Few figures have left as indelible a mark on European politics as Guy Verhofstadt. Verhofstadt’s career has been characterised by its highs and lows, successes and controversies. But as a fellow liberal, I can say he is a stalwart of the movement. Not long ago, we shared the stage at the European Liberal Forum ceremony, where Verhofstadt received the “Lifetime achievement” award while got the “Rising Star” award.
Oddly enough, recipients of those two awards are recognised to be on the rise and on the last call of the theatrical curtain. Many believe that Verhofstadt has lost his stage since Renew Europe was formed in 2019. Yet, the intricate journey of Verhofstadt remains a significant figure of influence for European liberals. Are we witnessing the curtain call of one of the main liberal “doers” of our generation? After all, the potential impact of the Conference on the Future of Europe and the recent agreement of the European Parliament to start the process of treaty revision might serve both as a platform or as a curtain call for Verhofstadt.