Peter Vesterdorf (formerly Vesterdorf Jensen).


After finishing military service in 1962 (the Royal Guard) I studied law and after graduation (cand. jur.) from the University of Copenhagen. I worked for the liberal group of the Danish parliament for 3-4 years and went on to work in the research department of the European Parliament. After some years there I started an about 10 year long career in our foreign affairs ministry, part of the time as legal consultant in European Law. Later followed a couple of years as a legal clerk for the then Danish judge who became president of the EU Court of Justice. I retired after some 20 years as a EU law consultant to the Danish Federation of SMEs with offices here and in Brussels.

I got a Ph.D. degree in 1981 (lic. jur.) based on a one year leave from the ministry of foreign affairs with a scholarship providing sufficient time for preparing and writing a thesis on  European integration. The work was later published under the title “Europa-parlamentet og Europæisk integration”. Over a span of now forty years I have published more than ten books on (mostly) European Law (i.a. competition law, state aid, the single market, public procurement, the EU institutions and democracy). I have written numerous newspaper articles on the EU and often appeared on TV and radio - which is no great feat bearing in mind that Denmark is such a small country. I have written some contributions to EU law magazines such as Common Market Law Review. Given my background as one of the earliest Danish specialists in EU law I have taught, i.a., American, Estonian, Polish, Czech and Russian students EU law under the Danish international studies programme in Denmark (DIIS) and taught abroad e.g. going to Poland quite a few times as part of an EU sponsored programme (Phare) for teaching civil servants and judges EU law. I have given EU law lectures at universities here and abroad.

As a consequence of my various jobs I have travelled a lot. My job in the EP and in the ministry of foreign affairs accounts for more than a hundred trips within Europe e.g. to Brussels, Paris, Strasbourg and London. As a tourist I have also visited faraway places such as Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Hawaii, Moscow, Dubai, Egypt and South Africa.

I am only semi-retired and still a senior consultant to a Copenhagen law firm specialized in public procurement. I look forward to the publication in autumn of a comprehensive work on EU public procurement regulation of which I am one of two editors. The handbook is written in (Brussels-)English language and published by a well-known German law book publisher (Nomos).

I have three children of my own and two stepdaughters from two marriages, the first being with a Dane and the second and last (from 2002) with Elena who has met some of you. She is Russian.

I have had a life with ups and downs, but fortunately a mostly happy life both personally and career-wise. I am grateful for having been able to reach the 75 years in reasonably good health and I still do a lot of bicycling (4.000 kilometres last year). Some of you will remember I went to school on a race bike back there in 1959/60. I remember that one day some class mates (maybe one of you) when passing me, in a convertible I think, yelled to me: “Hi Pete, why don´t you get a horse”.  But I never got a horse and am happy to stick to my bicycle.

Unfortunately, due to Kafkask bureaucracy here when applying for a visa to the US, I shall not be able to participate in the 75th birthday. I greatly regret that. It would be a real pleasure to meet you again. Time is sort of running out fast now, but I shall do my very best too participate in 2020.

I hope that you will, as usual, have a good and joyful reunion.


Peter Vesterdorf (formerly Vesterdorf Jensen).



PS I have participated in three class reunions starting in 2000, and some of you have met at least some of my daughters here and/or in the US. For the interest it may have I add the following updated info about them: My eldest daughter Nanna who holds an MA from the U. of CPH has worked as a translator of mostly American film texts and books and now teaches English language and literature, Signe is an architect and has had a leading role in designing the huge and brand new Apple server centre at Viborg in Denmark, while the youngest, Maja, is partly handicapped (depression) due to a series of serious operations (heart, thyroid, stomach) and had to drop her studies in linguistics. One Danish stepdaughter, Thora, who lives in Norway and is married to a Norwegian, is an engineer and management consultant while Olga, Russian, has performed impressively, is now a Danish citizen. She holds a law degree from Copenhagen Business school and is now employed by the leading Danish bank (Danske Bank). I have three nice grandchildren, two boys and one girl.