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Waves of tributes pour in following the untimely death of EU Parliament President


David Sassoli, the Italian-born European Parliament president who had served within the place since 2009, handed away on the age of 65 on January 11 in Aviano, Italy, after having been hospitalized on December 26.

A protracted-time member of the EU’s halcyon days outdated guard, Sassoli was elected President of the European Parliament in July 2019, for the primary half of a brand new mandate. Sassoli adopted extraordinary measures that enabled the European Parliament to hold out its duties and train its prerogatives beneath the EU Treaties throughout the course of the pandemic.

A former journalist, Sassoli additionally performed a distinguished function in championing an formidable long-term EU finances and an efficient restoration facility. He led the Parliament throughout a present of solidarity in the direction of these, throughout Europe, who had been most affected when the disaster first hit. With supportive actions within the European Parliament’s host cities, he helped arrange the distribution of meals to the poor and the availability of shelter within the Parliament to girls who’re victims of home violence. Determined to attract from the teachings of the pandemic, Sassoli additionally launched a big reflection train with Members of Parliament to rethink and reinforce the idea of parliamentary democracy.

As a devoted European, Sassoli underlined in his speech on the European Council in December, only a few weeks in the past, that “What Europe wants, and desires most of all, is a brand new mission of hope. I feel we will construct that mission on the premise of a strong three-pronged method: a Europe that innovates; a Europe that protects; and a Europe that illuminates.

Election of the brand new EP President

As outlined within the Rules of Procedure (Rule 20), the interim Presidency will likely be ensured by the primary Vice-President of the Parliament within the days main as much as a election. As initially deliberate, and earlier than the sudden passing of Sassoli, the election of the President for the second half of the mandate will happen on January 18 throughout the Strasbourg plenary. The elections of the Vice-Presidents and Quaestors will observe in the identical week.

Tributes to Sassoli

“Today is a sad day for Europe. Our Union loses a passionate European, a sincere democrat and a good man. David Sassoli was a man of deep faith and strong convictions. Everyone loved his smile and his kindness, yet he knew how to fight for what he believed in. In 1989, he was in Berlin, among the young Europeans when the Wall came down. And ever since, he has stood on the side of democracy and of a united Europe,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen mentioned. “In over a decade of service in the European Parliament, he constantly defended our Union and its values. But he also believed that Europe had to strive for more. He wanted Europe to be more united, closer to its people, more faithful to our values. That is his legacy. That is how I will remember him. As a champion of justice and solidarity, and a dear friend. My thoughts are with his wife, Alessandra, his children, Giulio and Livia, and all his friends.”

EU Council President Charles Michel known as Sassoli a “sincere and passionate European. We already miss his human warmth, his generosity, his friendliness and his smile”.

“David Sassoli, EP president and dear friend, has died,” European Commission Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans wrote in a tweet. “I’m at a loss for words. His kindness was an inspiration to all who knew him. My heartfelt sympathies to his family and all his loved ones. Addio amico mio”.

Manfred Weber, chairman of the European People’s Party (EPP), mentioned he and his party are extraordinarily unhappy and shocked by the passing of Sassoli. “We are without words. He was a true European and passionate ambassador of a more united and social Europe. Our thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends in this very difficult moment.”

European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic added that his political household will eternally be remembered as “a tireless worker for Europe and a kind man”.

US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price additionally despatched the US’ deepest condolences to the folks of the European Union, saying, “President Sassoli will be remembered as a strong supporter of the US-EU partnership, a voice for democracy and human rights globally, and an advocate for a European Union that serves its citizens and is made stronger by its diversity. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.”

For her half, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde famous that Sassoli was a dedicated European, who put folks on the coronary heart of every little thing he did throughout his life. “My thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues as we mourn this great loss.”

The European Parliament mentioned it’ll honor Sassoli’s reminiscence in a ceremony on January 17 on the opening of the plenary session in Strasbourg and within the presence of former MEP and ex-Italian Prime Minister, Enrico Letta.

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