Antonio López-Istúriz White
|Antonio López-Istúriz White|
|Member of the European Parliament|
|5th Secretary-General of the European People's Party|
|Preceded by||Alejandro Agag Longo|
1 April 1970 |
Pamplona, Navarre, Spain
|Political party||People's Party (EPP)|
|Alma mater||CEU San Pablo Catholic University|
Antonio López-Istúriz White (born on 1 April 1970 in Pamplona)is a Spanish politician and Member of the European Parliament with the People's Party, Secretary-General of the European People's Party as well as member of the executive committee of the Spanish People's Party, Executive Secretary of the Christian Democrat International and Secretrary Treasurer of the Centre for European Studies, the think-tank of the EPP
First years and education 
Besides Spanish, he speaks English, the language of his mother; French and Italian.
Political career 
Between 1996 and 1997 he worked as coordinator of the education and culture section of the People’s Party in the Autonomous Community of Madrid.
In 1997 he travels to Brussels to work as an assistant to the People’s Party delegation at the European Parliament until 1999, when he was called by then President of the Spanish Government José María Aznar to become his personal assistant, due to which he stayed in Madrid for almost four years.
In 2002 he gets back to Brussels as Secretary-General of the European People’s Party, succeeding another party fellow and former aide to Aznar: Alejandro Agag. Two years later he is elected on the lists of his party as MEP, keeping both offices up to this date (2011).
Parliamentary activity and political interests 
Responsibilities in the European Parliament 
In the European Parliament he sits in the Committee on Legal Affairs. He is a substitute for the Committee on Transport and Tourism, a member of the Delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and a substitute for the Delegation for relations with the countries of south-east Europe.
Relationship with the United States 
López-Istúriz has been always very interested in trans-Atlantic relationships, especially with the United States. As a member of the respective delegation in the European Parliament and also as Secretary-General of the European People’s Party, he travels frequently to that country and holds meetings with politicians and other civil society actors.
López-Istúriz has shown political preference for the Republican Party, in fact endorsing Senator John McCain during the 2008 presidential elections campaign. Nevertheless, he has also met many democrat leaders and expressed his best wishes to Barack Obama after the elections.
Besides holding several meetings with McCain, who is also the president of the International Republican Institute, with which the EPP works, López-Istúriz has met with republicans such as Senator Marco Rubio and congressmen Paul Ryan, Chris Smith, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Díaz-Balart. Along with the latest two and with former congressman Lincoln Díaz-Balart, he has developed initiatives and activities in favour of Cuban democracy, a subject in which he shows interest as well.
He has also hold encounters with democrats such as congressman Albio Sires and congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the President of the Democratic National Committee, and also with some Obama advisors as Rick Holtzapple (Head of European Affairs of the White House), Mike Froman (Obama’s advisor for security affairs) and Miriam Sapiro (responsible of the government for commerce affairs).
In a blog entry of September 2011, he commemorated the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, emphasizing the importance of US-EU cooperation and highlighting the work of the EPP in this affair.
Relationship with Cuban dissidents 
Other subject in which López-Istúriz has been active is Cuban democracy and the Cuban dissident movement.
After the death of dissident Orlando Zapata in February 2010, after 85 days of hunger strike, a group of MEPs including some of his Spaniards colleagues like Jaime Mayor Oreja, José Ignacio Salafranca and Fracisco Millán Mon, brought to the European Parliament a resolution proposal expressing regret over the death of the activist and demanding the communist government the release of all political prisoners.
López-Istúriz adhered to the resolution and during the plenary debate he committed in the name of his party, to sustain the EU's common position on Cuba; he also expressed his solidarity towards Zapata Tamayo’s mother and relatives and his wish of seeing a free Cuba.
In September of that same year, he along Mayor Oreja and Salafranca took four of the 32 Cuban dissidents sent to Spain by the Castro regime, to Brussels in order for them to address the Human Right Committee of the European Parliament and to meet President of the Parliament Jerzy Buzek. Under the initiative of López-Istúriz, they also participated in some European People’s Party activities.
López-Istúriz has maintained that the release of these political prisoners to Spain is actually a forced exile.
Also in 2010, the European Parliament granted the Sakharov Prize of human rights and freedom of thought to dissident Guillermo Fariñas. López-Istúriz was one of the promotes of this move. During the whole process, he took the chance to criticise Spain’s socialist government for its intention to modify the EU's common position on Cuba saying that: "...With this prize, besides, the EU shows clearly its rejection to the Spanish government position and confirms its decision of not to modify the common position towards the island in place since 1996."
Self-Employed Workers 
López-Istúriz has developed an intense job promoting self-employed workers, especially Spaniards. He has met in several occasion with the heads of the Spanish National Federation of Associations of Self-Employed Workers (ATA) and invited its president to the European Parliament, where both of them held meetings and press conferences.
López-Istúriz has insisted in the importance of self-employed workers to overcome the financial crisis, generate employment and distribute the resources.
In a written question to the European Commission, he highlighted the importance of understanding the differences between self-employed workers and SMEs, in order to design efficient policies for both sectors and insisted in the importance of participation of self-employed workers associations in the European and national social dialogue process.
EU Patent 
During the debate on the EU patent, López-Istúriz has joined his Spanish and Italian colleagues in opposing the proposed measure of registering the patents only in three languages: English, French and German.
López-Istúriz has said reiteratively that he favours the adoption of an EU patent, but opposes the use of those three languages letting Spanish aside. Confronting the argument that it is about reducing costs –it is in fact translation costs that make current patents in Europe expensive- he has said in the Parliament plenary that then the registry should be done only in English, dropping the French and German too.
During that same intervention, he was very critical with the use of the enhanced co-operation mechanism to avoid Spanish and Italian opposition, emphasizing that such measure cannot be taken as a way to legitimize two-speed Europe.
Nevertheless, the enhanced cooperation, proposed in this matter by another EPP MEP, Klaus-Heiner Lehne, was approved on the 15 of February 2010 by 471 votes in favour, 160 against and 42 abstentions, and was approved by the Council on 10 March.
The process of definitive adoption of the patent is currently paralyzed.
- http://lopezisturiz.wordpress.com/2011/06/20/al-habla-con-farinas-desde-washington/ ES
- http://lopezisturiz.wordpress.com/2011/09/11/lecciones-del-11-s-visto-desde-bruselas/ ES
- http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+CRE+20100310+ITEM-012+DOC+XML+V0//EN&language=EN&query=INTERV&detail=3-391 EN
- http://www.martinoticias.com/noticias/LOpez-IstUriz_--116120224.html ES
- http://www.semanariolabola.es/La-Firma/El-Premio-Sajarov-a-la-Disidencia-Cubana.html ES
- http://www.ata.es/imagenes/boletinesPdf/eBoletin87.pdf ES Page 2
- http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+WQ+E-2011-005040+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN&language=EN EN
- http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sidesSearch/search.do?type=CRE&language=EN&term=7&author=28399 EN
- http://www.eu2011.hu/news/ep-backs-unitary-european-patent EN
Media related to Antonio López-Istúriz White at Wikimedia Commons
- European Parliament biography of Antonio López-Istúriz White (incl. Speeches, Questions and Motions)
- Declaration (PDF) of financial interests (Spanish)