Shock and awe at latest Parliament poll, Commission scores copyright own goal, and Hungary’s Fidesz party is playing the troll.
This episode is supported by BCW, more about their scorecard at the end.
This week a new poll revealed the predicted make-up of the next European Parliament. And it looks like the Social Democrats and the EPP will both lose seats. Meaning it will take at least three mainstream pro-EU parties to form a ruling coalition.
The Parliament has released the first seat projections, based on a cross-section of national polls, for the composition of the next European Parliament. The next EU elections 🇪🇺 🗳️ take place at the end of May.
— European Parliament (@Europarl_EN) February 18, 2019
Populists are predicted to surge above 14%. Still small, but showing strong gains, said David Herszenhorn.
New poll: at least 3 mainstream pro-EU parties will be needed to form coalition in next #EU Parliament as @PES @EPP lose seats & can no longer reach 50%. Populists to surge above 14% – still small but showing strong gains.@elineschaart @POLITICOEurope https://t.co/MjduNdawgt
— David M. Herszenhorn (@herszenhorn) February 18, 2019
Jennifer Rankin summed it up as the end of the ‘grand coalition’ but no Eurosceptic takeover.
End of the 'grand coalition' but no Eurosceptic takeover – what the EP's poll of polls tells us about the European election resultshttps://t.co/VtHCB52iJm
— Jennifer Rankin (@JenniferMerode) February 18, 2019
Stuart Wooley won’t mourn the passing of a ‘grand coalition’ of beige bureaucrats.
A ‘grand coalition’ of beige bureaucrats has created a sterile and self-serving political class in #Europe. Is it any wonder the voters are disillusioned?
“#EU #parliament's centrist coalition set to lose majority, poll finds”https://t.co/em3MtbDv7n#politics #boredom
— Dr. Stuart Woolley (@FractalDoctor) February 18, 2019
However Sophia Russack injected a note of caution saying poll predictions are often wrong. And quoted Simon Hix saying governing parties, large parties, anti-EU parties as well as social democrats do systematically worse in European Parliament than in national elections.
Ideas Lab Warm-Up: Discussing #EP2019 poll predictions and why these are often wrong. Reasons according to @simonjhix are that governing parties, large parties, anti-EU parties as well as social democrats do systematically worse in EP than in national elections. #CEPSlab19 pic.twitter.com/eqhH1hduDe
— Sophia Russack (@SophiaRussack) February 21, 2019
Elsewhere there was some good news and some bad news. Spoof account Martini Seltzermayr explained. The good news is the Commission is no longer calling people “citizens”. Bad news, it’s now calling them the mob.
GOOD NEWS: the commission is no longer calling people “citizens”
BAD NEWS: it’s now calling them the mob pic.twitter.com/cbR451GLMl
— Martini Seltzermayr (@mseltzermayr) February 16, 2019
You might have thought the copyright reform argument was all but over, but just when you thought it was safe to go back on social media, a new row erupted. This time over a seriously ill-judged blog post from the European Commission entitled “How the mob was told to save the dragon and slay the knight.”
There has been a lot of disinformation around the #CopyrightDirective.
If you were taken in by slogans like “meme ban” or “hyperlink tax," here is our blog post with fewer myths and more facts on copyright ↓ https://t.co/WhJ8Zb6pmU
— European Commission 🇪🇺 (@EU_Commission) February 14, 2019
Digital Vice President Andrus Ansip said he was as angry about it as anyone else. “This kind of language is inexcusable,” he said. Informed decision-making needs as many arguments as possible.
I’m as angry as you about this. Nothing to do with this article. This kind of language is inexcusable.
— Andrus Ansip (@Ansip_EU) February 18, 2019
On Thursday Commissioner Mariya Gabriel also apologized for the blogpost in the Parliament’s IMCO committee.
— Laura Kayali (@LauKaya) February 21, 2019
Joe McNamee asked was she really sorry or just sorry that people misunderstood?
Was she sorry that people misunderstood or sorry?
— Joe (@why0hy) February 21, 2019
MEP Julia Reda wanted to know who authorized the post. How can the Commission communicate on copyright over the heads of both responsible Commissioners, she asked.
In the meeting, @GabrielMariya apologized for the blog post, saying she hadn’t authorized it. Then who did? @Ansip_EU says he didn’t know about it either. How can the @EU_Commission communicate on #copyright over the heads of both responsible Commissioners? #SaveYourInternet
— Julia Reda (@Senficon) February 21, 2019
Watch this space for more updates. Copyright: the horror show file that just keeps giving.
Finally this week, Hungary ruling party Fidesz launched a political campaign targeting Jean Claude Juncker.
"You have to know what Brussels is preparing for" – grinning Soros and Juncker as the main enemies of Europe together on the brand new campaign poster by Fidesz that will be spread in tens of thousands copies all around Hungary. Hallo, EPP, is Orbán still acceptable for you? pic.twitter.com/CF2RayketT
— Rényi András (@eremate) February 19, 2019
Istvan Ujhelyi said the propaganda was the face of Hungarians everywhere.
Fidesz wasted no time – propaganda shoved in the face of Hungarians. Everywhere.
Photo credit: Zoltan Gyevai bruxinfo pic.twitter.com/HYetvijlfL
— István Ujhelyi (@istvan_ujhelyi) February 20, 2019
Guy Verhofstad called it “a disgrace,” and “shameful.” And asked what the EPP group will do now?
This is a disgrace. What will the @EPP do now, @ManfredWeber? After a shameful campaign against @judithineuropa and myself, Orbán now slanders the EPP President of @EU_Commission. #ExpelFideszhttps://t.co/dgEonfP6FC
— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) February 19, 2019
Many others agreed at the #expelFidesz hashtag started popping up on posts.
Juncker himself was pretty clear saying Fidesz doesn’t belong in EPP.
— EURACTIV (@EURACTIV) February 20, 2019
Oliver Schwarz quoted him saying that EPP spitzenkandidat Manfred Weber “will be asking himself if he needs these votes at all.”
— Oliver Schwarz (@OSchwarzUDE) February 20, 2019
And EPP president Joseph Daul “strongly condemned” the campaign adding the claims made in the campaign are deceitful, misleading and not based on facts.
I strongly condemn the campaign launched by the #Hungarian government in the run up to the #EP2019 elections and the defamation of @EU_Commission President, @JunckerEU. The claims made in the campaign are deceitful, misleading and are not based on facts. 1/3
— Joseph Daul (@JosephDaul) February 19, 2019
This week we are supported by BCW. Check out the findings of their European Commission scoreboard survey on how well the Juncker Commission has performed. Spoiler alert, respondents gave it just 46 out of 100.
— BCW Brussels (@BCWBrussels) February 19, 2019
That’s it for another week. Do join me again next Friday for more spills and thrills is the Brussels Bubble Twittersphere.