Jim Nicholson has represented the people of Northern Ireland in the European Parliament since 1989 and is consequently one of its longest serving members. Before becoming an MEP, Jim served as NI Assembly member from 1982-1986, Member of Parliament for Newry and Armagh from 1983-1986, and Mayor of Armagh in 1995-6.
During his time in the European Parliament, Jim has held some key positions which include Chairman of the Delegation for relations with Australia and New Zealand (1997-2002) and Chairman of the Delegation for relations with the United States (2002-2004). In 2004, Jim was elected by his fellow MEPs as a Quaestor and consequently served as a member of the Bureau - the internal decision-making body of the European Parliament - for five years.
After a successful re-election in June 2009, Jim began his fifth term in office as MEP for Northern Ireland. In the European Parliament, Jim sits with the Conservative delegation which, with 25 MEPs, constitutes the largest national grouping in the European Conservative and Reformists Group (ECR).
Jim currently sits on two committees; Agriculture and Rural Development and Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. His role on these committees is to do his best to ensure that the legislation passing through them is in line with the interests of Northern Ireland and the policies of the ECR Group.
The majority of Jim's legislative work focuses on Agriculture. Due to his experience and expertise in this field, Jim was appointed as Coordinator for the ECR group for this policy area at the beginning of the new legislature. CAP reform and expected budget cuts for agriculture will undoubtedly dominate the agenda of the Agriculture Committee in the run up to 2013.
The ratification of the Lisbon Treaty means that the European Parliament now shares co-decision powers with the Council. In this context, Jim is committed to ensuring that Northern Ireland has a strong voice in the Agriculture Committee during a period which could potentially see significant reshaping of the Common Agricultural Policy.
As a member of the Environment Committee, Jim concentrates his legislative activity on dossiers which relate to matters of public health or which have a direct impact on agriculture, for example legislation relating to the use of pesticides.
With regards to delegations, Jim currently serves as 5th Vice-Chairman of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly which works towards promoting human rights and democracy in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries within the framework of the Cotonou Agreement. He is also a substitute member on the Delegation for relations with the Korean Peninsula.