Tag Archives: guy verhofstadt

Nigel, was there something you forgot to do?

Nigel farage photo by norbert1As the net migration figures come out today, Nigel Farage has never been far from a tv camera. He’s been on the BBC News Channel. on the Daily Politics, spreading his ill-informed nonsense that we have an open door to half a billion people as if the entirety of Europe was going to pack up and come here to live.

It must have slipped his mind that he was supposed to be in Strasbourg this morning, voting down the European Commission headed by Jean-Claude Juncker. He must have also forgotten to take part in the debate on the motion on Monday. The funny thing is, he’s been in Strasbourg this week, lining up to meet the Pope.  UKIP MEPs don’t often trouble the Parliament with their presence, but you would think that Farage would have bothered to turn up to support his own motion! He and others including France’s Front National leader Marine Le Pen had wasted Parliament’s time with the motion which was roundly defeated this morning.

ALDE leader Guy Verhofstadt spoke against it in the debate and he didn’t mince his words:

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Antony Hook asks… Juncker nominated as next President of the European Commission – What happens next?

EU flagToday the European Council nominated Jean-Claude Juncker to be the next President of the European Commission. The heads of government of the 28 states voted overwhelmingly for Juncker. Only the UK’s David Cameron (European Conservatives and Reformists) and Hungary’s Viktor Orban (European People’s Party) voted against.

Juncker’s nomination reflects not only the European People’s Party’s status as largest group in the Parliament but also that it supplies more of the states’ heads of government than any other party. The Council’s nominee will go before the Parliament in its plenary, 14-17 …

photo by: rockcohen
Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged , , , , and | 33 Comments

European elections: vote Conservative, get Liberal?

election day 2014It’s polling day here and, indeed, in the Netherlands, as four days of voting for the European Parliament kick off. And, just possibly, whilst the Liberal Democrats are predicted to suffer losses here in the United Kingdom, the groundwork for the appointment of a liberal as President of the European Commission might be being prepared.

Christopher Flores, writing in the EU Observer, explains how;

Should a left coalition be blocked, the left will likely rally around one candidate in hopes of salvaging the loss of the Parliament by being able

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Guy Verhofstadt joins fellow Commission presidency candidates for first TV debate

Guy Verhofstadt, former Belgian prime minister and Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party nominee for the presidency of the European Commission, joined the three other main contenders for the job — Jean-Claude Juncker (European People’s Party), Martin Schultz (Party of European Socialists) and Ska Keller (European Green Party) — for the first ever televised debate between Commission presidency candidates.

You can watch a video of the debate, which was hosted by Euro News, below:

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#SelfEU: the way to win a day with ALDE’s Guy Verhofstadt*

Guy VerhofstadtYes, the #selfEU is actually a thing, as ALDE’s Guy Verhofstadt promotes his campaign to become the next President of the European Commission:

THE ONE AND ONLY “SELF-EU” CONTEST
It’s simple, just send us an EU selfie or a #selfEU, and you could win a day with Guy Verhofstadt.

The EU is about more than rules and regulations. Show us your favourite thing about the EU. Did you just board an airplane on a cheap flight, cross a border without having to use your passport or change currencies, or

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LibLink: Chris Davies MEP – Why I’m backing Verhofstadt for Commission President

Over on his blog, North West MEP Chris Davies explains why he is backing former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt to continue leading the ALDE grouping and be the group’s nominee for president of the European Commission.

Over to Chris to explain why:

He is a man who can provide the European Union with a degree of leadership and inspiration that it has been missing.

I am seriously concerned that Europe is stagnating while countries elsewhere gain greater economic influence.  Verhofstadt is absolutely right in saying that we must break free of our self-imposed shackles and move forward.

National governments should retain control

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LibLink…Sophie in’t Veld and Guy Verhofstadt: Europe must get tough with the US over NSA spying revelations

ALDE MEPs Sophie in’t Veld and Guy Verhofstadt pull no punches in an article in the Guardian about the US spying revelations, saying that Europe has only itself to blame for treating the US with awe to the extent that it was bound to start taking liberties:

The truth is that for too long, the EU and its member states have been prioritising cosy relations with the US over the interests of their own citizens. The spying scandal will now put Europe to the test. It must show that it is both willing and able to protect the rights of European

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LibLink: Guy Verhofstadt, still taking it to UKIP…

Guy VerhofstadtIn November, we reported on Guy Verhofstadt’s attack on Nigel Farage in the European Parliament. In yesterday’s Independent, the Leader of the Alliance of Liberals & Democrats in the European Parliament, gave his views on European migration policy and its effect on the United Kingdom. In a piece notable for its calmness of tone, he points out some of the flipside of the debate, pointing out the benefits of freedom of movement within the European Union, and nailing some of the misleading claims of UKIP leaders and activists.

