Tweets of the Week: Me Too, Glyphosate, and ePrivacy

Welcome to Tweets of the Week. “Me too” hashtag sparks harassment debate, Commission loses over glyphosate hate, and ePrivacy vote opens lobby floodgate.

Kick started by the Harvey Weinstein revelations, the #metoo hashtag has gathered momentum with women from all walks of life, of course, Brussels is not immune.

The Sunday Times’ Bojan Pancevski‏ and Politico’s Ryan Heath both revealed troubling allegations in the EU institutions.

The issue was debated at the European Parliament, where MEPs including Terry Reintke and Sophie in’t Veld condemned a culture of silence.

Ciara Bottomley‏ pointed out that of the 40 speakers at the plenary debate only 5 are men. She said it was “disappointing” and “men must be part of the solution.”

James Crisp reported that on average the European Commission receives more than 1 allegation of sexual harassment every month.

 

And Berlaymonster believes that it’s “too many middle aged men, too far from home for too long with too much money and too much ego.”

 

Cecilia Malmstrom said the #metoo testimonies are a powerful movement, a feminist outcry that women all over the world say enough!

 

And that’s a lot of women! The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights  said that 55% of women surveyed across the EU have suffered sexual harassment.

Elsewhere, NGOs Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace were delighted with the latest news on glyphosate.

In parliament, the ENVI Committee went even further, calling for restrictions from 2018 and full ban in 2022.

 

Belgian PM Charles Michel agreed that phasing out is necessary.

 

Avaaz says that 1 million EU citizens want a full ban.

 

But not everyone – many farmers were against the move with Jake Freestone saying that this is more carcinogenic and will be injested by many tonight.

The EU Budget was also on the agenda and always attracts criticism no matter what is agreed, but stating a budget of 0.14% of GDP for EU programmes equals a European superstate is simply ridiculous said Guy Verhofstadt.

But the most controversial decision is to spend €12 million in 2018 on a trial for free Interrail passes for 18-year olds.

Nathan Gill said young people don’t need train tickets, they need jobs!

But Siegfried Muresan said it will strengthen EU identity.

Here’s an idea, instead of putting MEPs on trains to Strasbourg every month, why not use that cash to pay for #Interrail scheme?

Finally, approval for a Parliament mandate to negotiate the ePrivacy regulation came right down to the wire. Although approved in the LIBE committee last week.

EPP and ECR groups tried to have the regulation opened up for more amendments. Anna Maria Corazza Bildt encouraged colleagues to reject mandate for trilogues on ePrivacy.

And lobbying reached fever pitch. With eagle-eyed reporter Laurens Cerulus identifying at least one troll account!

And his Mlex counterpart Magnus Franklin spotting that the EPP website statement on ePrivacy contains 12 trackers, corresponding S&D website contains one.

Even Commission VP Andrus Ansip felt he had to wade into the Twitter debate to clarify a lot of misunderstandings ePrivacy is not against media freedom he said.

But as confirmed by Ralf Bendrath, the LIBE mandate was confirmed by plenary with 318 to 280.

So congratulations!

This week we are supported by the European Parliament, to find out more about all our topics today follow the hashtag #EPlenary

Join me again next Friday for more of the good, bad and ugly in the Brussels Bubble Twittersphere and send in your suggestions using the hashtag #EUtweets.