The funeral service took place in the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri in Rome, where state funerals are traditionally celebrated in Italy. Among those present were EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, EU Council President Charles Michel and EU Competition Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni.
Italy was represented by President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Mario Draghi. The Vice President of the EU Parliament, Othmar Karas, and the President of the National Council, Wolfgang Sobotka (both ÖVP), were also expected. The President of the German Bundestag, Bärbel Bas, took part in the funeral service as the representative for Germany. Spain was represented by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who Sassolis Widow Alessandra and his children Livia and Giulio condoled. A delegation from the European Parliament traveled to Rome to Sassoli to say goodbye
The coffin, which was laid out on Thursday in the Capitol, the Roman town hall, was carried into the church wrapped in an EU flag. About 300 people attended the funeral ceremony, which was presided over by the Archbishop of Bologna, Matteo Zuppi, a former school friend Sassolis, was celebrated. “David lived for his ideals, especially the ideal of a united Europe,” emphasized Zuppi. A crowd gathered in front of the basilica and watched the state funeral on a large screen.
The former Italian journalist and longtime MEP died in an Italian hospital on Tuesday at the age of 65. According to his spokesman, he had been there for more than two weeks “for a serious complication due to a dysfunction of the immune system”. Sassoli has been ill for a long time and has been treated in Italy since December 26th.
The death Sassolis caused great consternation in European politics. Many praised the politician and journalist for his commitment to the European Union. The former President of the European Parliament and Sassolis Predecessor Antonio Tajani proposed the seat of the new European Parliament Sassoli to dedicate.