The president of the European Parliament David Sassoli has died. Only yesterday was the news of his hospitalization in Italy for a serious complication due to a dysfunction of the immune system spread. “Sassoli’s commitment was centered around an idea of politics as a service for citizens. His main commitment as a European Parliamentarian and president of the EP, almost an obsession, was to bring the European institutions closer to the citizens, that is to build a bond, to give dignity to the institution European Parliament “. So remembered Roberto Cuillo, his spokesperson.
From journalist to president of the European Parliament
From familiar face of TG1 to president of the European Parliament, that of David Maria Sassoli was a life divided between journalism and politics, between Florence, Rome and Brussels until he became president of the European Parliament in 2019. Born in the Tuscan capital on May 30, 1956, he attended Agesci, the Italian Catholic Guides and Scouts Association as a young man. His father was a parishioner of Don Milani and he started working for small newspapers and in press agencies at an early age before moving to The day and then make the big leap in Rai. Florentine by birth but Roman by adoption, he had become a familiar face to Italian families above all for his conduct of the Tg of the Rai flagship network, of which he was also deputy director during the era of Gianni Riotta. A career that ended in 2009, when Sassoli decided to devote himself to politics. Candidate as leader of the newborn Democratic Party in the central Italy constituency, the president of the EP was elected for the first time with over 400 thousand preferences and, on the strength of this success, he immediately became the head of the delegation of the Democratic Party to the European Parliament. In 2013 the attempt to return to Italy as mayor of Rome ran aground in the primaries of the Democratic Party. Candidate in the French quota, Sassoli places second, beating the future Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni but obtaining half of the votes of Ignazio Marino.
After a decade spent in Brussels and Strasbourg, Sassoli – now in his third term – was one of the most experienced MEPs. In 2014-2019 he held the position of Vice-President for the entire mandate, dealing mainly with transport (the so-called third railway package), Euro-Mediterranean policy and budget. On 3 July 2019 David Sassoli, at the beginning of his third term, was elected President of the assembly. In his opening speech, Sassoli reiterated the importance of acting to combat climate change, the need for a policy that is closer to citizens and their needs, especially young people, and the urgent need to strengthen parliamentary democracy and promoting European values. During the exceptional and unprecedented situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Sassoli made a commitment to ensure that the European Parliament remained open and continued to operate, introducing – already in March 2020 – remote debates and voting, the first parliament in the world to do so . Married and father of two children, a Fiorentina fan, Sassoli lived in Rome but as soon as possible he moved to the house of Sutri, a delightful medieval town in Tuscia along the Via Cassia, about thirty kilometers north of the capital, to cultivate his passions for gardening and good reading.
Sassoli was the second Italian president of the European Parliament after Antonio Tajani since the Strasbourg assembly was elected by universal suffrage. His office would expire in days: next week the plenary meeting of the European Parliament which will meet in Strasbourg to elect his successor.
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