Joop den Uyl

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Joop den Uyl
KNL HMHO GOON
Joop den Uyl 1975.jpg
Joop den Uyl in 1975
Prime Minister of the Netherlands
In office
11 May 1973 – 19 December 1977
MonarchJuliana
Deputy
Preceded byBarend Biesheuvel
Succeeded byDries van Agt
Deputy Prime Minister
In office
11 September 1981 – 29 May 1982
Serving with Jan Terlouw
Prime MinisterDries van Agt
Preceded byHans Wiegel
Succeeded byJan Terlouw
Minister of Social Affairs
and Employment
In office
11 September 1981 – 29 May 1982
Prime MinisterDries van Agt
Preceded byWil Albeda
Succeeded byLouw de Graaf
Minister for Netherlands Antilles Affairs
In office
11 September 1981 – 29 May 1982
Prime MinisterDries van Agt
Preceded byFons van der Stee
Succeeded byJan de Koning
Parliamentary leader in the
House of Representatives
In office
16 September 1982 – 21 July 1986
Preceded byWim Meijer
Succeeded byWim Kok
In office
16 January 1978 – 11 September 1981
Preceded byStan Poppe
Succeeded byWim Meijer
In office
8 June 1977 – 8 September 1977
Preceded byEd van Thijn
Succeeded byEd van Thijn
In office
23 February 1967 – 11 May 1973
Preceded byGerard Nederhorst
Succeeded byEd van Thijn
Parliamentary groupLabour Party
Leader of the Labour Party
In office
13 September 1966 – 21 July 1986
Preceded byAnne Vondeling
Succeeded byWim Kok
Minister of Economic Affairs
In office
14 April 1965 – 22 November 1966
Prime MinisterJo Cals
Preceded byKoos Andriessen
Succeeded byJoop Bakker
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
16 September 1982 – 24 December 1987
In office
16 January 1978 – 11 September 1981
In office
8 June 1977 – 8 September 1977
In office
23 February 1967 – 11 May 1973
In office
6 November 1956 – 5 June 1963
Parliamentary groupLabour Party
Personal details
BornJohannes Marten den Uijl
(1919-08-09)9 August 1919
Hilversum, Netherlands
Died24 December 1987(1987-12-24) (aged 68)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Cause of deathBrain tumor
NationalityDutch
Political partyLabour Party
(from 1946)
Other political
affiliations
Anti-Revolutionary Party
(1937–1946)
Spouse(s)
Liesbeth van Vessem
(m. 1944; his death 1987)
ChildrenSaskia Noorman-den Uyl (born 1946)
Marion den Uyl (born 1947)
Barbara den Uyl (born 1949)
Marten den Uyl (born 1951)
Xander den Uyl (born 1953)
Rogier den Uyl (born 1957)
Ariane den Uyl (born 1965)
Alma materUniversity of Amsterdam
(Bachelor of Economics, Master of Economics)
OccupationPolitician · Civil servant · Economist · Journalist · Managing editor · Author
Signature

Johannes Marten den Uijl, better known as Joop den Uyl (Dutch: [ˈjoːb dɛn ˈœyl] (About this sound listen);[1] 9 August 1919 – 24 December 1987) was a Dutch politician of the Labour Party (PvdA) who served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 11 May 1973 until 19 December 1977.

