Guy was Prime Minister of Belgium for almost ten years: from 1999 to 2008.
His governments meant a breath of fresh air in Belgian politics. He made Belgium the second country in the world to introduce gay marriage and to legalize euthanasia.
Also in the economic field he reversed the trend. He drastically cut income taxes and taxes for entrepreneurs. Economic growth in Belgium rose beyond what was expected. Under his prime ministership the Belgian public debt fell from 114 per cent of GDP to 84 per cent.
After he left office, Verhofstadt was elected in the European Parliament where he became group leader of the Liberals and Democrats. For the past five years Verhofstadt has been an impatient champion of reform within the EU. He fought for faster decision making and more focus on the essential tasks of the Union.
Lots of the controversial points he launched in the beginning of his European career were taken up later on by the European heads of state and government. For example the banking union or the six pack.
For Verhofstadt the stakes of these elections are clear: he wants to get rid of the Europe of half-hearted decisions. He wants to reform the Union drastically so that it can focus on the big issues and give voters a direct say in which direction we move forward.
10 June 2014Verhofstadt message to European leaders: Europe needs reform, not rejection
27 May 2014Guy Verhofstadt attended the liberal prime ministers' meeting today ahead of the informal European Council
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