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French Green Mep Michèle Rivasi Dead at 70

Longtime lawmaker had been a European parliamentarian since 2009.

Michèle Rivasi, a French member of European Parliament from the Greens/European Free Alliance group, died Wednesday at the age of 70, according to her office.

The EU lawmaker was a combative presence in Parliament. She was a champion for numerous causes in public health, the environment and transparency in public administration.

She could be withering for those bearing the brunt of her cross-examinations, for example during sessions of the budget control committee where she sat.

“The passing of Michèle Rivasi is an immense loss for political ecology, European democracy, and for all those who had the privilege of knowing her and working alongside her. Her colleagues and team salute her courage, integrity, and closeness to the people. Her qualities of heart endured until the end,” reads a statement sent from her office. 

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said on social media that Rivasi’s passing meant that Parliament “loses an experienced MP with deep convictions, committed and hardworking.”

The EU lawmaker got her start in politics in the wake of the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown, when she founded an NGO that analyzed radioactivity in the environment after the nuclear disaster. She was elected to the French national assembly in 1997 as a socialist, and served as a member until 2002.

In 2009 she ran and won a seat in the European Parliament as a Green, and then was twice reelected, in 2014 and 2019.

Rivasi was a well-known political figure in France, and a visible campaigner across a number of issues, including the use of pesticides, pharmaceutical company practices and nuclear energy.

She’s also been at the center of controversy, most recently for her skepticism toward what she saw as over-extensive vaccination. She was also critical of French President Emmanuel Macron’s vaccine mandate.

Rivasi was known as a pugnacious fighter for transparency. She was one of the MEPs, for example, who fought to have the Commission’s vaccine procurement contracts shared with the wider public.

Source: Politico