President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, has died in hospital in Italy, his spokesman Roberto Cuillo says.
The 65-year-old Italian had been seriously ill in hospital for over two weeks due to an immune system disorder.
He died at 1:15 a.m. this Tuesday in Aviano, a city in northeastern Italy.
Sassoli was first elected at the European Parliament in 2009.
He won another term in 2014 and served as the Parliament’s vice president.
Sassoli had decided not to run for reelection when lawmakers vote to appoint their new president later this month.
The European Parliament, headquartered in Strasbourg, France, represents the 450 million citizens of the European Union and refers to itself as “the heart of European democracy.”
It is one of the seven branches of the EU and has more than 700 members directly elected by its member nations.