EU parliament head Sassoli dies of immune complication
David Sassoli, the president of the European Parliament, died early Tuesday following an immune complication, according to his spokesman.
Sassoli, who was 65, had been under care in Aviano, Italy, Robert Cuillo, his spokesman, said on Twitter. He had been hospitalized since 26 December due to a “serious complication due to a dysfunction of the immune system,” according to a statement released on Monday.
The Italian Socialist was chosen in 2019 to lead the European legislature in a deal that also saw Ursula von der Leyen tapped to become European Commission President.
Sassoli was a former journalist and decade-long veteran of the EU Parliament.
“David Sassoli was a passionate journalist, an extraordinary President of the European Parliament and above all a dear friend,” von der Leyen wrote on Twitter after the announcement.
Lawmakers are due to elect a new president 18 January.
During his stint at the parliament, Sassoli led on the European railway reform and the Single European Sky as a member of the Committee for Transport and Tourism.
In an address to EU leaders last month, Sassoli said that Europe needs most of all “a new project of hope,” through innovation in all areas, protection of Europeans and its democratic model.
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