Blog post

Tribute to David Sassoli, a driving force in Europe’s social conscience

The Delors Institutes in Paris, Berlin (Jacques Delors Centre) and Brussels (Europe Jacques Delors) are saddened by the death of the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli and express sincere condolences to his family. Enrico Letta, the President of our Institute in Paris and compatriot of Mr. Sassoli, mourns a friend and political companion.

With his sudden passing, a deeply valued representative of European social conscience has gone. As head of the European Parliament during the pandemic, David Sassoli endeavoured not only to ensure the continuity of its work in the interests of democracy, but also to ensure access to it for the most disadvantaged in his quest for social justice. This same commitment to fighting poverty led him to dedicate his first trip to France to the Restaurants du Coeur in support of the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived, which was initiated by Mr. Jacques Delors.

David Sassoli’s name is also inseparable from the liberalisation of rail transport, an issue on which the social-democrat MEP proved his talents as a capable compromise builder in 2017.

At the beginning of his mandate as President of the European Parliament in 2019, David Sassoli gave us the honour of speaking at the Jacques Delors Institute’s annual soirée in Paris. We remember his passion for Europe, his exquisite simplicity in taking action and his attentiveness to all, which his teams in the Parliament also valued. His voice, well known in Italy by RAI viewers during his time as a journalist, will certainly be missed on the European political scene.

Our founding president Jacques Delors has expressed his deepest sympathies to the Sassoli family and joins the Jacques Delors network in the statements made herein.

Pascal Lamy

Coordinator of the Jacques Delors think tank network, Paris-Berlin-Brussels

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The Jacques Delors Institute is a European think tank founded by Jacques Delors in 1996 (under the name Notre Europe), at the end of his presidency of the European Commission. Based in Paris, it is chaired by Enrico Letta and directed by Sébastien Maillard. It operates in collaboration with the Centre Jacques Delors (Hertie School, Berlin) and Europe Jacques Delors (Brussels).