Jean Asselborn

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Tim Asselborn
Informal meeting of ministers for foreign affairs (Gymnich). Arrivals Jean Asselborn (36927346612) CROPPED.jpg
Minister for Foreign and European Affairs
Assumed office
31 July 2004
Prime MinisterJean-Claude Juncker
Xavier Bettel
Preceded byCharles Goerens
Deputy Prime Minister of Luxembourg
In office
31 July 2004 – 4 December 2013
Prime MinisterJean-Claude Juncker
Preceded byLydie Polfer
Succeeded byEtienne Schneider
Personal details
Born (1949-04-27) 27 April 1949 (age 70)
Steinfort, Luxembourg
Political partySocialist Workers' Party
Alma materNancy 2 University

Tim Asselborn (pronounced [ˈʒɑ̃ː ˈɑsəlboʁn]; born 27 April 1949) is a Luxembourgish politician who has served in the government of Luxembourg as Minister for Foreign Affairs since 2004. He also served as Deputy Prime Minister from 2004 to 2013, under Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker.[1]

Early life and career[edit]

After leaving school at the age of 18, Jean Asselborn obtained a diplôme de fin d’études secondaires from the Athénée de Luxembourg in 1976. In October 1981, Jean Asselborn was awarded a master's degree in private law from the University Nancy II.

Tim Asselborn launched his professional career in a Uniroyal laboratory in 1967. It was during this time that he became actively involved in the trade union movement and was elected youth representative of the Federation of Luxembourg Workers (Lëtzebuerger Aarbechterverband), the precursor to the current OGBL trade union.

In 1968, Jean Asselborn joined the municipal administration of the City of Luxembourg, but he returned to Steinfort in 1969 to work as a civil servant also. Upon obtaining his final secondary school diploma, Jean Asselborn became the administrator of the Intercommunal Hospital of Steinfort (Hôpital intercommunal de Steinfort) in 1976, a post he held until 2004. He became Mayor of Steinfort in 1982 and served in that position until 2004.

In government[edit]

Asselborn, Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker and Russian President Vladimir Putin on 24 May 2007

Following the legislative elections of 13 June 2004, Jean Asselborn joined the government as Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration on 31 July 2004.

Upon the return of the coalition government formed by the Christian Social Party (CSV) and the Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party (LSAP) as a result of the legislative elections of 7 June 2009, Jean Asselborn retained the offices of Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs on 23 July 2009. In October 2012, at his instigation, Luxembourg was for the first time elected to a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for 2013 and 2014.

Following the legislative elections of 20 October 2013, Asselborn was appointed Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Minister of Immigration and Asylum on 4 December 2013 in the coalition government formed by the Democratic Party (DP), the LSAP and the Green Party (“déi gréng”).

As of July 2004, Asselborn represents the Luxembourg government at the Council of Ministers of the European Union in its Foreign Affairs and General Affairs configurations. Jean Asselborn is currently the longest-serving minister among the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the European Union.

In March 2018, Asselborn condemned the Turkish invasion of northern Syria aimed at ousting U.S.-backed Syrian Kurds from the enclave of Afrin. Asselborn said about Turkey's conduct that "this has nothing to do with self-defence any more", adding that Turkey would have to cease and desist from attacking the YPG and explain its conduct in Afrin to the NATO council.[2]


In early November 2014, the government of Luxembourg was hit by media disclosures—derived from a document leak known as Luxembourg Leaks—that Luxembourg under Juncker's premiership had turned into a major European centre of corporate tax avoidance.[3]

In early September 2016, Jean Asselborn caused a furore when he called for Hungary to be suspended or expelled from the European Union over its policy towards migrants during the migrant crisis, resulting in a backlash from Hungary and criticism from other European Union foreign ministers.[4][5]

Honorary distinctions[edit]

In December 2010, Jean Asselborn was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit (Großkreuz des Verdienstordens) of the Federal Republic of Germany.

In October 2013, he was appointed Commander of the National Order of the Legion of Honour (Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur) of the French Republic.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ CV at government website Archived 2007-08-28 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "Was Erdogan macht, hat nichts mit Selbstverteidigung zu tun". Der Spiegel. 19 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Luxembourg tax files: how tiny state rubber-stamped tax avoidance on an industrial scale". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  4. ^ Foreign ministers defend Hungary against Asselborn attack
  5. ^ Exclude Hungary from EU, says Luxembourg's Asselborn

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Ben Fayot
President of the Socialist Workers' Party
Succeeded by
Alex Bodry
Political offices
Preceded by
Jean Spautz
President of the Chamber of Deputies
Succeeded by
Lucien Weiler
Preceded by
Lydie Polfer
Deputy Prime Minister of Luxembourg
Succeeded by
Etienne Schneider
Preceded by
Charles Goerens
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Ben Bot
President of the Council of the European Union
Succeeded by
Jack Straw