Uffe Ellemann-Jensen

Uffe Ellemann-Jensen

Uffe Ellemann-Jensen IPA| [⁽ˈ⁾ufə ɛləmæn ˈjɛnsn̩] , informal: IPA| [⁽ˈ⁾ufə ˈɛləˌmænˀ] (born 1941) was Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark in the Conservative led Poul Schlüter Administration 1982–1993. He was leader of the Danish Liberal Party, "Venstre" 1984–1998 and President of the European Liberals 1995–2000. Since 1998, Ellemann-Jensen has been Chairman of Baltic Development Forum, a non-profit networking organisation dedicated to the business development of the Baltic Sea region. He is non-executive director of various boards of international companies.

A strong supporter of NATO and the European Union based upon his belief in Western cohesion led to many political battles with the left-wing opposition. Several times the opposition tried to topple him on issues of solidarity within NATO, but he survived. Uffe Ellemann-Jensen succeeded in convincing a majority in the Danish Parliament, Folketinget, to actively support the US led coalition against Iraq during the Gulf War. Furthermore, he led the Danish recognition of the renewed independence of the three Baltic countries in 1991, when Denmark was the first country to re-establish diplomatic relations with the three countries. In 1992, Uffe Ellemann-Jensen co-founded the Council of the Baltic Sea States.

After the fall of the centre-right government, in which he also served as Deputy Prime Minister, in 1993 following the "Tamil case", he became leader of the opposition until the 1998 general election, which he lost with a single seat. Had his party had only 85 more votes, he would have been able to form a new centre-right government as Prime Minister. He decided then to leave politics and his successor as the leader of Venstre was Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who became Prime Minister of Denmark in 2001.

The new active Danish foreign policy continued after Uffe Ellemann-Jensen's 10 years term as Foreign Minister and ultimately became a turning point in Danish foreign and defence policy. It has since become known as the "Ellemann-Jensen doctrine".

In 1995, Uffe Ellemann-Jensen was a candidate for the post of Secretary-General of NATO when Willy Claes was forced to leave the role. He got the support of the U.S. government, but France blocked his candidature, preferring the Spanish candidate, Javier Solana. Uffe Ellemann-Jensen never tried to hide his disappointment with not getting the post that he had wanted all his political life.

Since leaving politics, Uffe Ellemann-Jensen has become a columnist with the Danish daily Berlingske Tidende and a contributor to Project Syndicate.

Ellemann-Jensen became a central figure in the controversy following the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten's decision to print 12 satirical images of the Islamic prophet Muhammad in September 2005. In his column, only days after the cartoons were printed, he argued that he thought the cartoons represented an "unnecessary provocation", believing they constituted in itself a caricature of Denmark's "cherished freedom of expression". Ellemann-Jensen remained that position all through the controversy at the same time never missing an opportunity to support the Danish Prime Minister's stance that the government could not and should not take punitive action against the newspaper. He later stated that the Editor in chief of "Jyllands-Posten" Carsten Juste ought to resign.

Uffe Ellemann-Jensen has always been protective of his private life. However, it is well-known that he is an avid hunter and fly fisher, as well as the author of several best-selling books. Especially those about his time as Foreign Minister and the Cold War have gained him broad recognition and critical respect.Fact|date=February 2008

Published books

* "De nye millionærer" ("The new millionaires"), 1971
* "Det afhængige samfund" ("The dependent society"), 1972
* "Hvad gør vi ved Gudenåen?" ("What should we do about Gudenåen"), 1973
* "Den truede velstand" ("The threatened wealth"), 1974
* "Økonomi" ("Economy"), 1975
* "Da Danmark igen sagde ja til det fælles" ("When Denmark once more said yes to the common"), 1987
* "Et lille land, og dog" ("A small country, or perhaps not"), 1991
* "Olfert Fischer i Golfen" ("Olfert Fischer in the Gulf"), 1991, with Sv. E. Thiede
* "Din egen dag er kort" ("Your own day is short"), 1996
* "Rent ud sagt – indfald og udfald" ("Plainly spoken – ideas and attacks"), 1997
* "Sådan set" ("In a manner of speaking"), 1997 with Erik Werner
* "EU – derfor" ("EU – the reason"), 1998
* "Ude med snøren" ("Having the fishing line out"), 2001
* "Østen for solen" ("East of the sun"), 2002
* "FODfejl" ("Stepping in it"), 2004

External links

* [http://www.bdforum.org/sideindhold.asp?sideid=380&sprog=1 CV of Chairman Uffe Ellemann-Jensen] at the website of Baltic Development Forum
* [http://www.project-syndicate.org/contributor/105 Commentary by Uffe Ellemann-Jensen] at the website of Project Syndicate

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