Guy Verhofstadt
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Guy Verhofstadt was born in 1953. He attended school and university in Ghent, where he studied the law. In 1972, he became president of the Liberal Flemish Students' Union in Ghent and, four years later, was elected as a City Councillor there. Keen to follow his interest in national politics, Verhofstadt went on to take a number of high profile posts including National President of the Party for Freedom and Progress (PVV), member of parliament, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Budget, senator, and National President of the Flemish Liberals and Democrats (VLD).

In July 1999, he became prime minister of Belgium, heading three separate governments over the course of nearly ten years.

In June 2009, Guy Verhofstadt was elected to the European Parliament, where he heads the Liberal and Democrat group of legislators.

In addition to his duties as a politician, Verhofstadt has written a number of books, including The United States of Europe (2006), The New Age of Empires (2008) and Emerging from the Crisis: How Europe can Save the World (2009).
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Entries by Guy Verhofstadt

Why Doesn't the EU Have a Strategy for Syria?

(18) Comments | Posted 4 May 2016 | (00:00)

The fragile ceasefire in Syria, brokered by the US and Russia in February, now hangs in the balance. After several months of relative calm in western parts of the country, the Assad regime has now renewed its bombing campaign in civilian areas under the control of rebels around Aleppo and...

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It Will Take More Than Solidarity to Defeat This Terrorist Menace - We Need an Effective European Response

(32) Comments | Posted 23 March 2016 | (17:59)

Until now, we have been spared a major attack on Belgian soil. Sadly, the sickening events of 22 March abruptly changed that. Brussels now joins the growing list of European cities that have been targeted for mass casualty attacks: Madrid, London and Paris.

But this week's slaughter wasn't just...

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This Russian 'Withdrawal' From Syria Is No Victory for the West

(20) Comments | Posted 16 March 2016 | (23:00)

On Monday, Vladimir Putin announced to the world that his mission in Syria had been "accomplished" and that Russian forces will be partly withdrawn from Syria. The extent to which this genuinely represents a "withdrawal" will only become clear in the coming weeks.

If there is one fact we...

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Syrian Refugees Must One Day Have the Chance to Return Home

(2) Comments | Posted 15 September 2015 | (00:00)

If we are to tackle the root cause of the refugee crisis hitting Europe, it is time for Western leaders and the international community to face up to their responsibilities in Syria and the Middle East.

For four years the world has been failing to find a way to...

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Europe Needs a Smart TTIP

(11) Comments | Posted 11 June 2015 | (00:00)

There are many growing threats to European prosperity and security; an expansionist Russia, the rise of ISIS and the looming threat of irreversible climate change. Let alone the possible fragmentation of our own European Union. We should not add a possible EU - US trade agreement to this list.

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Europe Should Not Fear Uber

(2) Comments | Posted 22 April 2015 | (00:00)

Ordering, tracking and paying for a taxi service with just a few clicks. A few years ago, this was hard to imagine, but digital innovations such as Uber have now become mainstream. As regulators, we are playing catch up. All too often, our outdated laws provide barriers to new and...

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A European Energy Union Would Hit Putin Where It Hurts Most

(7) Comments | Posted 24 February 2015 | (23:00)

Today, the European Commission will present a proposal for one of its most important flagship projects: the creation of a European Energy Union. It could lead to the delivery of a genuine single European energy market with increased competition and lower energy costs. It could increase energy efficiency, create millions...

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In the Fight Against Terrorism, We Need More Europe - Not More Data

(6) Comments | Posted 10 February 2015 | (17:06)

One month after the shocking attack on the Charlie Hebdo office, European heads of government are discussing measures to beef up the EU's internal security policy. But their tone stays a voluntary one, sticking to the line that 'more cooperation is needed'. Member states have been saying this for years,...

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Do We Really Want Ukrainians Repeating 'F*** the EU?'

(4) Comments | Posted 11 February 2014 | (10:53)

In the night of 21 November last year, more than 2,000 protesters gathered in Kiev at Maidan Square. Today, almost three months later, we have seen what in effect has been a re-launch of the 2004 Orange Revolution. A battle of the Ukrainian people for a stronger democracy, a fairer...

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On Europe, The Tories Have Discarded Sensible Policy for Knee-Jerk Reactions

(6) Comments | Posted 31 May 2013 | (13:54)

William Hague surely understands that it is unrealistic and counterproductive to return the EU to unanimity voting. This would represent a fundamental rewriting of the Treaties that allows most decisions to be taken by a qualified majority of Member States (and a majority of MEPs) so that no single country...

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The Time Has Come for the European Union to Take Firm Measures Against the Orban Regime

(10) Comments | Posted 20 March 2013 | (09:48)

The EU is not only experiencing an economic crisis. Even more worryingly, it is suffering a democratic crisis in its Member States - including, among others, Hungary. Since the arrival to power of prime minister Viktor Orban and his conservative party FIDESZ, Hungary has gone through a set of dramatic...

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EU Budget Deal Not Good Enough

(15) Comments | Posted 13 March 2013 | (23:00)

The European Parliament has now clearly stated its opposition to the proposal from heads of state on the EU's long-term budget, with the vast majority of MEPs listing several key demands before any deal can be signed off.

My own group decided already at the end of...

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Joint Letter From the European Parliament: EU Budget Is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

(14) Comments | Posted 3 February 2013 | (23:00)

EU budget negotiations are always strongly characterised by populist grandstanding. The current round of haggling over the €1trillion, seven year budget framework is no different. The European budget is, in all its parts, an expression of our common European interest and comprises barely 1% of our combined GDP. We should...

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The UK Is Sleepwalking to the EU Exit - It Is Time to Wake Up

(129) Comments | Posted 17 January 2013 | (14:57)

David Cameron's long-awaited speech on Britain in Europe tomorrow will force him to make some hard choices that will affect the future of British influence on the continent. Will Britain aim to be a key player at the heart of the EU or a bit player on the margins? Will...

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