David Sassoli

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David Maria Sassoli (Italian pronunciation: was an Italian politician and journalist who served as the president of the European Parliament from 3 July 2019 until his death in January 2022. Sassoli was first elected as a member of the European Parliament (MEP) in 2009.

David Sassoli was born in Florence in 1956. He studied at the department of political science at the University of Rome.

He began his career as vince journalist at the newspaper Il Tempo in Rome, before collaborating with various newspapers and ASCA (news agency).

In 1985, he moved to the Roman editorial office of the daily Il Giorno, where he followed the main political and news events for seven years. During this period, he was a direct witness to fundamental historical events, such as the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989. He was enrolled in the register of professional journalists from 3 July 1986 on.

In 1992, he became a news reporter for TG3, and in the same period he collaborated with Michele Santoro for some TV programs such as "Il rosso e il nero" ("The Red and the Black") and "Tempo reale" ("Real Time").

In 1996, he hosted the program "Cronaca in diretta" ("Live coverage"). After a few years, he was appointed anchorman of TG1, where he became one of the most notable and popular journalists in the country.

 In 2007, when Gianni Riotta was appointed the new director of TG1, Sassoli became his deputy director.

Sassoli was also a 'supporter' of "Articolo 21, liberi di..." ("Article 21, free to..."), an Italian association which includes journalists, writers, directors, and lawyers, with the aim of promoting freedom of expression.

Political career

In 2009, Sassoli left his journalism career to enter politics, becoming a member of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and running in the 2009 European Parliament election, for the Central Italy district. On 7 June, he was elected member of the EP with 412,502 personal preferences, becoming the most voted for candidate in his constituency.  From 2009 to 2014, he served as PD's delegation leader in the Parliament.

On 9 October 2012, Sassoli announced his candidacy in the primaries to become the centre-left's candidate as for the office of Mayor of Rome in the 2013 municipal election. He ended up in second place with 28 per cent of the vote, behind Senator Ignazio Marino, who received 55 per cent, and ahead of former minister of communications Paolo Gentiloni. Marino would be later elected mayor, defeating the right-wing incumbent, Gianni Alemanno.

In the European Parliament election of 2014, Sassoli was re-elected to the Parliament, with 206,170 preferences.

 The election was characterized by a strong showing of his Democratic Party, which received 41 per cent of votes.

On 1 July 2014 Sassoli was elected Vice-President of the European Parliament with 393 votes, making him the second most voted for Socialist candidate.

 In addition to his committee assignments, he was a member of the European Parliament Intergroup on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights.

President of the European Parliament

In the 2019 European Parliament election in Italy, Sassoli was re-elected to the European Parliament, with 128,533 votes.

 On 2 July 2019, he was proposed by the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) as the new president of the European Parliament.

 On the following day, Sassoli was elected president by the assembly with 345 votes in favor, succeeding Antonio Tajani.

 He is the seventh Italian to have held the office.

  Sassoli with the newly elected President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen

In his acceptance speech, Sassoli talked about the European project as a dream of peace and democracy. He said European citizens showed that they still believed in the project and talked about being proud of European diversity. He also added that "Europe will be stronger only with a Parliament which plays a more important role".

Moreover, in his first public act as the newly elected president, Sassoli decided to pay tribute to all the victims of terrorism in Europe, attending one of the sites of the 2016 Brussels bombings to commemorate the victims at Maalbeek/Maelbeek metro station. He said: "We must pay tribute to the victims in the capital of Europe. We must commemorate the European citizens who were victims of these attacks. This is a tribute to all the victims of terrorism. I wanted to start my time as President with this symbolic act."

On 19 December 2019, Sassoli asked for the liberation of Oriol Junqueras, former vice president of Catalonia and recently elected MEP, who was imprisoned after the 2017 Spanish constitutional crisis. As a member of the European Parliament, Junqueras benefits from parliamentary immunity. Sassoli urged the Spanish authorities to comply with the European Parliament ruling.

In June 2020, he signed the international appeal in favour of the so-called purple economy (“Towards a cultural renaissance of the economy”)

In April 2021, Sassoli was included in a list of eight public officials that were banned by Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs from entering the country in retaliation for European Union sanctions on Russians.

Personal life

Sassoli was married to Alessandra Vittorini, with whom he had two children, Giulio and Livia.[23] He was a fan of ACF Fiorentina, the football team of his hometown.

Sassoli was an active member of Articolo 21, liberi di... ("Article 21, free to..."),[citation needed] an Italian association, founded on 27 February 2001, which included journalists, writers, directors, and lawyers, with the aim of promoting the Constitutional principle of freedom of expression.


In September 2021 Sassoli was hospitalised in Strasbourg with a severe case of pneumonia. The illness meant he was unable to carry out his duties for more than two months including missing the EU's State of the Union. In December 2021 Sassoli was taken into hospital again, this time in Italy because of a "serious complication due to a dysfunction of the immune system”.[24]

Sassoli died on 11 January 2022 dawn, in Aviano, Italy. He was 65.


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