Door op 12 oktober 2014

Poul Nyrup Rasmussen: “In memorial of Ieke van den Burg”

Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, oud-premier van Denemarken, oud-Europarlementariër en oud-voorzitter van de PES, werkte vele jaren samen met de onlangs overleden oud-Europarlementariër Ieke van den Burg. Lees hieronder zijn (Engelstalige) In Memoriam.


Ieke van den Burg is not any longer among us. She passed away an early morning, after her very last long fight for life and the work, to which she was so devoted. She worked so intensively through her life for what she believed in. The Trade Union movement, which she rightly argued, is and has always been one of the fundamental forces to create and defend our welfare states – in spite of globalization, financial market-crisis and failed economic policy-response through austerity. Again and again arguing for a new direction in Europe, our common PES-positions. Same focus and loyalty in her work with corporate governance, Social Policy and workers participation.

In the European Parliament, she made many excellent results as S&D group coordinator on economics. We worked so close together these years. On creating our common Report on the need for financial regulation of Hedgefunds and Private Equity. It did place the PES in the center of the debate on the need to regulate the greedyness of financial markets. For Ieke it was important to underline: “From the outset, we insisted that this report should not be based on feelings …but on facts and a very clear commitment to the future of Europe… the New Social Europe” – these words in the report are typical Iekes words, her way of working, Strengthening the respect for her work
among colleagues in all parties of the European Parliament and outside. Even the Financial Lobbyists listened to Ieke – she knew the stuff and all the details as good as they did.! This work was a very important contribution to the first EU-regulation of Hedgefunds and Private Equity Funds, as a broad compromise in the EP.

She was part of that little group of people who saw the finnancial crisis coming and warned about it. And later chair of the newly established Finance Watch, which gives all progressives better possibilities in following whats going on at the financial markets.

Whether in European Parliament or in the political work of PES we could always count on the unlimitid support of Ieke. Now, we have lost Ieke, but not her ideas, work and results to the benefit of ordinary workers, our welfare states – and the whole of PES. Ieke was a political frontrunner, not as much to promote herself, but always to promote the case, our common ideas. A wonderfull, strong, emphatic politician, without a big ego.

Ieke has made a real difference for me, PES and all progressives. In our fundamental solidarity in all its aspects. I am, on behalf of PES, so gratefull for the time, she dedicated to our common course. PES and I have lost a friend. Our hearts and minds are with Iekes family. We will not forget.

Poul Nyrup Rasmussen
Former President of The PES