Poul Hartling

Poul Hartling (14 August 1914 – 30 April 2000) was a Danish politician and diplomat. He was leader of Venstre from 1965 to 1977, and served as Prime Minister of Denmark from 1973 to 1975. Prior to that, he served as foreign minister from 1968 to 1971 under Hilmar Baunsgaard. From 1978 to 1985, he served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Poul Hartling
Poul Hartling.jpg
5th United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
In office
1 January 1978 – 31 December 1985
Preceded bySadruddin Aga Khan
Succeeded byJean-Pierre Hocké
21st Prime Minister of Denmark
In office
19 December 1973 – 13 February 1975
MonarchMargrethe II
Preceded byAnker Jørgensen
Succeeded byAnker Jørgensen
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
2 February 1968 – 11 October 1971
Prime MinisterHilmar Baunsgaard
Preceded byHans Tabor
Succeeded byKnud Børge Andersen
Personal details
Born(1914-08-14)14 August 1914
Copenhagen, Denmark
Died30 April 2000(2000-04-30) (aged 85)
Copenhagen, Denmark
Political partyVenstre


Hartling graduated in theology 1939, became ordained as a priest, and later headed a teacher's seminary. He was a member of parliament 1957–1960, and again 1964–1977, and party leader 1965–1977. Hartling served as Foreign Minister of Denmark from 1968 until 1971 in the Cabinet of Hilmar Baunsgaard. Hartling was Prime Minister from 1973 until 1975.[citation needed] In the chaotic situation with many new parties after the 1973 Danish parliamentary election his single party minority government commanded only 22 out 179 seats in parliament. In social policy, Hartling's time as Prime Minister witnessed the passage of the Social Assistance Act of 1974, which instructed municipal authorities to provide day-care and recreation centres for children and young people.[citation needed]

Hartling then left Danish politics to work for the United Nations. He was the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) from 1978 until 1985. In 1981 Hartling accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the UNHCR.[citation needed]

Hartling died 30 April 2000 in Copenhagen. He is buried with his wife Elsebeth in Hørsholm.[1]


  1. ^ "Paul Hartling". Gravsted (in Danish). Retrieved 11 January 2023.


Political offices
Preceded by Foreign Minister of Denmark
2 February 1968 – 11 October 1971
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of Denmark
19 December 1973 – 13 February 1975
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Leader of Venstre
1965 – 1977
Succeeded by