Pat Cox

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Image:Pat Cox Karlspreis.jpg
Pat Cox during a discussion at the 2004 Karlspreis ceremonies

Pat Cox (born 28 November 1952) is an Irish politician and former television current affairs presenter. He was President of the European Parliament from 2002 to 2004.

Born in Dublin but raised in Limerick, Cox first came to prominence as a journalist, then a presenter, with RTÉ's Today Tonight, a four nights a week current affairs programme which dominated the Irish TV schedules in the 1980s. Cox left the programme to become a political candidate. He was elected an MEP in 1989 for the constituency of Munster, representing the Progressive Democrats. In the 1992 General Election he was also elected to Dáil Éireann as a TD for Cork South Central.

Following Desmond O'Malley's retirement from the party leadership in 1993, Cox unsuccessfully stood for election to the post, but was beaten by Mary Harney. Cox became deputy leader.

Cox left the PDs in 1994 in a dispute over his seat as an MEP. It was expected that Cox would not contest his seat in the 1994 European Elections, with O'Malley, who had a large Munster base, becoming the party candidate. However Cox almost literally at the last minute chose to contest the seat as an independent, beating O'Malley, the PD candidate, easily. On being elected, he resigned his Dáil seat and a by-election was held on November 10 2004, won by Fine Gael.

He was elected president of the ELDR group in the European Parliament in 1998 and was unanimously re-elected Group President in June 1999 following the elections to the European Parliament. He resigned this post when he became President of the European Parliament on January 15 2002in accordance with an agreement between the European People's Party (Christian Democrats)and the ELDR groups at the start of the term (in the customary two-way split of the five-year Presidency of the European Parliament).

On 20 May 2004 he was awarded the Karlspreis for his achievements with regard to the enlargement of the European Union and for his work in promoting greater EU democratisation.

He did not contest the 2004 elections to the European parliament. The Christian Democrats (European People's Party - EPP)and Socialist Groups agreed athe customary two-way split of the Presidency of the European Parliament. [[Josep Borrell Fontelles]a Spanish Socialist assumed the Presidency on 20 July 2004 until January 15, 2007. The latter will be succeeded by Hans Gert Pöttering, a German Christian Democrat (EPP) until June 30, 2010.

In 2006 he was elected President of European Movement.The European Movement is an international lobby association that coordinates the efforts of associations and private individuals desiring to work towards the construction of a united Europe.

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Preceded by:
Nicole Fontaine
President of the European Parliament
Succeeded by:
Josep Borrell
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Pat Cox

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