Referendum Watch: Guy Verhofstadt and ALDE

By Joe Young - Politics Editor

Who are ALDE? Who is Guy Verhofstadt? Read on to find out

Image: Debating Europe
Image: Debating Europe

Guy Verhofstadt, born in Dendermonde, Belgium, is the Leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Party. In the United Kingdom, the Liberal Democrats are a member of ALDE. Verhoftstadt served as the Prime Minister of Belgium between 1999 and 2008, when he stepped down to be succeeded by a coalition led by the Christian Democratic and Flemish Party, a conservative party in the Flanders region of Belgium.

Verhofstadt supports the unification of Europe into a single federal state – a ‘European Federalist’. He has ran many times for the Presidency of the European Commission, but often receives criticisms for being too Federalist. Verhofstadt also supports a European army. Just as Nigel Farage is known as being a strong speaker for Eurosceptic views, Verhofstadt is known as a strong speaker for Federalism. Watch the video below for Verhofstadt attacking Nigel Farage for his attendance in the European Parliament.

The ALDE Party was formed in its first incarnation in 1976 in view of the first European Parliament elections. It defines its values on its website as:

  • Democracy, the rule of law, human rights, tolerance and solidarity
    The ALDE Party believes in a Europe based on the fundamental Liberal principles of liberty, democracy, the rule of law, human rights, tolerance and solidarity.
  • A fair, free and open society
    ALDE believe in a fair, free and open society which harnesses the abilities of each and every one of its citizens to participate fully in society, presenting them with the opportunities to fulfill their potential, free from poverty, ignorance, and discrimination.
  • A prosperous Europe
    To achieve these goals, ALDE are striving to complete the internal market as a truly common economic area without internal frontiers and to reform Europe’s economy to make it more prosperous and competitive, with more jobs and stable prices for consumers, based on the principle of globally inclusive international free trade.
  • Sustainable development and peace in the world
    ALDE are working to promote sustainable development and to protect our environment. We are campaigning for a safe and just society, ensuring a more peaceful and stable world.
  • EU enlargement
    As the most consistent and long-standing advocates of an early and wide enlargement of the European Union, ALDE  have welcomed into the Union their friends from the new Member States. They are firmly resolved to further deepen, reinforce and enlarge the European Union.
  • A transparent, democratic and accountable Europe
    ALDE campaign for a more transparent, democratic and accountable Europe, taking decisions only on those matters which require European solutions. They are in favour of a systematic application of the subsidiarity principle in order to bring decision-making as close to the citizen as possible.
  • A European Constitution
    ALDE Party supports a constitutional settlement for Europe. Liberal Democrats all over Europe have always campaigned for a strong constitution as the basis of democracy.

To read more in the Referendum Watch series, click here

About Joe Young 316 Articles
Joe Young has been involved with student media for a very long time now, holding posts within The Pulse, and Pulse Radio, as well as the predecessor of The Pulse, Pluto. He is currently Politics Editor of The Pulse, and Head of News of Pulse Radio. In 2016, he won the Media Award for Best Article for his coverage of the Fishergate Shopping Centre bomb scare.

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