EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen:
“È un giorno triste per l’Europa. Oggi la nostra Unione perde un convinto europeista, un sinchero democratico, e un uomo buono.
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. 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.
And 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.
Un uomo que a lottato per la giustizia e la solidarietà, e un buon amico. I miei pensieri vanno alla moglie, Alessandra, ai figli Giulio e Livia, e a tutti i suo-i amichi.”
S&Ds mourn David Sassoli, and continue with the negotiations to elect the Parliament’s president for the second half of the mandate:
Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament mourn the passing away of EP president, David Sassoli. S&D leader Iratxe García today invited everyone in the house to hold a minute of silence in front of the Parliament at 13:00 to pay tribute to Sassoli. The S&Ds will continue with the negotiations to decide on their vote for the president of the second half of the mandate, which will take place next week in Strasbourg.
This evening, S&D MEPs will question the candidate of The Left to become EP president, Sira Rego MEP, and tomorrow morning they will question the EPP candidate, Roberta Metsola. S&D Group president, Iratxe García MEP, said: “Today is a very sad day for all of us. We are devastated by our loss and we will keep working for the values that our friend and colleague David Sassoli fought for. President Sassoli did a great job during the last two years and a half. He made it possible for the parliament to continue its work during the worst period of the pandemic, and led this house in a spirit of dialogue, respect and cooperation; always working for the citizens and for a Europe of cohesion, justice and solidarity.
“We will pay tribute to his memory over the next days and we will remember him when we hold our first group meeting of the New Year this evening, at 18:00.
“Then we will continue with our agenda, as time is pressing to renew the leadership of the Parliament. I will keep negotiating with other political groups, and we will have two hearings – this evening and tomorrow.
“We need to build a pro-European majority in this house to make sure that we can function with responsibility and stability. At the same time, we need assurance that the next EP president and the supporting majority will promote an agenda where we see our priorities and our values represented.
“As yet, nothing is decided, so every decision is open. Our political family is the second largest group in this parliament and we demand a fair political balance – both at a political level and on the administrative structures.
“Our group will only decide our vote in our group meeting next Monday, ahead of the plenary vote.”
ECR (via e-mail):
The European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) expresses its deep sorrow over the death of European Parliament President David Sassoli. Italian ECR Co-Chairman Raffaele Fitto said: “I am very sorry to hear of the death of David Sassoli, a man and politician of great depth with whom I always had fair disputes but shared a very trusting working relationship which, despite our differences of opinion, was always based on respect. On behalf of the ECR Group, I express my deepest condolences to his family and friends.” Polish ECR Co-Chairman Ryszard Legutko said: “The death of President Sassoli is a great loss not only for us MEPs but for the whole of Europe. Respected as a person and for his manner, even by his political opponents, he was someone who listened keenly and who did his utmost to bring different positions together. We will miss him dearly.”
The Left (via e-mail):
Martin Schirdewan, Ko-Vorsitzender der Linksfraktion THE LEFT im Europäischen Parlament, erklärt zum Tod des Parlamentspräsidenten David Sassoli: „David Sassolis Tod hat uns sehr getroffen und bedeutet einen großen Verlust für Europa. Als Präsident hat er das Europäische Parlament gewissenhaft und sorgfältig geführt. Er war ein leidenschaftlicher Demokrat über Parteigrenzen hinweg und pflegte während seiner gesamten Arbeit gute und freundschaftliche Beziehungen zur Linken im Europäischen Parlament. Wir sprechen seinen Angehörigen unser tiefes Mitgefühl aus. David, wir werden dich sehr vermissen!“
German Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, SPD, via his spokesman:
@Regsprecher: “Die Nachricht vom Tod David Sassolis habe ich mit Bestürzung zur Kenntnis genommen. Europa verliert einen engagierten Parlamentspräsidenten, Italien einen klugen Politiker und Deutschland einen guten Freund. Unsere Gedanken sind bei seiner Familie“
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock:
@ABaerbock: Der Tod von David Maria #Sassoli macht mich sehr traurig. Als EP-Präsident gelang es ihm immer wieder, Gräben zu überwinden und so das Parlament als Ganzes zu stärken. Wir werden seinen überzeugten Einsatz für den menschlichen Umgang mit Geflüchteten nicht vergessen.
German Finance Minister Christian Lindner, FDP:
@c_lindner: Der Tod von David #Sassoli erschüttert mich. Wir verlieren einen leidenschaftlichen Europäer, der immer über Parteigrenzen vermittelte und sich in Pandemiezeiten für eine entscheidungskräftiges EU-Parlament einsetzte. Wir trauern mit seiner Familie und seinen Angehörigen. CL
To be updated.