Den Uyl a economist by occupation, worked during Second World War as a civil servant for the Ministry of Economic Affairs from 1942 until 1945 and as a journalist for the underground newspapers Het Parool and Vrij Nederland from 1942 until 1949 when he became director of the Wiardi Beckman Foundation serving from 1949 until 1963. Den Uyl was elected as a Member of the House of Representatives after election of 1956 serving from 6 November 1956 until 5 June 1963 when he was appointed as an Alderman of Amsterdam serving from 8 November 1962 until 14 April 1965. Following the fall of the Cabinet Marijnen on 27 February 1965 a new cabinet was formed and Den Uyl was asked to become Minister of Economic Affairs in the Cabinet Cals. Den Uyl accepted and resigned as Alderman the same day she took office as the new Minister of Economic Affairs on 14 April 1965. On 13 September 1966 Anne Vondeling resigned as Leader of the Labour Party, Den Uyl was chosen to succeed him and became the Lijsttrekker (top candidate) for the election of 1967. Following the election Den Uyl served as Parliamentary leader in the House of Representatives and a Member of the House of Representatives from 23 February 1967 until 11 May 1973. After the election of 1972 Den Uyl for a second time as Lijsttrekker won again four seats and after a long formation period a coalition agreement with the Catholic People's Party (KVP), Anti-Revolutionary Party (ARP), Political Party of Radicals (PPR) and the Democrats 66 (D'66) was made which resulted in the formation of the Cabinet Den Uyl with Den Uyl becoming Prime Minister taking office on 11 May 1973.

After his prime-ministership, Den Uyl remained in active politics and returned as the Parliamentary leader in House of Representatives from 16 January 1978 until 10 September 1981 and a Member of the House of Representatives from 16 January 1978 until 11 September 1981. He became Minister of Social Affairs and Employment, Minister for Suriname and Netherlands Antilles Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister from 11 September 1981 until 29 May 1982 in the Cabinet Van Agt II. After the fall of this cabinet, Den Uyl again became the Parliamentary leader in the House of Representatives from 7 September 1982 until his resignation as Parliamentary leader and as the Labour Party Party leader on 21 July 1986, he was succeeded in both positions by Wim Kok. He served as a Member of the House of Representatives for the last time from 16 September 1982 until his death on 24 December 1987.

He was seen as an idealistic, but also polarizing politician. Throughout history, Dutch political leaders have tended to soothing manners - Den Uyl was one of a relatively few exceptions. People either loved him or hated him. Followers of his idealistic policies called him Ome Joop (Uncle Joop).[2] He was criticized for creating a budget deficit and polarizing Dutch politics.[3] Associated with Den Uyl was the maakbare samenleving (the makeable society, the idea that society is constructed and that government is a player in the construction). Another idea associated with Den Uyl was de verbeelding aan de macht (imagination in the driver's seat, the power of conceptual thinking, particularly in politics).[4]

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

President of the European Commission François-Xavier Ortoli and Prime Minister Joop den Uyl at the Catshuis op 22 October 1973.
United States Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Prime Minister Joop den Uyl at the Catshuis on 11 August 1976.
First Secretary of the French Socialist Party François Mitterrand and Prime Minister Joop den Uyl and at the Catshuis on 28 September 1976.

Johannes Marten den Uijl was born on 9 August 1919 in the town of Hilversum. He was born in a Calvinist reformed family. His father, Johannes den Uyl, was a shopkeeper and a basketweaver who died when Den Uyl was only 10. Den Uyl attended the Christian Lyceum (the present Comenius College) in Hilversum from 1931 to 1936. Following this he studied economics at the University of Amsterdam. During this period in his life he left the church. In 1942 he attained the doctorandus degree. Until 1945 he was a civil servant at the National Bureau for Prices of Chemical Products, part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. During that period he was part of the underground newspaper group that published the clandestine Het Parool (The Password). After the Second World War he worked for Het Parool, Vrij Nederland and other former resistance papers. From January 1949 to 1963 he was head of the Wiardi Beckman Stichting, the think tank of the Partij van de Arbeid (Labour Party, a Dutch Social democracy party). In 1953, at the invitation of the American government, Den Uyl stayed for a few months in the United States, gaining an appreciation of the American experience.[5]

Politics[edit]

In 1953 Den Uyl was elected to the city council of Amsterdam and in 1956 he was elected to the House of Representatives. In 1963 he became municipal administrator for economic affairs in Amsterdam, resigning his parliamentary seat. He resigned that post in 1965 to become minister of economic affairs in the Cals administration. As the responsible minister, he decided to close the uneconomic coal mines of Limburg, causing high local unemployment. Following the parliamentary elections of 1967, he became leader of the Labour Party in parliament.

