Guy Verhofstadt (Belgium)

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47th Belgian Prime Minister

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Synopsis

Guy led three separate administrations as Belgian Prime Minister before heading one of the principal groupings in the European Parliament, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, for a decade. He also led the Parliament's Brexit negotiation team. Guy argues for a federal solution, united in managing total public debt and pumping money into the economy. To compete with growth in the US and Asia, he believes there has to be a unified political strategy, a common treasury, a real government and a parliament with full powers.

Biography

Guy Verhofstadt served for a decade as the leader of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), the centrist-liberal grouping in the European parliament. He is also the former prime minister of Belgium, and has been charged with leading the EU’s negotiating team on the UK’s departure from the Union.

After studying law, Guy became a member of the Ghent City Council and quickly rose within the ranks of Belgium’s VLD party. He became an MP and then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Budget whilst still in his 30s. After loosing power, Guy took control of the party and reinvented it, making more attractive to representatives of other parties. After taking time away from politics, Guy returned as president of the VLD winning the general election and becoming the first liberal PM in over 60 years. Guy retained the office for eight years before becoming a Senator and then an MEP. Upon entering the European Parliament he took on the leadership of the main liberal grouping, the ALDE, a position he held for 10 years, during which time he also served as the Parliament's Brexit Coordinator.

Guy argues for reform to the EU so that it focuses much more on the key problems facing both Europe and the world - the economic crisis, crime, the disparity between rich and poor, and other key political issues. He also supports greater integration within the EU, building a stronger commercial and trading bloc, with a single currency, treasury and economic policy, creating more jobs, and competing with the US and the emerging Asian economies. He examines the mistakes of the past, the likely outcomes for the future, and why Europe can be a superpower if it escapes its history and embraces revolution.

Still an active MEP in ALDE successor group Renew Europe, Guy is a regular voice in media across the continent, He is also the author of a number of books on Europe including The United States of Europe, The New Age of Empires and Emerging from the Crisis: How Europe can Save the World.

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