“Sincere and passionate European, we already miss his human warmth, his generosity, his friendliness and his smile”, reacted the President of the European Council Charles Michel.
“I am extremely saddened by this terrible loss of a great European and proud Italian, attentive journalist, extraordinary President of the Parliament and above all a dear friend”, echoed the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
His group, the Social Democrats (S&D), the second political force in the European Parliament, had given up in mid-December to present a candidate, paving the way for the election of the EPP candidate (right), the current first Vice-President of Parliament, the Maltese Roberta Metsola.
“My heart is broken. Europe has lost a leader, I have lost a friend, democracy has lost a champion, ”the latter said on Twitter.
“We will remember a democratic and pro-European leader. You were bright, generous, happy, ”added his compatriot Paolo Gentiloni, European Commissioner for the Economy. “His kindness was an inspiration to all,” said Frans Timmermans, vice-president of the Commission.
In Belgium, some MEPs have also already reacted, in particular Benoît Lutgen who salutes “a passionate of European construction” who led the institution with “a firm but always benevolent hand”.