The president of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, has spent more than two weeks ill in hospital with all of his official engagements canceled, his spokesman announced on Monday.

Confirming that Sassoli was hospitalized in Italy on December 26, Roberto Cuillo said that it “was necessary because of a serious complication due to a dysfunction of the immune system.”

As a result, all official activities of the president of the European Parliament have been canceled,” Cuillo said.

The past few months have been bumpy for Sassoli, 65, who has been the parliament’s president since 2019. In September he was hospitalized with a severe case of pneumonia. He later returned to his home country of Italy to recover, but a relapse of illness prevented his timely return to official duties.

Sassoli’s term as head of the EU parliament is due to end later this month and he is not expected to stand for re-election.

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