Den Uyl's Labour Party won the 1973 elections in alliance with the progressive liberal Democrats 66 and radical Christian Political Party of Radicals, but failed to achieve a majority in parliament. After lengthy negotiations, he formed Kabinet-Den Uyl with the Christian-democratic Catholic People's Party and Anti-Revolutionary Party. This cabinet faced many problems. An early problem was the 1973 oil boycott following the Dutch support of Israel in the Yom Kippur war. Den Uyl said in a speech on national television that "things would never return to the way they were" and implemented fuel rationing and a ban on Sunday driving.

Between 1973 and 1977, the country's economic situation turned ugly. The government's budget deficit increased tenfold, inflation approached 10 percent, the unemployment rate doubled, and the current account went from positive to negative – the latter a critical problem in a country that rises or falls on foreign trade. Despite economic difficulties, however, the government was able to enact a wide range of progressive social reforms, such as significant increases in welfare payments, the indexation of benefits and the minimum wage to contractual private sector wage developments,[6] a system of rent rebates (1975),[7] and a universal work incapacity insurance scheme (1976).[8] The Primary Education Act of October 1974 gave more freedom to school heads regarding the programming of the curriculum, and an Act of June 1974 made supplementary benefits available to unemployed persons who accepted lower paid- work. In addition, a law of June 1976 enabled employees aged sixty, two years after the first date of receipt of benefits (WWV scheme), to continue receiving them until the age of sixty-five. The purpose of this legislation was to improve the financial circumstances of older employees who are unemployed for a long time.[9] In August 1976, job protection was introduced during pregnancy and for 12 weeks following childbirth.[10] The number of years of full compulsory education were increased,[11] and an Act on equal pay in the private sector was introduced.[12] In addition, investments were carried out in social services, such as home care services for families.[13]

A regulation was introduced in September 1973 providing for the employment of persons “for whom it is difficult to find employment and who have been in prolonged unemployment.”[14] In January 1974, a statutory minimum wage for young people between the ages of 15 and 22 was introduced, and in March 1974 the insurance scheme for wage and salary earners was extended to cover the costs of physiotherapy treatment “where this has been prescribed by a doctor.”[15] In September 1975, a regulation on the promotion of vocational training for young people was introduced, aimed at “a great number of young people who, as a result of the present educational system, depend on on-the-job training within the framework of the Apprenticeship Law.” The chances of obtaining an individual rent subsidy were also significantly increased, while an Act of June 1975 amended a number of existing Acts “with a view to introducing changes regarding the organization and the districts of factory inspection and the inspection of ports and dangerous machinery,” and also conferred legislative powers on the Minister of Social Affairs under the Act “concerning the loading and unloading of ocean-going vessels and extended the scope of the Silicosis Act.”[16]

The Collective Redundancy (Notification) Act of 1976 imposed an obligation on employers (who intend to collectively dismiss employees) “to give written notice of this intention to the relevant trade unions for consultation,”[17] while that same year consultative works councils were replaced by powerful ones modelled after the German works councils.[18] Also in 1976, a law was passed forbidding dismissal upon pregnancy or marriage for all women.[19]

A February 1976 regulation on accidents in nuclear installations provided for interministerial coordination on measures to be taken “in the event of accidents and for the preparation of an emergency plan,” while a law of June 1976 provided for special measures for unemployed persons who reached the age of 60 and who had used up their rights to unemployment benefit.[20] A law of December 1976 relaxed the conditions for exemption from national insurance contributions or entitlement to ·pay reduced contributions, and also extended entitlement to orphans' pensions “to illegitimate children whose mothers are dead and who have not been recognized by their fathers.” The Asbestos Decree of April 1977 prohibited the storage and use of crocidolite (blue asbestos) and materials or ·products containing crocidolite and also prohibited “ the spraying of asbestos or materials or products containing asbestos and their use for thermal insulation or for acoustic, preservative or decorative purposes.” In September 1977, regulations were issued “regarding the conditions under which young persons of 16 and over may exceptionally drive agricultural tractors.” In May 1977, a subsidy scheme for the placing of handicapped persons was introduced.[21]

