The President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, died on Tuesday in Northern Italy.
He had been hospitalised since late December due to a “disfunction of his immune system”, his spokesman announced on Twitter.
Born in Italy 65 years ago, Sassoli was a successful TV news presenter on Italian state TV channel Rai before entering politics in 2009 and eventually taking on the role of EU Parliament President in July 2019. He died only a few days before completing his mandate and just ahead of next week’s election for his successor.
Sassoli is survived by his wife, Alessandra Vittorini, and his two children, Livia and Giulio.
“We are deeply saddened by the untimely death of David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament. On behalf of Eurocities’ European mayors, I would like to express my sincere condolences to his family and staff,” commented Dario Nardella, President of Eurocities and Mayor of Florence.
“David was always attentive and sensitive to the requests of European mayors, to the problems of EU cities and attended a number of events organised by our association. Over the last few months, we had been working toward organising a meeting with him, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the Eurocities’ Executive Committee within the framework of the Conference on the Future of Europe. The goal is to carve a European path together that would see cities take on a leading role”, Nardella continued.
“European mayors, following in the footsteps of David Sassoli, will continue to fight for a fair, united, modern Europe which is the authentic expression of our cities’ voices. We will not forget him,” Nardella concluded.