Richard Howitt is a Labour Member of the European Parliament for the East of England, first elected in 1994.
He is Vice Chair of the Human Rights Sub Committee, a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy and is the Labour European Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs. Richard is a member of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, and was recently a member of the Parliament mission to the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva, and to monitor the Palestinian Presidential elections.
He is also a member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, and is European Parliament Spokesperson on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). He successfully led the preparation of the Parliamentary report on CSR, which represented a major step towards establishing international regulation for multinational companies. Richard has also been European Parliament representative at the EU Multistakeholder Forum on CSR,and has organised annual hearings in the European Parliament on the impact of European enterprises on developing countries.
He was a member of the EU-ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly and Parliament's Development Committee for nine years, regularly campaigns to raise awareness of Fair Trade issues, and has written a number of parliamentary reports on Europe's relations with developing countries.
Richard is the President of the All-Party Disability Intergroup at the European Parliament and Labour's European Disability Rights spokesperson. He has campaigned on social, anti-discrimination and, in particular, disability issues for many years, campaigned for disability to be considered a human rights issue, and previously worked in community care for people with disabilities.
Eleven years an elected councillor, three as Leader of Harlow Council, Richard speaks on local government issues in the European Parliament, and is European vice-president of Britain's Local Government Association.
In brief: BA (Hons) Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University (1982); Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies at University of Hertfordshire (1992); Volunteer organiser, Harlow (1982-6); Disability rights worker, London (1986-94); UK Parliamentary candidate, Billericay (1987); Member of Labour Party National Policy Forum (1994-); Member of Labour Party Britain in the World Policy Commission (1997-); Councillor, Harlow District Council (1983-95); Leader of Harlow Council (1991-94); Honorary Vice-President, Local Government Association (1994-); Member of the European Parliament (1994-); Vice Chairman of EP Committee on Regional Policy (1997-9); Co-Chairman of Comittee on Trade and Economic Issues, ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (2002-2004); Vice Chairman of EP Human Rights SubCommittee (2004-); Chairman of EP Disability Intergroup (1994-).