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Pat Cox is president of the European Parliament. He was elected January 15, 2002. Note that this position does not carry as much clout as president of the European Commission, presently Romano Prodi. Since 1998 he has led the European Liberal Democrats, an amalgamation of 19 Liberal Democratic parties from the member states of the EU. As an MEP (member of the European Parliament]) he represents the Irish province of Munster.

He is an ardent European who has battled against the rising Euroscepticism of his native land which culminated in the rejection of the Nice Treaty. If elected president his stated policy aims are to ensure a smooth entry of new member states into the EU, to strive to make the European Commission and Parliament more accountable to the citizens of Europe and to begin initiatives to fight against the apathy or antipathy many Europeans feel towards Brussels.

He was born on the 28th Nov 1952 in Dublin but brought up in Limerick. He graduated in 1974 at Trinity College, Dublin where he developed an interest in politics. He lectured economics at the University of Limerick and went on to become a TV presenter on a current affairs program on RTE.

He was a founder member of the Progressive Democrats, a liberal party in the economic sense, in 1985 and later negotiated their first entry into a coalition government in 1989. He entered the Irish Parliament in 1992 representing the constituency of Cork South Central. In 1999 he railed against the insouciance of the European Commission in the face of mounting charges of corruption demanding that they be held accountable.

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