Danish former foreign minister Uffe Ellemann-Jensen passed away at the age of 80

HELSINKI — Uffe Elleman-Jensen, who served as Denmark’s foreign minister for more than 10 years from the early 1980s and was considered one of the Scandinavian region’s most important politicians in the final stages of the Cold War, has passed away. He was 80.

The conservative-liberal Venstre party, which Ellemann-Jensen led from 1984-1998, said in a brief statement on Sunday that he died overnight “after a long illness.” The cause of death was not immediately given.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said in a statement that Ellemann-Jensen, the Danish foreign minister from 1982 to 1993, was “a sharp politician”, a great personality and “a man of great courage”.

“He skillfully represented our country during the Cold War,” Frederiksen said, stressing that Ellemann-Jensen insisted that Denmark remain committed to NATO’s common policy, and called for close transatlantic ties to be maintained. between Europe and the United States.

“With the war back on the European continent, his voice for a strong, secure and democratic Europe seems clearer than ever,” she added.

Born in 1941, Elleman-Jensen was very close to the prime minister of Denmark in 1998 after his party lost the general election and a role as leader of government-building talks with fewer than 100 votes. The bitter defeat led him to relinquish the leadership of his party and leave Danish politics.

In the international arena in the late 1980s, as the Cold War drew to a close, he established himself as a strong European advocate for the independence of the Baltic states and then the Soviet republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

He also managed to convince a majority in the Danish parliament to actively support the US-led coalition during the 1991 Gulf War.

His active foreign policy measures and efforts to advance the interests of Denmark, a nation of 5.8 million people, led to his policies being called the Ellemann-Jensen Doctrine, which reflected the idea of ability of small countries to gain influence in the world order.

In 1995, Ellemann-Jensen was a candidate for the post of Secretary General of NATO. He gained the support of the US government, but France blocked his candidacy, preferring the Spanish candidate, Javier Solana, who reportedly caused the biggest disappointment and defeat in the Danish politician’s career.

Ellemann-Jensen leaves behind his wife, Alice Vestergaard, their four children and 10 grandchildren.

Leave a Comment