Pat Cox President of the European Parliament between 2002 – 2004 is an informed politician ideally placed to offer an innovative and interesting speech at the La Touche Legacy Dinner on Saturday 24th September in Greystones Golf Club.
Pat Cox served as President of the European Parliament from January 2002 until July 2004. During his Presidency he campaigned ceaselessly throughout Europe to promote the enlargement of the European Union, including vigorous campaigning in the Irish referendum on the Nice Treaty and the subsequent accession referenda throughout Central and Eastern Europe.
Starting in 1989 Pat Cox was first elected to the European Parliament as a Member for the constituency of Munster in the Republic of Ireland. He was elected three times to Parliament and served, among others, on the Economic and Monetary Affairs, Institutional Affairs and Legal Affairs Committees of the European Parliament. Pat Cox has also been a Member, prior to their accession, of the Joint Parliamentary Committees to Sweden, Austria and Hungary and served also on the Parliamentary Delegation to South Africa. He was elected President of the European Liberal Democrat Group in 1998 and played a decisive role on the question of parliamentary accountability of the Executive towards the end of the life of the Santer Commission. He was unanimously re-elected as Group President in June 1999 following the elections to the European Parliament.
Between 1986 and 1989 Cox was the founding Secretary General of the Progressive Democrats in Ireland and represented that party in Dail Eireann in the early Nineties as their finance spokesman. Between 1982 and 1986 Pat Cox worked as an RTE current affairs reporter and presenter. He reported on Irish and international political and economic events, including US presidential elections and United Kingdom and French general elections.
Pat Cox graduated from Trinity College in Dublin in 1974 and went on to become an economics lecturer at the Institute of Public Administration in Dublin and the University of Limerick. During this time he contributed to the first ever undergraduate programme for European studies at an Irish university. Pat Cox has received many awards and distinctions for his European leadership, including Freeman of his home city, Limerick, Honorary Doctorates from the National University of Ireland, Trinity College Dublin and the American College Dublin, and the President’s Medal of the University of Limerick. He has been conferred by their respective Presidents with the highest national honours of Italy, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Romania. In 2003 he was presented in Poland with the Special Diploma of the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the “Promotion of Poland in Europe” and he was awarded the Polish Business Oscar for 2003. In May 2004 Pat Cox was the recipient of the “International Charlemagne Prize” in Aachen for his outstanding contribution to the EU enlargement process. In Brussels he has twice been recognised in award ceremonies for his parliamentary activity, being named “Member of the European Parliament of the Year” in 2001 and “Campaigner of the Year” in 2003. The American Chamber of Commerce to the EU, following a vote, presented Pat Cox with the “Transatlantic Business Award of the Year 2004”. Pat Cox is a Member of the Board of Trustees of the “International Crisis Group” and of “Friends of Europe”.
Having worked closely with all matters concerning member States of the E.U Pat Cox is ideally placed to offer crucial insights into the European market place and all the challenges it faces and the La Touche Legacy committee are delighted that he has agreed to attend.