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Pierre Werner: Wikis


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Pierre Werner

In office
1959-03-02 – 1974-06-15
1979-07-16 – 1984-07-20
Preceded by (1) Pierre Frieden
(2) Gaston Thorn
Succeeded by (1) Gaston Thorn
(2) Jacques Santer

Born 1913-12-29
Lille, France
Died 2002-06-24
Luxembourg City
Nationality Luxembourgian
Political party Christian Social People's Party
Religion Roman Catholic
Pierre Werner 1983

Pierre Werner (29 December 1913 - 24 June 2002) was a Luxembourg politician. Pierre Werner was born in Saint-André-lez-Lille, Nord, France to parents from Luxembourg. 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 Controller 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.[1] In his honour, Luxembourg's main cricket ground, the Pierre Werner Cricket Ground in Walferdange, is named after him.

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

Notes and references

  1. ^ "Pierre Werner". Optimists Cricket Club. 2002. Retrieved 2006-10-08.  

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Joseph Bech
Minister for Defence
1953 – 1959
Succeeded by
Eugène Schaus
Preceded by
Pierre Dupong
Minister for Finances
1953 – 1974
Succeeded by
Raymond Vouel
Preceded by
Victor Bodson
Minister for Justice
1953 – 1967
Succeeded by
Jean Dupong
Preceded by
Pierre Frieden
Prime Minister of Luxembourg
1st time

1959 – 1974
Succeeded by
Gaston Thorn
Preceded by
Eugène Schaus
Minister for Foreign Affairs
1964 – 1967
Succeeded by
Pierre Grégoire
Preceded by
Gaston Thorn
Prime Minister of Luxembourg
2nd time

1979 – 1984
Succeeded by
Jacques Santer


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