Guy Verhofstadt: A wolf in sheep’s clothing


Verhofstadt’s dream of a federal European superstate: “A federal EU is the only option. The EU should have its own president, foreign minister, army and prosecutor” – Verhofstadt on Lybia: “The weak position of the EU makes me sick” – Verhofstadt on Syria: “The time for peace talks is over, we need action now. If the UN doesn’t react, then NATO should.”


Verhofstadt became president of the Flemish Liberal Student’s Union (1972–1974) while studying law at the University of Ghent. He quickly became the secretary of Willy De Clercq, who was at that time the president of the Flemish liberal party (Party for ‘Freedom and Progress, PVV). In 1982, at age 29, he became president of the party.In 1985 Verhofstadt was elected into the Chamber of Deputies, and became Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Budget under Prime Minister Wilfried Martens. Because of his economic views and his young age, he became known as “Baby Thatcher“. Another nickname from that era is “da joenk“, a Brabantian dialect expression meaning “that kid” (in a pejorative sense, referring to his rather iconoclastic and immature style).In 2004, Verhofstadt was suggested as a candidate to replace Romano Prodi as the next President of the European Commission.

In the 2009 European Parliament election, he was elected a member of the European Parliament for the term 2009–2014. He also has been put forward as the possible candidate for replacing José Manuel Barroso as the president of the European Commission by a coalition of greens, socialists and liberals.
On July 1, 2009 he was elected President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group in the European Parliament.
Verhofstadt is also a member of the Club de Madrid, an organization of more than 80 former statesmen. The group works to promote ‘democratic governance and leadership worldwide’.

Since 2012 is Verhofstadt a Board Member of the Brussels-based, Brussels-quoted Sofina holding (petroleum gas and oil platforms). He can look forward to a fee which is in line with that of the other directors, who last year received an amount between 42.000 134.000 euros. The Belgian industrialist Viscount Etienne Davignon is Honorary Director of Sofina.

Current directorships and offices held by Davignon: Chairman of Compagnie Maritime Belge, Compagnie des Wagons-Lits, Recticel, Sibeka, SN Airholding and Palais des Beaux-Arts (Belgium), Vice-Chairman of SUEZ-TRACTEBEL (Belgium), Director of Accor (France), Cumerio, Real Software, SN Brussels Airlines (Belgium), and Gilead (United States).
He is Chairman of the Bilderberg Group and of CSR Europe.
According to the Suez website, Davignon holds 11,111 Suez shares, which are currently worth more than 350,000 euro.

Verhofstadt pleads actually for supply of heavy weapons to the so called ‘Free Syrian Army’. It is part of Verhofstadt’s idea of a Greater Europe with its own army. On 20 February 2009 the European Parliament voted in favour of the creation of Synchronised Armed Forces Europe (SAFE) as a first step towards a true European military force. SAFE will be directed by an EU directorate, with its own training standards and operational doctrine. There are also plans to create an EU “Council of Defence Ministers” and “a European statute for soldiers within the framework of Safe governing training standards, operational doctrine and freedom of operational action”.

Photo 1: Verhofstadt and his ‘political father’, Willy De Clercq.

Photo 2: Guy Verhofstadt, MEP and President of ALDE Group; Mr Jacques Delors, Founding President of ‘Notre Europe’ and Etienne Davignon.

Guy Verhofstadt: “De Clercq was my political father” (video)


2 thoughts on “Guy Verhofstadt: A wolf in sheep’s clothing

  1. Guy Verhofstadt: no friend of Britain – Guy Verhofstadt calls David Cameron ‘a madman’. Britain should not have to listen to sneering Eurofederalists

