It is in domestic policy and style of governing that Verhofstadt may represent a break with the Belgian past. He has pledged to fight corruption and restore a functioning democracy. Verhofstadt has promised to stop the rivalries between local and national police and to end political appointments to judicial posts. For the latter, he would abjure political pressure and allow a Supreme Council of Justice to appoint judges based on their merits, not on their political affiliation. True to his Liberal Party tradition, Verhofstadt promised to reduce costs to businesses by lowering the amount of money that they must contribute to employee pension systems. Although his Socialist coalition partners did not welcome this position, he promised them that he would take measures to revive Belgian industry. This would be accomplished by selling state assets to profitable private enterprises that might endure and create jobs, and by continuing the previous government's policy of allowing mergers with Belgian companies by more profitable foreign companies.
To the Ecolos he pledged that Belgium would end reliance on nuclear power between 2015 and 2021. In January 2003, he announced cuts in both corporate taxes and personal income taxes, noting that he wanted to change Belgium's position as a country with one of the highest tax rates in the world.