Joop den Uyl

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Joop den Uyl
Joop den Uyl 1975.jpg
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
16 September 1982 – 24 December 1987
Parliamentary leader of the Labour Party in the House of Representatives
In office
7 September 1982 – 21 July 1986
Preceded byWim Meijer
Succeeded byWim Kok
Party leader of the Labour Party
In office
13 September 1966 – 21 July 1986
Preceded byAnne Vondeling
Succeeded byWim Kok
Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands
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 Suriname and Netherlands Antilles Affairs
In office
11 September 1981 – 29 May 1982
Prime MinisterDries van Agt
Preceded byFons van der Stee
Succeeded byJan de Koning
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
16 January 1978 – 11 September 1981
Parliamentary leader of the Labour Party in the House of Representatives
In office
16 January 1978 – 10 September 1981
Preceded byEd van Thijn
Succeeded byWim Meijer
Prime Minister of the Netherlands
In office
11 May 1973 – 19 December 1977
MonarchJuliana
DeputyDries van Agt (1973-1977)
Wilhelm Friedrich de Gaay Fortman (1977)
Preceded byBarend Biesheuvel
Succeeded byDries van Agt
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
23 February 1967 – 11 May 1973
Parliamentary leader of the Labour Party in the House of Representatives
In office
15 February 1967 – 11 May 1973
Preceded byGerard Nederhorst
Succeeded byEd van Thijn
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
6 November 1956 – 5 June 1963
Personal details
BornJohannes Marten den Uijl
(1919-08-09)9 August 1919
Hilversum, Netherlands
Died24 December 1987(1987-12-24) (aged 68)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
NationalityDutch
Political partyLabour Party
Spouse(s)Liesbeth den Uyl
(m. 1944-1990; his death)
Children4 daughters and 3 sons
Alma materUniversity of Amsterdam (Master of Arts, Honorary degree)
OccupationPolitician
Civil servant
Economist
Journalist
ReligionReformed Churches in the Netherlands
(1919-1943)
Agnosticism
(from 1943)
Nickname(s)Uncle Joop
 
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Joop den Uyl
Joop den Uyl 1975.jpg
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
16 September 1982 – 24 December 1987
Parliamentary leader of the Labour Party in the House of Representatives
In office
7 September 1982 – 21 July 1986
Preceded byWim Meijer
Succeeded byWim Kok
Party leader of the Labour Party
In office
13 September 1966 – 21 July 1986
Preceded byAnne Vondeling
Succeeded byWim Kok
Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands
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 Suriname and Netherlands Antilles Affairs
In office
11 September 1981 – 29 May 1982
Prime MinisterDries van Agt
Preceded byFons van der Stee
Succeeded byJan de Koning
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
16 January 1978 – 11 September 1981
Parliamentary leader of the Labour Party in the House of Representatives
In office
16 January 1978 – 10 September 1981
Preceded byEd van Thijn
Succeeded byWim Meijer
Prime Minister of the Netherlands
In office
11 May 1973 – 19 December 1977
MonarchJuliana
DeputyDries van Agt (1973-1977)
Wilhelm Friedrich de Gaay Fortman (1977)
Preceded byBarend Biesheuvel
Succeeded byDries van Agt
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
23 February 1967 – 11 May 1973
Parliamentary leader of the Labour Party in the House of Representatives
In office
15 February 1967 – 11 May 1973
Preceded byGerard Nederhorst
Succeeded byEd van Thijn
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
6 November 1956 – 5 June 1963
Personal details
BornJohannes Marten den Uijl
(1919-08-09)9 August 1919
Hilversum, Netherlands
Died24 December 1987(1987-12-24) (aged 68)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
NationalityDutch
Political partyLabour Party
Spouse(s)Liesbeth den Uyl
(m. 1944-1990; his death)
Children4 daughters and 3 sons
Alma materUniversity of Amsterdam (Master of Arts, Honorary degree)
OccupationPolitician
Civil servant
Economist
Journalist
ReligionReformed Churches in the Netherlands
(1919-1943)
Agnosticism
(from 1943)
Nickname(s)Uncle Joop

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

Den Uyl previously served as a Member of the House of Representatives from 6 November 1956 until 5 June 1963. He became Minister of Economic Affairs from 14 April 1965 until 22 November 1966 in the Cabinet Cals. He became the Labour Party Party leader on 13 September 1966 and served as the Parliamentary leader in the House of Representatives from 15 February 1967 until 11 May 1973 and again a Member of the House of Representatives from 23 February 1967 until 11 May 1973. Den Uyl became Prime Minister of the Netherlands, leading the Cabinet Den Uyl.

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).[1] He was criticized for creating a budget deficit and polarizing Dutch politics.[2] 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).[3]

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Johannes Marten den Uijl was born on 9 August 1919 in the city 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 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.[4]

Politics[edit]

Joop den Uyl as Minister of Economic Affairs in 1965.

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.

Visito to the Dutch Antilles, 1974

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 boycot 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.

Joop den Uyl with Henry Kissinger in 1976.
1977 election poster calling for people to "Vote for the Prime Minister"

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 the cost of living, a system of rent rebates (1975),[5] and a universal work incapacity insurance scheme (1976).[6]

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).

Joop den Uyl as the Parliamentary leader of the Labour Party in the House of Representatives in 1986.

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 elections of 1982 were won by the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy. Labour Party made few gains, Christian Democratic Appeal suffered light losses and the Democrats 66 lost most of its seats. 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]

Den Uyl was married to Liesbeth den Uyl, née Van Vessem. They had three sons and four daughters. Of those Saskia Noorman-den Uyl became a member of parliament for the Labour Party until 2006 and Xander den Uyl became a leading figure in ABVAKABO, one of the Dutch Labour unions.

After the elections of 1986, which he won, 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]

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]

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Anne Vondeling
Party 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
Succeeded by
Ed van Thijn
Preceded by
Ed van Thijn
Parliamentary leader of the Labour Party
in the House of Representatives

1978-1981
Succeeded by
Wim Meijer
Preceded by
Wim Meijer
Parliamentary leader of the Labour Party
in the House of Representatives

1982-1986
Succeeded by
Wim Kok
Government 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
Preceded by
Fons van der Stee
Minister for Suriname and 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
Political offices
Preceded by
Barend Biesheuvel
Prime Minister of the Netherlands
1973-1977
Succeeded by
Dries van Agt
Preceded by
Hans Wiegel
Deputy Prime Minister of the Netherlands
1981-1982
With: Jan Terlouw
Succeeded by
Jan Terlouw