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Joop den Uyl

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Johannes Marten den Uijl, better known as Joop den Uyl (Dutch: [ˈjoːb dɛn ˈœyl] (Title: Joop den Uyl | Artist: Pieter Zandvliet | Category: listen);[1] 9 August 1919 – 24 December 1987) was a Dutch politician of the Labour Party (PvdA) and economist who served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 11 May 1973 until 19 December 1977.[2][3]

Den Uyl attended the Comenius Gymnasium [nl] in Hilversum from June 1931 until June 1936 and applied at the University of Amsterdam in June 1936 majoring in Economics and obtaining an Bachelor of Economics degree in June 1938. On 10 May 1940 Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands and the government fled to London to escape the German occupation. During the German occupation Den Uyl continued his study and graduated with an Master of Economics degree in April 1942. Den Uyl was sympathetic with the Dutch resistance against the German occupiers and worked as a journalist and editor for the underground newspapers Het Parool and Free Netherlands from April 1942 until January 1949. Den Uyl worked as a civil servant for the Ministry of Economic Affairs from April 1942 until May 1945. Den Uyl worked as the director of the Wiardi Beckman Foundation from January 1949 until June 1963. Den Uyl served on the Municipal Council of Amsterdam from September 1953 until April 1965. Den Uyl became a Member of the House of Representatives after the election of 1956 when the number of seats in the House of Representatives was raised from 100 to 150 seats, taking office on 6 November 1956. In May 1963 Den Uyl was appointed as an Alderman in Amsterdam, he resigned as a Member of the House of Representatives the day he was installed as an Alderman, taking office on 5 June 1963.

On 27 February 1965 the Cabinet Marijnen fell and continued to serve in a demissionary capacity until the cabinet formation of 1965 when it was replaced by Cabinet Cals with Den Uyl appointed as Minister of Economic Affairs, taking office on 14 April 1965. After the Leader of the Labour Party and incumbent Deputy Prime Minister Anne Vondeling unexpectedly announced he was stepping down as Leader the Labour Party leadership approached Den Uyl as a candidate to succeed him, Den Uyl accepted and became the Leader of the Labour Party and Lijsttrekker (top candidate) of the Labour Party for the election of 1967 on 13 September 1966. The Cabinet Cals fell shortly thereafter on 14 October 1966 and continued to serve in a demissionary capacity until it was replaced by the caretaker Cabinet Zijlstra on 22 November 1966. After the election of 1967 the Labour Party suffered a small loss, losing 6 seats but retained its place as the second largest party and now had 37 seats in the House of Representatives. Den Uyl subsequently returned as a Member of the House of Representatives and became the Parliamentary leader of the Labour Party in the House of Representatives, taking office on 23 February 1967. For the election of 1971 Den Uyl served again as Lijsttrekker. The Labour Party made a small win, gaining 2 seats and became the largest party and now had 39 seats in the House of Representatives. The following cabinet formation of 1971 resulted in a coalition agreement which formed the Cabinet Biesheuvel I without the Labour Party and Den Uyl continued to serve in the House of Representatives as Opposition leader. For the election of 1972 Den Uyl served for a third time as Lijsttrekker. The Labour Party made a small win, gaining 4 seats and retained its place as the largest party and now had 43 seats in the House of Representatives. Member of the Council of State and former Leader of the Labour Party Jaap Burger was appointed as Formateur to form a new cabinet and the following cabinet formation of 1972 resulted in a coalition agreement between the Labour Party, the Catholic People’s Party (KVP), the Anti-Revolutionary Party (ARP), the Political Party of Radicals (PPR) and the Democrats 66 (D’66) which formed the Cabinet Den Uyl with Den Uyl becoming Prime Minister of the Netherlands and Minister of General Affairs, taking office on 11 May 1973.

The Cabinet Den Uyl fell on 22 March 1977 after four years of tensions in the coalition and continued to serve in a demissionary capacity. For the election of 1977 Den Uyl served for a fourth time as Lijsttrekker. The Labour Party made a large win, gaining 10 seats and retained its place as the largest party and now had 53 seats in the House of Representatives. Den Uyl subsequently returned as a Member of the House of Representatives and as Parliamentary leader in the House of Representatives, taking office on 8 June 1977 but he was still serving in the cabinet and because of dualism customs in the constitutional convention of Dutch politics he couldn’t serve a dual mandate he subsequently resigned as a Member of the House of Representatives and Parliamentary leader on 8 September 1977. Den Uyl was appointed as Formateur to form a new cabinet. Following several failed cabinet formation attempts Den Uyl stepped down as Formateur and was replaced by Member of the Senate Wil Albeda of the Anti-Revolutionary Party as Informateur. Following two more failed cabinet formation attempts the Leader of the Christian Democratic Appeal Dries van Agt struck a deal with the Leader of the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy Hans Wiegel that resulted in a coalition agreement which formed the Van Agt–Wiegel cabinet, the Cabinet Den Uyl was replaced by the Cabinet Van Agt-Wiegel on 19 December 1977 and Den Uyl subsequently returned as a Member of the House of Representatives and as Parliamentary leader in the House of Representatives after the resignation of Kees van den Anker, taking office on 16 January 1978 and served again as Opposition leader. Den Uyl also served as President of the Party of European Socialists from 8 March 1980 until 19 May 1987. For the election of 1981 Den Uyl served for a fifth time as Lijsttrekker. The Labour Party suffered a big loss, losing 9 seats and fell back as the second largest party and now had 44 seats in the House of Representatives. The Following cabinet formation of 1981 resulted in a coalition agreement between the Labour Party, the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and the Democrats 66 (D’66) which formed the Cabinet Van Agt II with Den Uyl appointed as Deputy Prime MinisterMinister of Social Affairs and Employment and Minister for Netherlands Antilles Affairs, taking office on 11 September 1981.

The Cabinet Van Agt II fell just seven months into its term on 12 May 1982 and continued to serve in a demissionary capacity until it was replaced by the caretaker Cabinet Van Agt III on 29 May 1982. For the election of 1982 Den Uyl served once again as Lijsttrekker. The Labour Party made a small win, gaining 3 seats and became the largest party and again and now had 47 seats in the House of Representatives. Den Uyl subsequently returned again as a Member of the House of Representatives and as Parliamentary leader, taking office on 16 September 1982. The following cabinet formation of 1982 resulted in a coalition agreement which formed the Cabinet Lubbers I without the Labour Party and Den Uyl continued to serve in the House of Representatives again as Opposition leader. For the election of 1986 Den Uyl served for the seventh and last time as Lijsttrekker. The Labour Party made a small win, gaining 5 seats but fell back as the second largest party and now had 52 seats in the House of Representatives. The following cabinet formation of 1986 resulted in a continuation of the previous coalition agreement which formed the Cabinet Lubbers II again without the Labour Party. Shortly after installation of the new cabinet Den Uyl announced that he was stepping down as Leader of the Labour Party and Parliamentary leader and endorsed Wim Kok as a candidate to succeed him. On 21 July 1986 Den Uyl stepped down als Leader and Parliamentary leader but continued to serve in the House of Representatives as a backbencher. In October 1987 Den Uyl was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor, he died three months later at the age of 68.

Den Uyl was known as an idealistic, but also polarising 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).[4] He was criticised for creating a budget deficit and polarising Dutch politics.[5] 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)

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