Based in Lisbon, Paul Ames covers southern and western Europe and focuses on the European Union. Ames embarked on a new career as a freelance reporter in 2009 after 20 years covering Europe for the Associated Press. As the AP’s NATO correspondent he closely followed the transformation of the old Cold War alliance as it embraced former foes in Eastern Europe and took on new combat roles in Afghanistan and the Balkans. During his years covering the European Union, Ames followed the complex creation of the euro as a pan-continental currency, the often tortuous attempts to draft treaties binding Europe’s diverse nations together and the emergence of the EU as a major player on the world stage. His work has taken him from the corridors of power in Brussels to just about every country on the continent and beyond. He has reported on assignment from conflicts in Rwanda, Angola, Burundi, Congo and Afghanistan. As well as hard news, Ames writes travel, arts and lifestyle features and regularly covers business and sports. Ames grew up in eastern England. He studied in London, Nice and Luxembourg before starting out as a journalist.