In 1977 the cabinet fell due to a conflict between Den Uyl and the Catholic People's Party minister of Justice Dries van Agt. The Labour Party entered the elections under the banner "Vote for the Prime Minister". The Labour Party won by a landslide (it got over 33% percent of the votes, a relatively large share in the divided politics of the Netherlands at that time) and 53 seats. Labour's coalition partner Democrats 66 also made gains, from 6 to 8 seats. However, its other coalition partner Political Party of Radicals lost nearly all its seats, making it impossible for Den Uyl to form a new government that he could count on to support him in parliament. More than 200 days after the election, the Christian Democratic Appeal (a new party that was formed by Den Uyl's former coalition-members Catholic People's Party and Anti-Revolutionary Party, joined by the smaller Christian Historical Union) formed a cabinet with the liberal People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, supported by a small majority of 77 seats (out of a total of 150).

After being opposition leader from 1977 to 1981, Den Uyl returned to government in 1981. The Labour Party formed a coalition with Christian Democratic Appeal and Democrats 66. Den Uyl became vice-minister president and minister for Social Affairs and Employment. Van Agt, by now Den Uyl's nemesis, led this cabinet. The cabinet was in constant internal conflict and fell after eight months. The Labour Party won the snap election of 1982, but could not agree on a new coalition with the Christian Democratic Appeal. As a result, Den Uyl returned to parliament and led the Labour Party in opposition until 1986. As leader of the main opposition party, Den Uyl - always a soft-spoken Atlanticist - provided cover for the government's controversial decision to place NATO cruise missiles on Dutch soil. In turn, this decision — and a similar one by the Belgian government — satisfied one of the West German conditions for the placement of cruise missiles and Pershing II missiles in West Germany.

Family and later life[edit]

On 30 August 1944, Den Uyl married Liesbeth den Uyl, née Van Vessem (18 June 1924 – 30 September 1990)[22][23][24]. They had three sons and four daughters. Of those the eldest Saskia Noorman-den Uyl became a member of parliament for the Labour Party herself serving until 1994 until 2006. Xander den Uyl became a leading figure in ABVAKABO, one of the Dutch Labour unions and serves as Member of the Provincial-Council of North Holland for the Labour Party since 2011.

After the elections of 1986, in which the Labour Party won 5 seats but failed to retain its position as largest party, Den Uyl left politics. He was succeeded as leader of the Labour Party by Wim Kok. He died on Christmas Eve of 1987, aged 68, of a brain tumor.

Decorations[edit]

Honours
Ribbon bar Honour Country Date Comment
NLD Order of the Dutch Lion - Knight BAR.png Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion Netherlands 5 December 1966
Order of Orange ribbon.gif Honorary Medal for Initiative
and Ingenuity of the Order of the House of Orange
Netherlands 19 September 1974
Order of the Palm (Suriname) - ribbon bar.png Grand Officer of the Honorary Order of the Palm Suriname 4 September 1977
NLD Order of Orange-Nassau - Grand Officer BAR.png Grand Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau Netherlands 9 September 1982 Elevated from Commander
(11 April 1978)

Quotes[edit]

