European Union Parliament President David Sassoli Passes Away

The President of the European Union parliament, David Sassoli has died at the age of 65.


The Italian former journalist and centre-left politician had been seriously ill for more than two weeks and cancelled all official activities.


Mr Sassoli was admitted to hospital in Italy last month due to a serious complication with his immune system.


His office said on Twitter that he had died in the town of Aviano, in northeast Italy.


No cause was given, but he had been in poor health. He was hospitalized with severe pneumonia in September during an annual plenary session of the Parliament in Strasbourg, France, and admitted to an Italian hospital on Dec. 26 because his immune system was not functioning normally, his spokesman, Roberto Cuillo, said on Monday on social media.


Mr. Sassoli had a decades-long career in print and broadcast journalism in his native Italy, covering era-defining events like the fall of the Berlin Wall, before trying his hand at politics in 2009.


He was elected as a member of the European Parliament from the center-left Democratic Party and re-elected twice, in 2014 and 2019, the same year he was voted in as president of the body, whose 705 seats bring together deputies from all 27 European Union member states.


He ran an unsuccessful campaign to become mayor of Rome in 2013.


Mr. Sassoli led the Parliament through a difficult period in his two-and-half-year term. He was its first president after Britain left the European Union in early 2020, a historic development that emboldened critics of the E.U. and further fragmented its politics.