A solemn commemoration and tribute has been held the late President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli.
The Italian Socialist MEP passed away when he was in office, on 11 January 2022, aged 65.
His premature death spurred deep emotions among the whole European family and the international community.
The Socialist group, in a statement on Wednesday, said, “Until the very end, he lived his life fighting for a stronger Europe and democracy and for real solidarity among people and nations.
“His legacy of being a true European and a great progressive is strong in our hearts and will always guide us.”
The group leader of the Socialists and Democrats, Iratxe García Pérez, said: “The first thing that struck me about David was his passion for democracy and for Europe. Talking about David, means talking about commitment to a peaceful, united and democratic Europe.
“Remembering David means remembering a great social democrat. He always fought for humane treatment towards migrants, and stood up to defend LGTBI rights. He has been the leader who protected the most vulnerable during the darkest days of the Covid-19 pandemic. No one before had put the house of European democracy at the service of those most in need.
“But above all, remembering David is remembering a good man. His smile and his peaceful regard invited us to meet a brave, daring, wise and honest man.”
The head of the Italian delegation, Brando Benifei, commented:“It has been only one year after David’s passing, but it already feels like an eternity. The whole of Europe is gathered today in his memory and in his honour, to celebrate his life work at the service of European citizens and European democracy.
“Our thoughts go out to his family and his friends, his closest collaborators and all those who have accompanied him in the path to make Europe a better place, more just, and more welcoming. We must find the strength to continue the journey: it will not be easy without him, but he already showed us the way. We will be forever thankful.”