October 2, 2009
Guy Verhofstadt, former Belgian prime minister, has strongly been debating Europe nationally and across Europe.
Verhofstadt was awarded the Vision for Europe Award in 2001 for his work toward a more unified Europe. This award is an honor that has been bestowed annually since 1995 by the non-profit Edmond Israel Foundation in “recognition of outstanding achievements in taking Europe into the future.”
Then, in 2006, he published a manifesto which is of great interest for the European debate. As the title suggests, the book “The United States of Europe” pleads for a strong and unified Europe.
In his book Guy VERHOFSTADT analyses the reasons for and the nature of the current European crisis. He describes widespread fears that have led to “no” votes in two of the Union’s founding countries. Since those fears are mostly connected to the economic crisis, their loss of confidence in the Union’s capability to protect social systems, have grown even bigger since the Union’s latest enlargements.
He shows parallel developments between the formation of the United States of America and European integration, and then explains in what sense and why the United States of America could be a model for Europe.VERHOFSTADT gives recommendations to the Union, in five areas in particular: 1. Social and economic policies, 2. Technology, 3. Security, law and the regulation of crime, 4. European Foreign Service and 5. European army.
Last, but not least, VERHOFSTADT argues for a European-wide referendum, held simultaneously, as the European project can not become true without the support of European citizens.Author :