Helle Thorning-Schmidt

Helle Thorning-Schmidt

Infobox Politician

name = Helle Thorning-Schmidt
order = Leader of the Social Democrats
term_start = 12 April 2005
term_end =
predecessor = Mogens Lykketoft
successor = Incumbent
office2 = Member of Parliament
term_start2 = 8 February 2005
term_end2 =
office3 = Member of the European Parliament
term_start3 = 1999
term_end3 = 2004
predecessor3 =
successor3 =
birth_date = Birth date and age|1966|12|14|df=yes
birth_place = Rødovre, Denmark
religion =
party = Social Democrats
spouse = Stephen Kinnock|

Helle Thorning-Schmidt IPA| [⁽ˈ⁾hɛlə tˢɒːneŋ ˈsmed̥] (born 14 December 1966) is a Danish politician. She was elected leader of the Danish Social Democrats by the party members on April 12 2005, ahead of the other candidate, Frank Jensen. She replaced Mogens Lykketoft, who had resigned when he lost the 2005 Danish parliamentary election to the sitting government coalition of Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Early Life

Helle Thorning-Schmidt graduated with a master's degree in political science from the University of Copenhagen in 1994, and also holds a master's degree in European studies from the College of Europe in Bruges.

Member of the European Parliament 1999-2004

In 1999, Helle Thorning-Schmidt was elected to the European Parliament as a member of the Party of European Socialists. During the five year term, she was a member of the Employment and Social Committee and the Constitutional Committee of the European Parliament. She co-founded the Campaign for Parliament Reform (CPR).

Member of Folketing

She led the Social Democrats through the 2007 Danish parliamentary election where, despite modest gains, the party was forced into a third term in opposition. The party was also unable to regain its position as the largest party in the Folketing. Since 2005 she has represented a constituency in a part of the Danish capital Copenhagen called Østerbrokredsen.

As the leader of the largest opposition party in Denmark she can be considered the leader of the Danish opposition. Should she succeed in leading the opposition to power, she would be the first female Prime Minister of Denmark.

She was against holding a referendum on the European Reform Treaty. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7060654.stm Denmark announces snap elections] , BBC News 24 October 2007] During her 2007 campaign she promised to relax restrictions on asylum seekers and immigrants. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7087474.stm Danes in poll tussle over migrants] , BBC News 13 November 2007] She also opposed tax cuts announced by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, instead she would like to see more money spent on welfare. The party also campaigned on a platform of combating increased inequalities in society, and fighting global warming by making 45% of Denmark's energy from renewable sources by 2025. [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/nov/09/gwladysfouche1 Denmark: A political guide] , The Guardian 9 November 2007]

Although her party again lost two seates in the 2007 election (now 45 seats), her leadership wasn't questioned by her party.

According to a June 2008 opinion poll carried out by Gallup, the opposition centre-left was on 49.8% compared to 49.6% to the centre-right. This would leave the centre-left on 88 seats, one short of a majority, discounting the Faroe Island and Greenland seats. [ [http://www.berlingske.dk/article/20080628/politik/706280036/ Oppositionen går på ferie med flertal - Politik ] ]

Personal Life

Through her marriage to Stephen Kinnock, she is the daughter-in-law of Neil Kinnock, former leader of the British Labour Party, and Glenys Kinnock. They have two children.

External links

* [http://www.thorning-schmidt.dk/ Helle Thorning-Schmidt's personal webpage]


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