The former LSAP Minister of Foreign Affairs informed this Thursday morning on his Facebook account that he is not going to run in the European elections at the beginning of June. After a long political career of more than 40 years, Jean Asselborn is retiring from politics for good.
He had left a small door ajar, it is now closed. Jean Asselborn draws a line under political life. The post of Minister of Foreign Affairs, held for almost 20 years (2004-2023), will therefore remain the last for the socialist, who was elected, in 1984, for the first time to the Chamber of Deputies.
It was on his Facebook account that Jean Asselborn decided to announce his political retirement, after a career of more than 40 years. “All these years, I have tried to serve the general public as best as possible, at the municipal, national, European and international level. I have the impression that all these years have left their mark and that even politicians are not timeless,” he writes.
After leaving the government in mid-November, Jean Asselborn decided not to occupy the seat of deputy, won during the legislative elections of October 8. His end of mandate was marked by the difficult, widely criticized decision to restrict the reception of male asylum seekers who had already applied in another EU country to obtain refugee status.
This final episode caused the socialist minister to break down emotionally. “I know that I risk disappointing a lot of voters, but it is time to take a step back, otherwise the candle could quickly go out,” explained Jean Asselborn when he gave up his mandate as deputy. .
At that time, he had not yet ruled out running in the European elections. This Thursday, January 18, the former head of Luxembourg diplomacy claims to have “informed the leadership of (his) party that it would be preferable not to participate (in the vote), because I am not convinced that I can still muster the motivation and energy required.
Not a candidate, but committed against the “destroyers of the EU”
Jean Asselborn nevertheless remains at the disposal of the LSAP, which should be led by Marc Angel, one of the outgoing vice-presidents of the European Parliament, in the European elections. The announcement of the end of Jean Asselborn’s career also comes at a time when his former government colleague, Nicolas Schmit, should be named as head of the European list of the Party of European Socialists.
A convinced European, Jean Asselborn also puts into perspective wanting to continue to defend the cause of the EU “through numerous commitments that have been offered to me abroad over the coming months, to do everything so that those who want to destroy the ‘EU in its essence does not impose itself’.
“Another 20 years of climbing the Ventoux by bike”
And after ? “As for the project for the next 20 years, I plan to go by bike from Luxembourg to (Mont) Ventoux for at least 10 years, and succeed in climbing to the summit.” “And then another 10 years, do the same with the electric bike,” adds the cycling enthusiast.
Deputy mayor, president of the LSAP, then minister
Jean Asselborn won his first seat as a deputy in 1984. He then served for 20 years as deputy mayor of Steinfort, before joining the Juncker-Asselborn I government in 2004. Over the nearly 20 years that followed, Jean Asselborn – also a former president of the LSAP – became the oldest EU foreign minister, highly appreciated for his unfailing commitment and outspokenness.