William Horsley is a much-respected journalist and former BBC foreign correspondent who has gained personal insights into the UK’s often stormy relationship with its European neighbours through twenty years of close-up reporting and engagement with the key issues and personalities.

After graduating from Pembroke College, Oxford, in 1971 with a degree in Oriental Studies William joined the BBC, where at first he worked on The World Tonight on Radio 4, produced The Week in Westminster and was news presenter on BBC 2’s Newsnight. In the Eighties he was appointed the BBC’s Tokyo Correspondent and Bureau Chief, reporting on Japan’s rise to economic superpower status, the ‘people power’ revolutions in the Philippines and South Korea, and the immediate aftermath of the Tien An Men massacre in China.

In the 1990s William moved to Europe, and since then has had a ringside seat at the unfolding political battles over the expanding powers of the EU, often pitting the UK against its most powerful neighbours, France and Germany. He was Germany Correspondent for BBC TV and Radio News from 1991 to 1997, and then worked as BBC European Affairs correspondent and presenter of Europe Direct (BBC World TV and News 24), travelling widely throughout Europe and beyond. He conducted the only official British TV interview with Chancellor Helmut Kohl after German re-unification, and reported on the European integration ‘project’ from the Maastricht Treaty in 1991 to Lisbon in 2007 as well as the re-making of Europe’s political landscape through EU Enlargement. He was in Moscow to witness the rise of Vladimir Putin to the post of Russian President, and in 2001 he was among the first British journalists to fly into the USA to cover the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

William left the BBC staff in 2007 to follow wider policy interests. As international director of the Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM) at the University of Sheffield he now advises the Council of Europe and UNESCO on issues related to press freedom, the rule of law and democracy-building. He is also the UK Chairman of the Association of European Journalists (AEJ) as well as the AEJ’s international Media Freedom Representative.