Pietro Bartolo

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Pietro Bartolo
Pietro Bartolo (33859027662) (cropped).jpg
Member of the European Parliament
for Italian Islands
Assumed office
2 July 2019[1][2]
Personal details
Born (1956-02-10) 10 February 1956 (age 65)
Lampedusa e Linosa, Italy
Political partyDemocratic Party
Other political
Solidary Democracy
Alma materUniversity of Catania
ProfessionMedical Director

Pietro Bartolo (born 10 February 1956 in Lampedusa) is an Italian doctor and politician who was elected as a Member of the European Parliament in 2019 for the Democratic Party.[3]

He is known to have been, from 1992 to 2019, the responsible medician for first visits to migrants who land in Lampedusa: in 25 years he examined and cared for about 250,000 refugees on the island.

Education and early career[edit]

Bartolo is a medical surgeon who graduated from the University of Catania, specialized in gynecology. Appointed in 1988 head of the medical cabinet of the Italian Air Force in Lampedusa, in 1991 he was health officer of the Pelagie Islands. In 1993 he became responsible for the health service and the outpatient clinic of Lampedusa, under the control of the Healt District of Palermo.

Political career[edit]

Career in local politics[edit]

Bartolo was a town councillor in the municipality of Lampedusa e Linosa from 1988 to 2007, and was vice mayor and health councillor of the municipality of Pelagie from 1988 to 1993. Since 1992, he has also been taking care of the first visits to all the migrants who land in Lampedusa from Africa and those who stay in the reception centre. In March 2011 he was appointed coordinator of all health activities in the Pelagian Islands by the then Health Councillor of the Sicilian Region Massimo Russo.[4]

Despite having been hit by a cerebral ischaemia a few weeks earlier,[5] he was in the front row in rescuing the survivors of the Lampedusa Shipwreck of 3 October 2013 of a fishing boat carrying over 500 migrants, in which 368 people lost their lives.[6]

He takes part in the documentary film Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare) by Gianfranco Rosi, which in February 2016 won the Golden Bear at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival and nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 89th Academy Awards.

A supporter of the reception of immigrants and asylum seekers and of the need for humanitarian corridors against human trafficking, he took part as a guest in several Italian television programmes. In July 2019, having placed himself on leave for the parliamentary term, he was replaced at the head of the outpatient clinic in Lampedusa by former MP Francesco Cascio.[7]

In the 2018 Italian general election, Free and Equal announced his candidacy in the Senate, but in the end Bartolo renounced it.[8] Then he joined Solidary Democracy in February 2019.[9]

Member of the European Parliament, 2019–present[edit]

In the 2019 European Parliament election in Italy Bartolo stood for election to the lists of the Democratic Party for the island and central Italian constituencies, being elected in both constituencies and reaching first place (with 135,098 votes, plus 808 votes from abroad) and second place (with 139,158 votes, plus 895 votes from abroad) respectively.[10] He opted for the island district and took office in the European Parliament on 2 July 2019.

In parliament, Bartolo joined the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D). He is vice-chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) and member of the European Parliament Committee on Fisheries (PECH).

In addition to his committee assignments, Bartolo is part of the Parliament’s delegation to the ACP–EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.[11] He is also a member of the European Parliament Intergroup on Cancer[12] and the Spinelli Group.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Bartolo is married and has three children.


  • Pietro Bartolo; Lidia Tilotta (2016). Lacrime di sale. La mia storia quotidiana di medico di Lampedusa fra dolore e speranza [Salt tears. My daily story as a doctor from Lampedusa between pain and hope]. Milan: Mondadori. ISBN 978-88-04-66973-9.
  • Pietro Bartolo (2018). Le stelle di Lampedusa. La storia di Anila e di altri bambini che cercano il loro futuro fra noi [The stars of Lampedusa. The story of Anila and other children looking for their future among us]. Milan: Mondadori. ISBN 978-88-04-70527-7.


  1. ^ "Key dates ahead". European Parliament. 20 May 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Key dates ahead". BBC News. 22 May 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Chi è stato eletto alle Europee". Il Post (in Italian). 28 May 2019. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  4. ^ "La storia: Bartòlo, il medico di Lampedusa - Quotidiano Sanità". www.quotidianosanita.it. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  5. ^ "Adnkronos". www1.adnkronos.com. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  6. ^ ""Fuocoammare", il protagonista Pietro Bartolo il giorno dopo la tragedia a Lampedusa dell'ottobre 2013". www.ilmessaggero.it (in Italian). Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  7. ^ "Dalla Regione a Lampedusa, la seconda vita da medico referente di Cascio". Giornale di Sicilia (in Italian). Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  8. ^ Repubblica Palermo
  9. ^ "Demos". Archived from the original on 31 May 2019. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Scrutini". Eligendo. Ministero dell'Interno.
  11. ^ Pietro Bartolo European Parliament.
  12. ^ Intergroup European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC).
  13. ^ Board & Members Spinelli Group.

See also[edit]