At the occasion of his 70 years birthday tomorrow (Nov 1), “Mr. Baltic Sea” – former Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs Uffe Ellemann-Jensen – will step down as Chairman of the Baltic Development Forum, which he created 13 years ago, i.e. shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Together with his German counterpart Mr. Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Uffe Ellemann-Jensen was instrumental in bringing the former Soviet states safe into the European community.
He formed The Baltic Development Forum (BDF) as a “Davos-style” meeting place where leading politicians and business people from the new EU member states in the Baltic Sea Region could meet colleagues from the “old” member states at annual “Summits”.
The BDF has since become one of the leading stakeholder forums in the development of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea, and Uffe Ellemann-Jensen made the announcement that he would step back at a conference in Gdansk last week, organised by the BDF and the European Commission together.
New BDF chairman will be Hans Skov Christensen, former CEO of Dansk Industri, the Confederation of Danish Industry.
“I look forward to participating next year as a backbencher”, Uffe Ellemann-Jensen said in his closing remarks. Immediately afterwards he was named honorary chairman of BDF.