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Uffe Ellemann-Jensen
Uffe Ellemann-Jensen.jpg
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
10 September 1982 – 25 January 1993
Prime MinisterPoul Schlüter
Preceded byKjeld Olesen
Succeeded byNiels Helveg Petersen
Leader of Venstre
In office
23 July 1984 – 18 March 1998
Preceded byHenning Christophersen
Succeeded byAnders Fogh Rasmussen
President of the European Liberals
In office
1995–2000
Preceded byWilly De Clercq
Succeeded byWerner Hoyer
Personal details
Born(1941-11-01)1 November 1941
Haarby, Denmark
Died19 June 2022(2022-06-19) (aged 80)
Copenhagen, Denmark
NationalityDanish
Political partyVenstre
Spouse(s)
Hanne Jonsen
(m. 1963⁠–⁠1971)

(m. 1971)
Children4 incl.:
Uffe Ellemann-Jensen (Danish pronunciation: , informal: (1 November 1941 – 19 June 2022) was a Danish politician who served as Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark in the Conservative-led Poul Schlüter Administration from 1982 to 1993. He was leader of the Danish Liberal Party Venstre from 1984 to 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.
Contents
1 Political career
2 Personal life
2.1 Health
3 Bibliography
4 References
5 External links
Political career
Uffe Ellemann-Jensen (at the left) in 1993.
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, Ellemann-Jensen, together with his German colleague Hans-Dietrich Genscher, took the initiative to create the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) and the EuroFaculty.
In September 1992, Ellemann-Jensen and other senior officials visited southern Somalia, one of the first foreign delegations to do so since the start of civil war there the year before.
After the fall of the centre-right government, in which he also served as Deputy Prime Minister, in 1993 following the Tamil case, outgoing prime minister Poul Schlüter attempted to have Ellemann-Jensen appointed acting prime minister until Henning Dyremose (Conservative) could take over, but the attempt was dropped as royal cabinet secretary Niels Eilschou Holm considered the maneuver unconstitutional. Instead, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen (Social Democrats) was appointed prime minister following a "Queen's round", and Ellemann-Jensen became leader of the opposition.
Ellemann-Jensen was 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 Ellemann-Jensen's ten-year 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, 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. Ellemann-Jensen never tried to hide his disappointment with not getting the post that he had wanted all his political life.
He participated eight times in the Bilderberg conferences: 1984, 1987 and every year between 1993 and 1998.
Since leaving politics, 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.
Personal life
Uffe Ellemann-Jensen is the son of former member of the Folketing Jens Peter Jensen . In 1971, his first marriage was dissolved and he married Alice Vestergaard . He has four children, among them Jakob Ellemann-Jensen and Karen Ellemann. 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.
On 18 December 2002, Ellemann-Jensen was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Dannebrog.
On 12 February 2010, Ellemann-Jensen received the highest accolade of the Republic of Macedonia, the 8th of September Order for his contribution to the strengthening of Danish-Macedonian relations and for promotion of Macedonia in its initial years of independence in the early 1990s.
Health
In 1989, Ellemann-Jensen underwent surgery for two spinal disc herniations in the neck, but broke two cervical vertebrae during the operation; subsequently, he wore a neck brace for half a year. He has had a stent inserted in his heart and, following a blood clot, a pacemaker. He had another blood clot in an IC3 train to Aalborg in 2003, after which he stopped smoking. He furthermore has diabetes. He had a tumor that pressed against his spinal cord removed in 2019. In a 2021 interview with Ellemman-Jensen, it was reported that an "old cancer was stirring again", and referring to his health problems, he stated that he was "a wandering example of medical science's progress".
In August 2021, the then–fully vaccinated Ellemann-Jensen was admitted to hospital with COVID-19 for three weeks; he was then in further treatment for two weeks. Ellemann-Jensen had a successful prostate cancer surgery at a seemingly early stage of the disease in January 2011, but the cancer subsequently flared up again, and on 13 June 2022, he was admitted to Rigshospitalet. He died at Rigshospitalet on 19 June 2022.
Bibliography
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
Vejen, jeg valgte, 2009, ISBN 8703028925
Nu gik det lige så godt, men så gik verden af lave, 2009, ISBN 8702080885, about the effects of the financial crisis of 2007–2008
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