movement initiated with the dissemination of the document elaborated by Altiero Spinelli and Ernesto Rossi in 1941.
The researcher Luciana Rocchi introduces the gender perspective in the essay “Women for Europe. A memoir of times and places of tenacious commitment“, and the historian Silvana Boccanfuso brings us a briefed biography of Ursula Hirschmann.
For the realization of the European federation, Ursula fought all her life, even in those times of crisis, economic or political, in which the idea of a united Europe has not been particularly popular. The commitment is up to the end of her days: when Ursula Hirschmann died at the age of seventy-eight, in 1991, she held the position of president of the Roman section of the European Federalist Movement.
The book also includes an article on the Ventotene integrated project for the recovery of the Santo Stefano prison, written by architects Stefano Baia Curioni, Rita Biasi, and Francesco Collotti.
To close the publication, Debora Righetti discusses the importance of commemorating the milestones in European unity.
The story of European integration and its passing down by means of commemorations of key events such as the publication of the Ventotene Manifesto and the Schuman Declaration – both manifestations of federalist visions of Europe play a crucial role in creating sense of belonging.