It is a sad day for the European Union. From the European Disability Forum, we would like to express our deepest condolences on the loss of European Parliament President David Sassoli, who was always very sensitive to the situation of persons with disabilities. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and colleagues at this difficult time.
Respectively described as a “sincere and passionate European” and an “outstanding President of the European Parliament” by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel, David Sassoli was also an ally of the disability movement. EDF President, Yannis Vardakastanis said:
I met President Sassoli almost one year ago. I remember meeting someone invested and committed to others. He believed in people and the Parliament as the truly representative institution of all European citizens. He had strong values and was not afraid to recognize the far too many violations of human rights against persons with disabilities. He was also a man and a politician of integrity who oversaw the European Parliament’s commitment to removing barriers and ensuring equal access to every sector for people living with disabilities, protecting their rights throughout the EU. His commitment to an inclusive Europe has and will continue to inspire a positive change.
In 2019, Sassoli presented his vision for the EU Parliament as an institution which is “modern, more transparent, environmentally sound” and “accessible to citizens”. A vision he reaffirmed during his meeting last year with EDF President Yannis Vardakastanis, in which both discussed the role of the European Parliament in ensuring the rights of 100 million persons with disabilities in Europe.
“We need to increase the ability of the institutions to react. All the initiatives of the European Parliament should include a disability rights approach. We have to be the champions in this field to lead progress”. European Parliament President David Sassoli said back then.
Photo credit: Â© European Union 2021 – Source: EP / DAINA LE LARDIC