“We are here today, close albeit distant, meeting in this unprecedented manner. This is an extraordinary meeting” of the European Parliament, and “we are all determined to make our contribution to fighting this pandemic. We need to ensure our democratic functioning and the continuation of the Parliament’s work, because it is only thus that we can serve the people, our communities, the healthcare workers who are sacrificing themselves in hospitals throughout Europe”. In his opening speech to the European Parliament’s extraordinary plenary session, David Sassoli went on to say: “Just a few days ago, this horrible virus struck us very closely, taking away the life of a young man who was working here with us in the European Parliament. Our dear Giancarlo, we would like to send your family our sincere and heartfelt condolences, and we would like to send our condolences to the families of all those who lost their lives because of COVID-19”. “Finally, my thoughts go out to all those who fight the virus on a daily basis, bravely and with determination, first of all to the sick, to our medical staff who are working tirelessly throughout Europe, and also to our citizens who have been disciplined, for their responsible behaviour will be crucial to stamp out the pandemic”. Finally: “It will take all our energy and cooperation to ensure that this” extraordinary plenary meeting will take place in an “appropriate manner. Our decisions, the decisions we take today, will help those who are in the front line in trying to tackle this emergency”.