Tag Archives: guy verhofstadt

EU citizenship post-Brexit: one step closer?

 

Guy Verhofstadt is a hero in our unheroic age. Whilst confusion and fear over Brexit stalk the lives of many, Theresa May hides behind the camouflage of providing “no running commentary” – helpful cover for a government with no plan and no idea – and European Commission chief negotiator Michel Barnier understandably asserts that he cannot negotiate a British exit from the EU until Britain confirms it actually wants to exit the EU.

Into this vacuum steps Guy Verhofstadt, the Belgian MEP and former prime minister who heads the Liberal group in the European Parliament. Relatively quietly, it is Guy who has put the first concrete proposal onto the exit talks agenda: opt-in EU citizenship post-Brexit for Brits who want it. It is something I have been making a pitch for here and elsewhere for the last couple of months, including two articles (here and here) in The New European newspaper.

In the last few days, Guy has made this commitment: “I, as Brexit negotiator for the Parliament, will ensure that it is included in the Parliament’s negotiating mandate.” With a single, decisive act, he has done more to include Britain’s pro-Europeans in the Brexit process than our own government has attempted in six months.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 26 Comments

ALDE MEP Charles Goerens proposes EU citizenship for members of former Member States

It looks as if it isn’t just the Liberal Democrats who are keen to remain within the European Union. Charles Goerens, a member of the ALDE Group in the European Parliament from Luxembourg, has suggested that there might be scope for those British citizens who wish to be part of the Union to obtain associate citizenship.

He has submitted an amendment to a draft report from Guy Verhofstadt on “Possible evolutions of and adjustments to the current institutional set-up of the European Union”, which reads;

Advocates to insert in the Treaties a European associate citizenship for those who feel and wish to

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

Witney could be a turning point for the Lib Dems

The result in the Witney by-election was a substantial swing to the LibDems, jumping from fourth place on 6.8% to second place on 30.2%. Liz Leffman and her team did an outstanding job, and the party was clearly ready to rally to the cause.

Over the next few days there were speculations about what that would mean if replicated at a General Election, with estimates of the number of seats likely to switch from Tory to LibDem put between 26 and 51. The statistician in me is wary of those extrapolations: there are lots of unknowns at by-elections, and British politics is especially turbulent at the moment.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 19 Comments

Introducing the new hate figure for the tabloid press…

The European Parliament has appointed its lead negotiator for the Brexit discussions. And it’s someone well known to Liberal Democrats. He announced it on his Twitter this afternoon:

The BBC has this to say about his appointment:

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 16 Comments

LibLink: Guy Verhofstadt – David Cameron wants a two-speed Europe

 

Guy Verhofstadt heads the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament and is the former Prime Minister of Belgium. In the Independent he examines David Cameron’s stance on Europe under the headline “EU referendum: David Cameron should spell it out. He wants a two-speed Europe“. He writes:

This week, or so we are told, the Prime Minister will set out his Christmas list of EU reforms to the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk. A broad agreement on the UK’s renegotiation package is envisaged at the December summit of European leaders. There will be battles and setbacks in the weeks to come, but there are reasons to think a deal can be found.

Many in continental Europe strongly agree with David Cameron that the European Union of today is not fit for purpose and is in need of fundamental reform. Most accept that the direction of travel has shifted towards some form of “two-speed Europe”, broadly based around eurozone “ins” and “outs”. And clarifying these two types of membership would surely be progress, compared with the chaotic multi-speed, hotchpotch EU of today. Maybe it is time for Cameron to be explicit and use the expression “two-speed”.

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 36 Comments

Guy Verhofstadt tears into Greece/Alexis Tsipras in the European parliament – and the reply

Newshound covered this on Thursday, but here’s a second chance to view Guy Verhofstadt, Member of the European Parliament and leader of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, telling Alexis Tsipras very precisely and passionately what Greece has to do. It’s a real zinger of a speech (and much better than Nigel Farage’s foghorned nonsense).

If you haven’t seen this, it’s well worth looking at. It’s the one commentary on the Greek situation which, for me, has made real sense:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 27 Comments

Guy Verhofstadt tells it to Greece and the EU like it is

Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the liberal ALDE group in the European Parliament, has set out a potential solution to the Greek crisis in an article for Politico. He makes it clear that there are faults on both sides and both sides need to take constructive action to resolve the crisis fairly for everyone.

We are in this mess because the Greeks never made a real reform package, or a clear break with their mistakes from the past. But also because Europe has followed wrong policies — policies of pure accountancy that slowly but steadily choked the Greek economy. Everybody can make the wrong policy choices, but we have been clinging on to them far too long.

He implores people to stop the scaremongering:

Posted in Europe / International and LibLink | Also tagged and | 16 Comments

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:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 21 Comments

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 …

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

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 5 Comments

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:

Posted in News | Also tagged | 4 Comments

#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

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged , and | 4 Comments

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

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 12 Comments

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

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 9 Comments

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 …

Posted in LibLink and News | Also tagged and | 13 Comments

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 …

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged , and | Leave a comment

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 …

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

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

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

“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 …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 20 Comments

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 …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 15 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarAndy Hinton 25th May - 2:45am
    I'm a little confused by theakes and David Evans's comments. Would they rather we just didn't have well written policy? I'm as interested in us...
  • User AvatarJoeB 25th May - 1:25am
    Peter, The UK had similar oil reserves in the North Sea to that of Norway in the 1970s. Norway invested their windfall. In 1974, Oslo...
  • User AvatarMichael BG 25th May - 1:03am
    @ Peter Martin While our position has not always been clear, it is that there should be a referendum on accepting the deal or staying...
  • User Avatarpaul holmes 24th May - 11:40pm
    Mick, do your arguments on the effect of AWS stand up to scrutiny? Jo Swinson was selected to fight and win her Target seat in...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 24th May - 11:24pm
    "They want another referendum, on the proposed deal with the EU." If we vote to reject it then what? We leave with no deal? You...
  • User AvatarRob Parsons 24th May - 11:11pm
    I think the shortest answer to that, Little Jackie, is read Jo's book. The evidence is there in every way from statistical to anecdotal.