Guy Verhofstadt – Keynote Speaker

Former Belgian Prime Minister

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Specialist Subjects

  • Politics
  • Future of Europe
  • Leadership
  • Government



  • French


Guy Verhofstadt quickly rose through the ranks of Belgian politics, becoming party president in 1982 at the age of 29. By 1985 he was Deputy Prime Minister. Between 1999-2008, he served as Prime Minister of Belgium.

His governments meant a breath of fresh air in Belgian politics. Verhofstadt made Belgium the second country in the world to introduce gay marriage, as well as legalising euthanasia. Additionally, in the economic field Guy Verhofstadt reversed the trend, drastically cutting taxes for businesses and families. Economic growth in Belgium therefore rose beyond what was expected – under his leadership the Belgian public debt fell to 84% from 114% of GDP.

After he left office, he became a member of the ‘Renew Europe’ group in the European Parliament. Guy Verhofstadt still serves in the European Parliament today, where he is a champion of more European integration to tackle the multiple crises the EU faces for the moment. His latest book is entitled “Europe’s Last Chance”.

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