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Fri, 15 Nov 2019 18:38 GMT

David Sassoli - The EU Parliament’s New President


Roberto Tumbarello

Mon, 08 Jul 2019 14:25 GMT

Proposed by the socialist party, the Italian MP David Maria Sassoli was elected president of the European parliament with 345 votes. He will preside over the Strasbourg assembly for the first half of the legislature. For the next two and a half years he will leave the presidency to a representative of the EPP, the European Popular Party. 

As soon as the election took place in Strasbourg, the President of the Chamber of Deputies in Rome, Roberto Fico, communicated the news to the assembly, which exploded in thunderous applause from which the deputies of the League abstained. Indeed, Matteo Salvini leader of the League and minister of Interior did not withhold negative comments on the election of a left-wing parliamentarian to the presidency of the European Parliament. 

David Sassoli is 63 years old, having been born in Florence on May 30th 1956. He is a member of the Democratic Party from three legislatures. He graduated in Political Science at the Cesare Alfieri University. Married to Alessandra Vittorini, they have two children, Giulio and Livia. He is a Fiorentina Football supporter. Before turning to politics, he was a professional journalist and television presenter. 

He began writing in small provincial newspapers to arrive in Rome in the editorial office of "Il Giorno", a newspaper where he worked for seven years. He joined RAI in 1992, in the editorial office of TG3. Passed to Rai2 he immediately came to light conducting the afternoon broadcast "Cronaca Diretta". Moving to Rai1 he presented the news at 1.00pm and then the evening news of 8:00pm. Then he progressed to more important in-depth broadcasts like "Prima" and "Speciale TG1". 

Being a well-known face on national TV, in 2009 the Democratic Party, with whom Sassoli sympathises, nominated him as a candidate in the European elections as leaders in the constituency of central Italy. In 2013 he was a candidate for the party primaries for mayor of Rome but he was overtaken by Senator Ignazio Marino, who was then elected to the Campidoglio. 

The new president of the European Parliament is a supporter of "Article 21", an association that brings together journalists, writers, movie directors and lawyers who promote the principle of freedom of thought. 

Having just been elected by the Strasbourg assembly, Sassoli underlined the need to review the Dublin agreements that penalise Italy, which, with its eight thousand kilometers of coastline across the Mediterranean, is the country where most migrants from Africa arrive. The Dublin Convention establishes an unfair rule according to which migrants must remain in the country where they are registered. Instead it would be fairer that, after recognition, they be proportionately and equally relocated to all EU countries. 

President Sassoli, having noted that the vast majority of the European Parliament is in agreement with reforming the Dublin Treaty, immediately sent a message to the new European Commission chaired by the German popular Ursula von der Leyen to persuade her on the need for new rules to address the problem of emigration more effectively. 

In his introductory speech, David Sassoli reiterated the importance of the community institution as an antidote to the nationalist degeneration that poisons history. 

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