"Twee dingen:..." ("Two things:..." In interviews, many of Den Uyl's answers started with these two words, sending a signal to the listener to drop any expectation of a simple yes or no.)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Joop in isolation: [ˈjoːp].
  2. ^ (in Dutch) De mythe van het vechtkabinet van Joop den Uyl. University of Rotterdam. 2002
  3. ^ (in Dutch) Suèr, Henk. "Joop den Uyl: verguisd en inspirerend" (PDF). Archived from the original on 5 March 2012. Retrieved 2010-04-17.. roodkoper.nl
  4. ^ (in Dutch) "Onthullende biografie Joop den Uyl". Archived from the original on 27 June 2009. Retrieved 2010-04-17.. University of Amsterdam. 21 February 2008
  5. ^ International Institute of Social History, Archief Joop den Uyl, item 187. Retrieved on 9 October 2007.
  6. ^ Wagenaar, H. (31 October 2000). "Government Institutions: Effects, Changes and Normative Foundations: Effects, Changes and Normative Foundations". Springer Science & Business Media – via Google Books.
  7. ^ West European Housing Systems in a Comparative Perspective, p. 37, at Google Books
  8. ^ http://aei.pitt.edu/9819/1/9819.pdf
  9. ^ Growth to Limits: The Western European Welfare States Since World War II, Volume 2 edited by Peter Flora
  10. ^ "PF 2.5 Annex: Detail of Change in Parental Leave By Country" (PDF). Archived from the original on 21 July 2014. Retrieved 2014-11-21.
  11. ^ Hindman, Hugh D. (1 January 2009). "The World of Child Labor: An Historical and Regional Survey". M.E. Sharpe – via Google Books.
  12. ^ Bagilhole, Barbara (1 January 2009). "Understanding Equal Opportunities and Diversity: The Social Differentiations and Intersections of Inequality". Policy Press – via Google Books.
  13. ^ Starke, P.; Kaasch, A.; Hooren, F. Van; Hooren, Franca Van (7 May 2013). "The Welfare State as Crisis Manager: Explaining the Diversity of Policy Responses to Economic Crisis". Springer – via Google Books.
  14. ^ http://aei.pitt.edu/9801/
  15. ^ http://aei.pitt.edu/9842/
  16. ^ http://aei.pitt.edu/10250/
  17. ^ Blanpain, Roger; Bellace, Janice R. (1 January 2012). "Trade Union Rights at the Workplace". Kluwer Law International – via Google Books.
  18. ^ Regini, Professor Marino (11 December 1992). "The Future of Labour Movements". SAGE – via Google Books.
  19. ^ http://nidi.knaw.nl/shared/content/output/2002/ssm-54-05-fokkema.pdf
  20. ^ http://aei.pitt.edu/9819/
  21. ^ http://aei.pitt.edu/10246/
  22. ^ https://www.geni.com/people/Liesbeth-den-Uyl/6000000017015099203
  23. ^ https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/1990/10/01/liesbeth-den-uyl-van-vessem-overleden-6942530-a426101
  24. ^ http://resources.huygens.knaw.nl/vrouwenlexicon/lemmata/data/Vessem

Further reading[edit]

  • Wilsford, David, ed. Political leaders of contemporary Western Europe: a biographical dictionary (Greenwood, 1995) pp 97-111.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Anne Vondeling
Leader of the Labour Party
1966–1986
Succeeded by
Wim Kok
Preceded by
Gerard Nederhorst
Parliamentary leader of the Labour Party
in the House of Representatives

1967–1973
1977
1978–1981
1982–1986
Succeeded by
Ed van Thijn
Preceded by
Ed van Thijn
Preceded by
Stan Poppe
Succeeded by
Wim Meijer
Preceded by
Wim Meijer
Succeeded by
Wim Kok
Political offices
Preceded by
Koos Andriessen
Minister of Economic Affairs
1965–1966
Succeeded by
Joop Bakker
Preceded by
Barend Biesheuvel
Minister of General Affairs
1973–1977
Succeeded by
Dries van Agt
Prime Minister of the Netherlands
1973–1977
Preceded by
Gaston Thorn
President of the European Council
1976
Succeeded by
James Callaghan
Preceded by
Robert Pontillon
President of the Party
of European Socialists

1980–1987
Succeeded by
Vítor Constâncio
Preceded by
Fons van der Stee
Minister for Netherlands Antilles Affairs
1981–1982
Succeeded by
Jan de Koning
Preceded by
Wil Albeda
Minister of Social Affairs and Employment
1981–1982
Succeeded by
Louw de Graaf
Preceded by
Hans Wiegel
Deputy Prime Minister
1981–1982
With: Jan Terlouw
Succeeded by
Jan Terlouw