Gaston Thorn


Gaston Thorn

Infobox_Prime Minister
name = Gaston Thorn
nationality = Luxembourgian



order = 20th Prime Minister of Luxembourg
term_start = 15 June 1974
term_end = 16 July 1979
vicepresident =
predecessor = Pierre Werner
successor = Pierre Werner
birth_date = birth date|1928|9|3|df=y
birth_place = Luxembourg City
death_date = death date|2007|8|26|df=y
death_place =
party = Democratic Party
spouse =
religion =
order2 = 7th President of the European Commission
term_start2 = 12 January 1981
term_end2 = 1985
predecessor2 = Roy Jenkins
successor2 = Jacques Delors|

Gaston Egmond Thorn (September 3 1928 – August 26 2007) was a Luxembourg politician who served in a number of high-profile positions, both domestically and internationally. Amongst the posts that he held were Prime Minister of Luxembourg (1974–79), President of the United Nations General Assembly (1975), and President of the European Commission (1981–85).

Thorn was born in Luxembourg City. While still at school he engaged in resistance activities during the German occupation, and spent several months in prison. After the war he studied law in Montpellier, Lausanne and Paris, and practised law in Luxembourg before entering politics in 1959, representing the liberal Democratic Party. He was Chairman of the Democratic Party from 1961.

Thorn was Foreign Minister and Foreign Trade Minister of Luxembourg from 1969 - 1980, Prime Minister from 1974 - 1979 and Minister of Economics from 1977 to 1980. He was also a member of the European Parliament from 1959 - 1969, and President of the United Nations General Assembly from 1975 - 1976.In 1980 Thorn was chosen as President of the Commission of the European Communities (now called the European Union), in succession to Roy Jenkins. He took office on January 12, 1981. He was seen as very close to the President of France, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, and generally as a defender of French interests in European politics.

Although Thorn was not considered a very forceful Commission President, during his term of office the Commission continued to expand its power, both at the expense of the national governments of EC members, and of the European Parliament, with which the Commission engaged in a constant power struggle. In this Thorn laid the groundwork for his successor Jacques Delors, who took the Commission to the height of its power.

After leaving the Commission Presidency in 1985, Thorn went into business. He was chairman of Luxembourg's largest media company CLT and president of the Banque Internationale de Luxembourg.

Thorn remained active in international and political affairs, as President of the International European Movement and as a member of the Trilateral Commission and of the Jean Monnet Committee. He was also president of the Liberal International, a grouping of liberal political parties, and is now this organisation's President of Honour. He was married to Liliane Thorn-Petit, a journalist.

References

* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/obituaries/story/0,,2157145,00.html Obituary, "The Guardian", 28 August 2007]
* [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=&xml=/news/2007/08/28/db2804.xml Obituary, "The Daily Telegraph", 28 August 2007]
* [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article2337091.ece Obituary, "The Times", 28 August 2007]

s-ttl|title=Minister for Foreign Affairs
years=1969 – 1980

-s-ttl|title=Prime Minister of Luxembourg
years=1974 – 1979

-s-ttl|title=President of the United Nations General Assembly
years=1975 – 1976

-s-ttl|title=Minister for the Economy
years=1977 – 1980

-s-ttl|title=Deputy Prime Minister
years=1979 – 1980

-s-ttl|title=Minister for Justice
years=1979 – 1980

-s-ttl|title=President of the European Commission
years=1980 – 1985

-s-ttl|title=President of the DP (first time)
years=1962 – 1969

-s-ttl|title=President of the DP (second time)
years=1971 – 1980


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  • Thorn — has several meanings:* Thorn, a sharp structure on plants * Thorn tree * Common hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna * Thorn (letter) (Þ, þ), a letter in the Anglo Saxon and Icelandic alphabets * Thorn (rune) (runic|ᚦ), the name of the th rune in the… …   Wikipedia

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  • Thorn Commission — The Thorn Commission was the European Commission that held office from 6 January 1981 until 5 January, 1985. Its President was Gaston Thorn.WorkIt was the successor to the Jenkins Commission and was succeeded by the Delors Commission. With a… …   Wikipedia


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