Given …

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This week in Europe: 25-28 February

European Liberals and Democrats to oppose the 2014-20 budget proposal but accept the global amount

In a statement on Wednesday, the ALDE Group in the European Parliament adopted its position ahead of negotiations on the new EU budget. Guy Verhofstadt, its Group Leader, called for a transfer of spending from farming and cohesion policy towards research, innovation, infrastructure and competitiveness, and condemned the EU’s growing deficit;

Nor can we countenance the creation of excessive deficits, building up outstanding commitments year on year to a potential debt of €300 billion by 2020, if all commitments are taken up.

He also called for a binding …

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LibLink: Guy Verhofstadt thinks that David Cameron would be wrong to leave the EU…

In a piece for the Huffington Post entitled “The UK Is Sleepwalking to the EU Exit. It Is Time to Wake Up”, Guy Verhofstadt, Leader of the Alliance of Liberal and Democrats in Europe (ALDE) Group in the European Parliament, gives a glimpse of the difficulties facing David Cameron in seeking to renegotiate the United Kingdom’s relationship with the European Union. He warns;

Cameron will not succeed if he attempts to hold his European partners to ransom, exchanging acquiescence to EU treaty change over the eurozone for a unilateral repatriation of powers.

and notes, in language that Liberal Democrats would …

Posted in Europe / International, LibLink and News | Also tagged , and | 20 Comments

Guy Verhofstadt probably wasn’t on Nigel Farage’s Christmas card list anyway…

It would be fair to say that Nigel Farage and the leader of the ALDE group in the European Parliament, former Belgian Prime Minister, Guy Verhofstadt, are unlikely to be close friends. It’s rather less likely after this intervention on Wednesday. Sit back and enjoy…

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged and | 17 Comments

ELDR Congress – a quick catch up…

Last week that unusual event, a keynote speech by a senior Westminster-based Liberal Democrat at an ELDR* event, as Nick Clegg made one of the speeches that opened this year’s Congress.

Europe needs liberals now more than ever. The shared challenges we face are ones that can only be tackled when like-minded people across Europe work together: how to create jobs, particularly for our young people, and bring back prosperity; how to tackle climate change and build the new, green economies we need for our future.

For the rest …

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LibLink: Guy Verhofstadt MEP – Crisis shows why EU must renew its vows

Writing in the Financial Times, liberal leader in the European Parliament Guy Verhofstadt and his colleague and fellow contributor to this new book Daniel Cohn-Bendit (leader of the Greens) set out their vision for the future of the EU after the Eurozone crisis:

The crisis has shown up the key weaknesses in economic governance at EU level where a monetary policy was introduced without a parallel fiscal policy. Unlike other global currencies such as the

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“We are not planning for a Greek exit” – Verhofstadt

Guy Verhofstadt, the former Belgian prime minister and current leader of the liberal grouping in the European Parliament, has rejected talk of Greece leaving the Eurozone. Interviewed on the Today programme yesterday he said such speculation was aimed more at influencing public opinion in Greece than it was a prediction of the likely outcome of the current crisis.

Verhofstadt warned that the EU is unprepared for the contagion that would result from a Greek Euro exit, saying:

There is no real firewall around the other economies of Europe, we only have a few fire extinguishers.

You can hear the full interview – including …

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Chris Davies MEP writes… Assisted dying is a liberal issue

It was a Liberal Prime Minister, Guy Verhofstadt (now the leader of the ALDE Group in the European Parliament) who ensured that legislation to permit medically assisted dying was brought forward in Belgium a decade ago.  Publication of the report by the independent commission on assisted dying, chaired by Lord Falconer, should be a reminder to our Liberal Democrat leadership of our own very similar party policy on the subject.

Medically assisted dying (the patient self-administering) or euthanasia (the doctor providing direct assistance) are very definitely liberal matters.  They are about respect for individual wishes when the frailty or immobility of the individual …

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