Wednesday

2nd Dec 2020

Pat Cox biography

The elected president of the European Parliament, the Irish Liberal Pat Cox, has been a member of the European Parliament since 1989, and worked as an economics lecturer and as a journalist before entering politics.

Mr Cox, who speaks Irish and French, is a watchmaker’s son from Dublin who was educated at Trinity College and taught economics in Limerick before becoming presenter of RTE’s flagship current affairs programme, Today Tonight.

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He was elected the leader of the European Liberal Democrat group in 1998 and then was re-elected as the group’s president after the last 1999 elections for the Parliament. He is both Irish and Scottish and claims both roots: "When it comes to drinking I am Irish, when it comes to paying the bill, I am more Scottish," he likes to say. He represents in the Parliament the constituency of Munster, Ireland.

Pat Cox entered politics in 1985, when he became the founding General Secretary of the newly formed Progressive Democrats, a new Liberal Party. He was elected to the European Parliament as a Progressive Democrat MEP in 1989. In 1992 he was elected a member of the Irish Parliament, and he was his party’s Finance spokesman during his term. In 1994 he was re-elected to the European Parliament and nominated the Deputy Leader of the European Liberals. He became the president of the Group in 1998.

Mr Cox is married with six children and divides his time between family in Cork, his constituency of Munster, Brussels and Strasbourg, the seats of the European Parliament, and the wider European stage.

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