On Tuesday 11 December, five people were killed in a random terrorist attack at Strasbourg's traditional Christmas market. Two of the victims were journalists: Italian Antonio Megalizzi (29) and his friend Bartek Niedzelski (36) from Poland. Megalizzi covered the European Parliament in Strasbourg, while Niedzelski wrote for local media and was also a well-known figure in the city's cultural life.
On Monday 17 December both victims were commemorated in the press room of the European Commission in Brussels. Chief spokesperson Margaritis Schinas offered condolences on behalf of Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and the pressroom held a moment of silence for their colleagues.
API board member Lorenzo Consoli read a letter from a group of Italian colleagues who knew both victims well. "Antonio had a natural talent: to explain in a simple and clear way the most difficult matter in the world, which is the European Union," the letter read. "He had a 'democratic pop' approach. He also did so by patiently and meticulously dismantling all the fake news and negative myths about institutions." Bartek Niedzelski was described as someone "who could marry any cause with a passion that instilled in people the interest, or at least the curiosity, about what was happening in the world."
Both journalists walked the corridors of the European Parliament. "At every plenary session, doing their job, exactly like you all. And they would have wanted to do it for life. Because, as Antonio always told us, this 'is the most beautiful job in the world'."
Although the killing of the two journalists (and the three other victims) was random and not related to their work as journalists, spokesperson Schinas once again condemned all attacks on freedom of expression and of the press, also in light of the bomb attack this same Monday morning on the offices of the Greek tv-station SKAI TV in Athens, that fortunately made no victims.