MEPs pay tribute to Marielle de Sarnez

De Sarnez, who was an MEP from 1999 until 2017, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 69.

By Lorna Hutchinson

Lorna Hutchinson is Deputy Editor of The Parliament Magazine

14 Jan 2021

Marielle de Sarnez, long-standing MEP and former French Minister for European Affairs, has passed away from leukemia at the age of 69.

Tributes flooded in from the world of French politics, led by President Emmanuel Macron, who called de Sarnez “a passionate fighter for Europe.”

He added, “France is losing a highly talented political leader. We are losing a friend.”

Former colleagues from the European Parliament also expressed their sadness at the news of de Sarnez’s death.

Renew Europe leader Dacian Cioloş said, “I am very sad to learn of the death of Marielle de Sarnez, a pillar of the democratic family for many years in the European Parliament and tireless activist for the European cause.”

He added, “The whole Renew Europe group shares the grief of her loved ones.”

“Great MEP, true to her convictions but devoid of sectarianism, together we have fought well. More than 10 years of continuous dialogue. I will miss her” Younous Omarjee, GUE/NGL

French Renew Europe deputy Nathalie Loiseau called de Sarnez “a strong personality,” adding, “we always notice it when we talk about a woman. But it takes character to be a woman in politics!”

S&D leader Iratxe García Pérez said, “Beyond our political differences, I would like to salute her passion and her commitment to Europe. Thoughts for her family and loved ones.”

French GUE/NGL deputy Younous Omarjee said he was in shock at the death of de Sarnez.

“Great MEP, true to her convictions but devoid of sectarianism, together we have fought well. More than 10 years of continuous dialogue. I will miss her.”

German Renew Europe MEP Jan-Christoph Oetjen said, “What sad news. A great European has left us. All my condolences. We will continue the fight for her cause.”

Former Belgian Prime Minister and Renew Europe member Guy Verhofstadt said, “We are not only losing a great European who has fought so many fights for Europe for so many years, but also a pillar of the centrist movement.”

“Marielle de Sarnez, a pillar of the democratic family for many years in the European Parliament and tireless activist for the European cause”

Dacian Cioloş, Renew Europe leader

French Renew Europe deputy Stéphane Bijoux said, “With a lively and courageous intelligence, the strength of Marielle de Sarnez was impressive.”

“Her desire for openness and demand for democracy fuelled her fight for a strong Europe. Mt thoughts go to her family, her political group and my colleagues.”

Fellow French Renew Europe MEP Sylvie Brunet said, “Our dearest Marielle has passed away. I am overwhelmed by this terrible news and my heart goes out to her family.”

“She had this grace, this elegance that exceptional people exude.”

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