I want to fix the economy by setting the conditions right for the private sector and by redirecting the EU budget to large-scale, innovative projects with a clear return on investment.
Socialists think they can solve the crisis by increasing budgets and national debts. Conservatives lack the solidarity and vision to balance their harsh austerity measures. Euroscepticswould re-establish national borders making foreign direct investment extremely problematic and costing the Union jobs.
I believe civil liberties cannot be taken for granted and that we should fight for them. I have a strong track record as only the second prime minister worldwide to introduce gay marriage and as early as 2009 warned that terrorism should not be an excuse to dilute fundamental rights.
Under the guise of ‘subsidiarity’, conservatives and eurosceptics say that civil liberties and human rights should be left to the member states. I believe that the rise in extremism and populism should be a concern for all Europeans. There is no such thing as a partially free Europe.
I believe we have to reform our institutions thoroughly: make them focus on the important things and render them more efficient. I believe that it is only through a reformed and more efficient Europe that we will regain sovereignty in the globalised world we live in.
Conservatives believe the EU institutions are a given: they are what they are and should be managed as they are, without ambitious reforms. This lethargy will feed the widespread discontent against the EU institutions even further. Socialists make the same mistake by not wanting to reform the EU institutions but expanding bureaucracy. They want to add layers of government instead of making the existing ones more efficient.
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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