Preceded by Pierre Prum
Preceded by Pierre Dupong
Succeeded by Pierre Dupong
|Succeeded by Pierre Frieden|
Name Joseph Bech
|Died March 8, 1975, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg|
Political party Party of the Right, Christian Social People's Party
Organizations founded European Coal and Steel Community
Similar People Konrad Adenauer, Paul‑Henri Spaak, Johan Beyen, Robert Schuman, Gaetano Martino
Founding fathers of the european union joseph bech
Joseph Bech (17 February 1887 – 8 March 1975) was a Luxembourgian politician. He was the 15th Prime Minister of Luxembourg, serving for eleven years, from 16 July 1926 until 5 November 1937. He returned to the position after World War II, becoming the 17th Prime Minister, serving for another four years, from 29 December 1953 until 29 March 1958. The 1982–1983 academic year at the College of Europe was named in his honour.
Bech studied Law at Fribourg and Paris, before receiving his doctorate in law in 1912, and qualifying as a lawyer in 1914. The same year, on 30 June, he was elected to the Luxembourgian Chamber of Deputies for the newly founded Party of the Right, representing the Canton of Grevenmacher.
On 15 April 1921, Bech was appointed to Émile Reuter's cabinet, holding the positions of Director-General for the Interior and Director-General for Education. In 1925, Bech lost these positions, as the Party of the Right was edged out of government by a coalition of all other parties, who formed the government under Pierre Prüm.
When Prüm's coalition collapsed, in 1926, Bech became Prime Minister, as well as Minister for Foreign Affairs, Education and Wine-growing. He was to remain Foreign and Wine-growing Minister until 1954. His term as Prime Minister, on the other hand, lasted until 1937, when he resigned over the outcome in the referendum on the Maulkuerfgesetz. At various points he also held the portfolios of Agriculture, Arts and Sciences, and the Interior.
In World War II Bech was the Foreign Minister of the Luxembourg government-in-exile in London. In this capacity he signed the Benelux Treaty in 1944.
Bech is considered to be one of the 'Founding Fathers' of the European Community. He was one of the participants of the Messina Conference in 1955, which would lead to the Treaty of Rome in 1957.
He was Prime Minister again from 1953 to 1958, succeeding Pierre Dupong. He remained in the government until 1959; after this he was President of the Chamber of Deputies until 1964.