The Party of European Socialists mourns the death of Anker Jørgensen

The Party of European Socialists mourns the death of Anker  Jørgensen

Anker Jørgensen was a great pro-European that led Denmark into the European Economic Community (EEC) prior to the existence of the EU. He did so at great political cost, at a time when a majority of the Danish public opinion and a majority if his own party had a skeptical view of European integration. More generally, he was instrumental in strengthening the Danish welfare system, even though he had to face political turmoil and economic difficulties during his tenures from 1972 to 1973 and from 1975 to 1982.

Coming from a very modest background – as an orphan who was raised by his aunt and then an unskilled worker – he also was an epitome of personal integrity. He went back to live in a working-class district after leaving office and he would complain about the big size of the Prime Minister’s official residence at Marienborg. He would also walk around Copenhagen to see how people lived and talk to them.

Anker Jørgensen joined the Social Democratic Party in 1939 and soon became active in what later became the Danish Workers Union, where he was chairman from 1968 until been appointed prime minister in 1972. Once in office, he overcame the resistance of the union to join the EEC. He was a true European and an internationalist.

He died last Sunday surrounded by his family and friends.

May he rest in peace.