EU legislature chief stepping down
STRASBOURG, France -- European Parliament President Pat Cox has announced he will not run for re-election in June, ending more than two years as leader of the EU legislature.
Cox bid an emotional farewell to his fellow European Parliament members (MEPs) on Wednesday in his final speech as president.
"Serving as an MEP for 15 years and as president for almost two and half years has been the great experience of my life," he said at parliament's last legislative session before the June 10 elections.
Cox did not say what he would do next but hinted he would remain involved in European affairs.
"Europe has been the cause of my political life. I will continue serving the cause in any way that I can," he said.
Cox, a Liberal MEP, said he told his constituents in Munster in the Republic of Ireland of his decision Wednesday morning.
Cox received a standing ovation from a packed chamber, which included European Commission President Romano Prodi and UK Commissioner Neil Kinnock.
Before entering politics, Cox lectured in economics and was a presenter on Irish television.