Magnitsky Awards
Winner’s Bio

Guy Verhofstadt

Former Prime Minister of Belgium and
Current Member of The European Parliament

Award Winner 2015

Outstanding Campaigning European Politician

Guy Verhofstadt quickly rose through the ranks of Belgian politics. He became party president in 1982 at the age of just 29. By 1985 he was Deputy Prime Minister and he served as Prime Minister of Belgium from 1999 until 2008.

His governments meant a breath of fresh air in Belgian politics. He made Belgium the second country in the world to introduce gay marriage and to legalise euthanasia. Additionally, in the economic field he reversed the trend: he drastically cut taxes for families and businesses. Economic growth in Belgium rose beyond what was expected. Under his leadership the Belgian public debt fell from 114% of GDP to 84%.

After he left office, Verhofstadt was elected in the European Parliament where he was group leader of the Liberals and Democrats from 2009 until 2019. He 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.