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Guy Verhofstadt: a passionate politician

Today in our Visionary Leadership Program we were introduced to the political realm by former prime minister of Belgium Guy Verhofstadt. It was a special meeting with a lot of passion and energy. He dares to speak out.

Some quotes out of the conversation today:
– the supervisory authorities are national while the marketplace is global: this doesn’t work anymore. We need to find a solution to deal with the national interests that interfere with what sould be done.
– the statement that the multicultural society has failed -as Merckel states among others- is stupid. Society can’t fail, society is reality. It’s the politicians who failed by making the wrong decisions.
– politicians are no longer leading the public opinion. They are following the populist and nationalist language. They should take responsibility for their vision and spread their ideas instead of following the public. Politicians should dare to go against the public opinion. Like Mitterand: “Nationalism, c’est la guerre”
– never underestimate the power you have. The revolution in Northern Africa started by one man burning himself. One man. The wave is created by individuals amd not by politicians. They only follow or try to manage the wave.
– democarcy started with taxation
– we must become more clear about the powerful European ideals. This is what Europe brings to the world. Europe can be an example how a new political system governing the world could look like. But we need much more courage then.
– by going out of Rwanda in the nineties, we were responsble for the killing of 600.000 people. One wrong decision can have such an impact. But there is hope in it as well: an individual can make this a better place by one individual action.
– it’s the attitude of individuals you have to change. That might be the role of your organization. To convince people of another way of living.
– “I’m not the pessimistic Club of Rome kind of guy. We all have an enormous potential. I like the quote of Popper: “It’s our moral obligation to be optimistic.”

He didn’t want to leave before we had a toast with a glass of wine. That wouldn’t happen with former Dutch prime ministers…

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