    January 18th, 2013

    Former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt, arch-Eurofederalist, and leader of the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, has penned a piece for The Huffington Post railing against the idea of a British exit from the EU. He doesn’t mince his words with his views of David Cameron’s impending call for Britain to renegotiate its relationship with the European Union:
    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. Moreover, the rest of the EU knows that stability and economic recovery in the eurozone is vital to the UK’s own economic interests. Some have said Cameron is not going to get his way by pointing a gun at everyone else’s head. I believe a more apt metaphor would be that of a madman, threatening to blow himself up unless he gets his own way.
    Verhofstadt represents a deeply closed mindset in Brussels that still supports the notion of ever closer union despite the myriad problems afflicting the European Project. For Verhofstadt and his colleagues the very idea of EU member states carving opt-outs on various policies is absolute anathema. Any challenge to the established order, to the dream of a federal European superstate, is sheer heresy.
    Verhofstadt’s rigid views are not just representative of his own group in the European Parliament. They are the dominant sentiments held by a significant majority of Europe’s political elite, from the upper echelons of the European Commission to the halls of the German Chancellery. (See also this YouTube video posted by Dan Hannan earlier this week, where Verhofstadt openly mocks the UK in a speech to the European Parliament.)
    As Verhofstadt’s comments show, the idea that London will be able to successfully renegotiate its relationship with the EU and re-shape the Union in Britain’s image is a fantasy. If David Cameron is serious about defending British sovereignty there can be only one option – supporting a British exit from the EU, and pledging to hold a referendum before, not after, the next general election. Britain is a great nation with a proud history, whose soldiers liberated Brussels in 1944. It does not need to take any lessons from a pompous Belgian politician who can barely disguise his contempt for the country that selflessly freed his own people from tyranny just two generations ago.

    Tags: David Cameron, European Commission, European Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt

  2. European dictatorship…

    Speech by Guy Verhofstadt – Intervention in plenary – Spring European Council

    Intervention by Guy Verhofstadt
    13 March 2013
    Spring European Council

    Dear President,

    I start with a request to you.

    May I ask you to raise in your intervention at the European Council the issue of Hungary ?

    What is happening there is an offence against the principles of the Union, an attack against our common values. It is about Hungary but it is also beyond Hungary. It’s about Europe. Europe must show that it stands united in the defence of its basic values: democracy, rule of law, fundamental rights.

    I said already yesterday, it is time to take stronger action on the basis of art. 7, to launch an open and frank dialogue with Hungary, including recommendations.

    All three institutions have to take their responsibilities. We with the Tavares report.
    You, the Irish Presidency, may I ask you to put it on the agenda Friday ?
    And if not, can I ask you Mister Barroso, art. 7 also gives you the power to act.
    And don’t tell me that we have to examine it first. There is nothing to examine, it is crystal clear. Every breach of the values that have been observed the past two years by the European Commission, by the Venice Commission, by the Hungarian Constitutional Court, have now simply been put in the constitution.

    My second remark is about the Spring Council itself. Mr. Barroso, you have written to the European Council, and I quote: “We are not yet out of the crisis (…) but we can see that the reform efforts of Member States are starting to bear fruit.”


    My assesment is different and I take your key data on GDP, unemployment and public deficit and debt:

    In the eurozone, 7 countries are in recession – which means negative economic growth – and 9 are in stagnation, which means 1% of growth or even less. Estonia being the exception and outside the eurozone the UK also faces economic stagnation

    Unemployment now. 8 countries have more than 10% unemployment. In two Member States, Spain and Greece, it’s even 27%.

    And on public deficit and debt, all countries are breaching the rules of the stability pact. Only two small countries not: Estonia and Luxembourg.

    And outside the eurozone, the UK is close to 100% debt.

    And it is not only a question of figures.
    In Greece we have the rise of the extreme Right.
    In Italy we have no government and two competing populisms.
    In Cyprus, the banks are failing.
    In Spain, we face a lost generation with 50% youth unemployment.
    In France, in Belgium, in the Netherlands, they need to find new packages of savings.
    Ireland enters in its sixth year of austerity.
    In Spain we have 50% unemployment for young people.

    That’s the real situation in the Union and moreover in the eurozone.
    We have really entered in what I called already many times a Japanese Winter, a long period, a decade of economic stagnation, growth between 0 and 1 %, due to a real estate crisis, financial crisis, unsolved banking crisis.

    So instead of examining again and again the forecasts, this Spring Council should develop a vision. A vision for the future. A new solid basis for the Economic and Monetary Union beyond fiscal discipline, with :

    – a European economic government
    – a European treasury
    – a European redemption fund to lower interest rates
    – a European Monetary Fund
    – a resolution fund for the Banking Union

    This Spring Council should be about a new start – and about spring – about blossoming.

    Hopefully I ‘m wrong when I’m stating that I believe this Council will not bear many fruit.

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