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EU must be given 'tools to tackle global challenges'

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Monday, 10 March 2014

EU must be given 'tools to tackle global challenges'

Guy Verhofstadt and Olli Rehn are to 'stand united' as they campaign for a reform of the EU that goes 'deeper and broader' than ever before.
Liberals value personal freedom highly, including in party politics. That is why we have a reputation for fierce internal debates and discussions, but on Saturday 1 February, we decided to do something different. At a special electoral meeting in Brussels, 80 per cent of the ALDE party's delegates endorsed a joint ticket with Olli Rehn and myself to lead the Liberals into the European elections, with myself as the candidate for commission president while Olli Rehn was appointed candidate for another senior post, in the economic or foreign policy field.
We decided to stand united, because the coming elections will be an uphill battle against euroscepticism and populism. It will be a campaign against simplistic answers to complex problems. That is why we made a liberal team with two people who couldn't differ more in style, but also couldn't agree more on the fact that the European Union is not performing well and needs deep and structural reform. Olli Rehn put it this way at our electoral meeting, "We are both reformers in our heads and in our hearts. I've learned in life that the captains of a team can never win the game by themselves. Instead it is crucial to have the whole team working towards the same common goal. That is why we have come together, like Simon and Garfunkel, to build a bridge over troubled waters."
Olli used a light-hearted metaphor, but we all know that if anyone is serious about getting out of the troubled waters the European economy is in, it is him. As commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, he pushed for coherent reforms in all euro countries. He did not only go as far as he was legally allowed to, he also forced the council to move the union's boundaries because they were too narrow to tackle the crisis properly.

Source: ThePolitician.com