Pierre Werner

Pierre Werner

Infobox_Prime Minister
name = Pierre Werner
nationality = Luxembourgian

order = 19th Prime Minister of Luxembourg
21st Prime Minister of Luxembourg
term_start = 1959-03-02
term_end = 1974-06-15
1979-07-16 – 1984-07-20
vicepresident =
predecessor = (1) Pierre Frieden
(2) Gaston Thorn
successor = (1) Gaston Thorn
(2) Jacques Santer
birth_date = 1913-12-29
birth_place = Lille, France
death_date = 2002-06-24
death_place = Luxembourg City
party = Christian Social People's Party
spouse =
religion = Roman Catholic
order2 =
term_start2 =
term_end2 =
president =
predecessor2 =
successor2 =|

Pierre Werner (29 December 1913 - 24 June 2002) was a Luxembourg politician. Pierre Werner was born in Saint André near Lille in France from Luxemburg parents. During the Nazi occupation of Luxembourg (1940-45) Werner, working as a banker, gave clandestine support to the resistance against the occupation forces. After World War 2 he became the Comtroller of the banking system in his country. He attended the Bretton Woods conference which set up the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Werner entered the Luxembourg government as Finance Minister in 1953, and was Prime Minister from 1959 to 1974 and from 1979 to 1984. He also served as Minister for Culture.

As Prime minister, Werner, a Christian Democrat, undertook the diversification of the national economy, hard hit by a major Europe-wide crisis in the steel industry, by attracting new industrial investments, as well as financial services to the Grand Duchy. He placed Luxembourg on the map of global satellite communications. He is remembered for having used “tripartite” social mediation (industry, labour and government) to overcome the severe steel crisis which lasted from 1979 to 1984. He placed the process of European integration at the centre of the policy of his country. With friends such as Joseph Bech, Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman, Werner was a determined advocate of European integration. During his terms in office, he negotiated the relocation of several European institutions to Luxembourg.

Werner was instrumental in solving the "empty chair" crisis provoked in 1965 by President Charles de Gaulle who, dissatisfied with the orientations of European integration at that time, had decided France would suspend its participation in meetings with other Member States; Werner persuaded France to resume its seat, thus re-enabling the decision-making process. In 1970, Werner was given the mandate by the heads of State or government to draft, with a group of experts, a blueprint for an economic and monetary union within the EEC. The “Werner Plan” was later revived and extended by Jacques Delors. Its principles were enshrined in the Treaty of Maastricht, paving the way for the Single European Currency, i.e. the euro.

The Pierre Werner Institute' was created in Luxembourg in 2003 at the behest of the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and Luxembourg (at the time, respectively Dominique de Villepin, Joschka Fischer and Lydie Polfer), Erna Hennicot-Schoepges, then Minister for Culture, universities and research in Luxembourg, having fostered the project. IPW organizes seminars and conferences aimed at promoting better understanding among the 3 founding countries, but also more widely throughout Europe.

Werner, a sponsor of culture and especially music, actively promoted the restoration of Luxembourg's heritage (e.g. Vianden Castle). A keen fan of cricket since living in London, the United Kingdom, in 1930, Werner was Honorary President of the Optimists Cricket Club, which he promoted during, between, and after his premierships. [cite web|url=http://www.optimists.cc/optimists/pwobituary.htm |title=Pierre Werner |accessdate=2006-10-08 |year=2002 |publisher=Optimists Cricket Club ] In his honour, Luxembourg's main cricket ground, the Pierre Werner Cricket Ground in Walferdange, is named after him.

Pierre Werner died on June 24, 2002, in Luxembourg City.

Notes and references

External links


s-ttl|title=Minister for Defence
years=1953 – 1959

-s-ttl|title=Minister for Finances
years=1953 – 1974

-s-ttl|title=Minister for Justice
years=1953 – 1967

-s-ttl|title=Prime Minister of Luxembourg
1st time
years=1959 – 1974

-s-ttl|title=Minister for Foreign Affairs
years=1964 – 1967

-s-ttl|title=Prime Minister of Luxembourg
2nd time
years=1979 – 1984

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