Europe is going through a deep economic and moral crisis. We have lost our way.
In the next five years we should rebuild the European Union so that it is capable of leading again, for all of Europe's citizens and in the world. We need to fix our economy by creating a real economic and fiscal union, a common economic strategy that triggers investments and creates jobs.
We should make Europe stronger by giving it the tools to defend our borders and to turn migration into a force for good for our economy and our society. We need a Europe that is uncompromising in defending civil liberties. In short, a Europe that is true to its original calling by being ambitious.
As prime minister of Belgium, I opened up a country that was stuck in many ways. Taxes for people and businesses were lowered and Belgium was the second country worldwide that introduced gay marriage and progressive euthanasia laws. The country's public debt shrank by 25 per cent over 8 years.
I have strong convictions but I also know how to work together - in Belgium with the different language communities and in Europe with the different parties in the European Parliament. For the past five years, the liberals and democrats have been a kingmaker in almost every crucial issue in the Parliament.
Europe has been too preoccupied with itself. It has provided half-hearted solutions, with its back room politics. We need to break this old mind-set and inject some ambition into the European project: to turn it into a motor for jobs and freedom again.
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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