24 February 2019

Guy Verhofstadt

The writer, a former Belgian prime minister, is President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group (ALDE) in the European Parliament.
  • Anti-Brexit protesters stand outside the Houses of Parliament in London. No responsible politician should even entertain the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. Photo: Reuters

    Brexit demands a new British politics

    - Jan 23, 2019 9:28am
    The populist revolts in the United States and the United Kingdom have each reached a critical juncture. At the start of his third year in office, US President Donald Trump is presiding over the longest federal...
  • A campaigner from a political pressure group wears an oversized mask of Mark Zuckerberg after the Facebook chief failed to attend a meeting on fake news held by a parliament committee in London on Nov. 27. Photo: Reuters

    Has Zuckerberg lost control of Facebook?

    - Nov 30, 2018 10:45am
    When Mark Zuckerberg, the chairman, CEO, and co-founder of Facebook, appeared before the European Parliament in May, I suggested to him that he had lost control of his company. As one of the few politicians ever...
  • Deepening divisions within the UK and a painful divorce process seem to have raised awareness about the benefits of EU membership and the costs of populism. Photo: Reuters

    The Brexitization of European politics

    - Nov 1, 2018 9:58am
    Far from settling the question of the United Kingdom’s future, the 2016 Brexit referendum and subsequent negotiations with the European Union have triggered a full-blown identity crisis and culture war in Britain. Two years after the...
  • Once a champion of democracy, Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is now mired in corruption scandals. Photo: Reuters

    Drain the EU swamp

    - Oct 5, 2018 1:54pm
    Populist leaders have long made gains by posing as the alternative to a “corrupt elite” that enriches itself at the expense of “the people”. According to the populists, only they can restore decency to governance. Or,...
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has waged a complex hybrid war against the West, combining information and cyber warfare with active special operations to disrupt European institutions. Photo: Bloomberg

    Europe’s populist fifth column

    - Sep 4, 2018 8:32am
    European security currently rests essentially on the NATO alliance and the principle of mutual defense, and on cooperation between national intelligence services working to prevent violence against people and national assets. But in an era when...
  • Crew members interact with migrant children aboard the Aquarius rescue ship before disembarking in the port of Valencia, Spain, on June 17. Photo: Reuters

    How to resolve Europe’s political crisis over migration

    - Jul 4, 2018 12:15pm
    Since the European Union’s migration crisis peaked in 2015, the number of illegal migrants arriving in the EU has fallen by 95 percent. Migration challenges remain, and reform of the EU’s methods for managing immigration is...
  • Trump’s ‘America First’ policies pose a direct threat to the post-war international order, but they could also be just what the long-stagnant European integration process needs. Photo: Bloomberg

    Why ‘America First’ means ‘Europe United’

    - Jun 11, 2018 10:20am
      One of the main arguments made in support of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union is that the UK will be able to negotiate better trade deals with other countries – and even...
  • US President Donald Trump's decision to abandon the 2015 Iran nuclear deal demonstrates that Europe relies far too much on the United States for its security and prosperity. Photo: Bloomberg

    A blueprint to save the Iran deal

    - May 21, 2018 9:54am
    There can no longer be any doubt that “America First” means precisely that. In abandoning the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, US President Donald Trump rejected the advice of allies and showed an utter disregard for the...
  • Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed that Britain will be leaving both the EU single market and the customs union. Photo: AFP

    Breaking the Brexit stalemate

    - Apr 4, 2018 1:44pm
    March 29 marked exactly one year since British Prime Minister Theresa May invoked Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, thus launching the formal two-year legal process by which the United Kingdom will withdraw from the...
  • Social-media companies have the power to exert significant influence on our societies, but they do not have the right to set the rules. That authority belongs to our democratic institutions. Photo: Reuters

    Tech vs democracy

    - Feb 26, 2018 10:04am
    Instagram, a photo-sharing platform owned by Facebook, recently caved in to a demand by the Russian government that it remove posts by opposition leader Alexey Navalny alleging misconduct on the part of Russian Deputy Prime Minister...
  • Robotic arms assemble Tesla's Model 3 sedan. The World Economic Forum estimates that five million jobs across 15 developed countries will be lost to automation by 2020. Photo: Reuters

    Europe’s chance to lead on robotics and AI

    - Dec 8, 2017 9:30am
    At least since Mary Shelley created Victor Frankenstein and his iconic monster in 1818, humans have had a morbid fascination with man-made beings that could threaten our existence. From the American television adaptation of Westworld, which...
  • An EU flag with its stars removed is waved by a demonstrator outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels on November 7. European leaders are accused of inertia on some issues. Photo: Reuters

    Europe in the time of Trump

    - Nov 9, 2017 10:32am
    The transatlantic alliance – which for decades has underpinned global stability, fortified democracy, and safeguarded the West as we know it – is under severe strain, and risks terminal decline. US President Donald Trump – who has...
  • Spanish democracy must steel itself if it is to overcome the deep division created by Catalan's unconstitutional bid to secede from the Spanish Republic. Photo: Bloomberg

    A federal Spain in a federal Europe

    - Nov 3, 2017 9:02am
    I have always been a profound admirer of Spanish democracy, but especially since February 23, 1981. On that dramatic day, Colonel Antonio Tejero attempted a coup d’état against the young democratic regime. In his acclaimed book...
  • An end to the CDU-SPD 'grand coalition' could mean an end to political stagnation not just in Germany, but at the European level too. Photo: Reuters

    Europe’s future after the German election

    - Oct 4, 2017 9:00am
    There is no doubt about it: the outcome of Germany’s recent federal election is as important as it is remarkable. The parties that have dominated German politics for years – the Social Democrats (SPD) and the...
  • US President Donald Trump's favorability in most countries is now below that of George W. Bush when he left office. Photo: Reuters

    Containing the Trump threat in Europe

    - Jul 4, 2017 9:07am
    US President Donald Trump is clearly no leader of the free world. According to a new Pew Research Center study, he is deeply unpopular in most countries, and has already done serious damage to the United...
  • The Theresa May government’s recent behavior suggests that it is putting the new US administration’s interests before those of the European Union and the rest of the world. Photo: Reuters

    Theresa May’s Trump card

    - Jan 27, 2017 11:04am
    In the same week that British Prime Minister Theresa May outlined her vision for a “hard” Brexit from the European Union – withdrawing from the single market and the customs union – incoming US President Donald...
  • Cyber attacks are just one element in a broader hybrid war that Russia is waging against the West.Photo: Reuters

    Russia’s hybrid war against the West

    - Dec 28, 2016 10:54am
    The United States FBI and CIA have both concluded that Russia ran a hacking and disinformation campaign aimed at influencing the US presidential election in Donald Trump’s favor. We may never know how successful Russia’s cyber...
  • At the close of a recent summit, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi refused to appear onstage with French President François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, underscoring divisions in the European Union. Photo: Reuters

    Europe’s leadership crisis

    - Sep 26, 2016 9:41am
    The European Union’s list of crises keeps growing. But, beyond the United Kingdom’s “Brexit” vote to leave the bloc, Poland’s constitutional-court imbroglio, Russian expansionism, migrants and refugees, and resurgent nationalism, the greatest threat to the EU...
  • Britain will be missed but the European Union will now be less divided. Photo: The Telegraph

    How EU can beat Europe’s rabid nationalists

    - Jul 8, 2016 9:54am
    British voters’ choice to leave the European Union is unfortunate, but unsurprising. For decades, British politicians have avoided making the case for EU membership, or even explaining to the British people how the Union works and...

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