This week Germany finally gets its #GroKo, in plenary, transnational lists are a no-go, and Elon Musk’s magic spacecar is just loco!
German political leaders agreed on Wednesday to form a new coalition government.
— Yannis Koutsomitis (@YanniKouts) February 7, 2018
MEP Manfred Weber said the agreement is a signal of stability for Germany and Europe.
— Manfred Weber (@ManfredWeber) February 7, 2018
But Julia Leonarda reckons the new government will be worse than the last… and is looking for a new country to live in.
Looking for: new country to live in.
Sincere suggestions more than welcome.#GroKo #ThisNewGovernmentWillBeWorseThanTheLastAndIDidntThinkThisWasPossible #ImmaGoCryNow #Bye
— Julia Leonarda (@jules_leonarda) February 7, 2018
Ned Richardson-Little noticed that not a single Minister in the new Grand Coalition cabinet comes from the East. “Great work tackling that sense of regional alienation, guys.”
— Ned Richardson-Little (@HistoryNed) February 7, 2018
But the coalition treaty is very pro-Europe according to Jean-Claude Juncker. The word Europe appears 312 times.
.@JunckerEU on #GroKo: "I like the European chapter very much. It says Germany is ready to pay more into #EUbudget for more #EUAddedValue. I don‘t know any other government that mentions the word #Europe 312 times in coalition treaty.“ https://t.co/LAMTYskhgC
— Mina Andreeva (@Mina_Andreeva) February 7, 2018
#GroKo is short for “grosse koalition.” But Berlaymonster said it sounds like a brand of weed-killer that very slowly kills off all known opposition. Try it now! New, but not necessarily improved.
#GroKo sounds like a brand of weedkiller.
"Buy Slow-acting GroKo! Kills off all known opposition, slowly! Now with a new but not necessarily improved recipe."
— Berlaymonster (@Berlaymonster) February 7, 2018
Speaking of German things that are slow to go, did you know the Berlin Wall has now been down longer than it was up? Twitter certainly did as pretty much everyone decided to tweet about it.
Including Milos Vojinovic
Berlin wall stood for 10316 days, and tomorrow is 10316 days since it is gone. pic.twitter.com/9HdDrnXILx
— Milos Vojinovic (@infinite_milos) February 4, 2018
Scott Stapf, who feels old.
— Scott Stapf (@stapf) February 6, 2018
And Richard Adams
1163 – Berlin founded by Albert the Bear (true story)
… stuff happens …
1961 – Berlin Wall built
1989 – Berlin Wall falls
— Richard Adams (@RichardA) February 7, 2018
Moving from Berlin to Strasbourg: it’s plenary week and the big focus was on transnational lists freeing MEPs from the chains of national boundaries to be selected or rejected by voters from across Europe.
??This week, the European Parliament is going to vote on a proposal to create a EU-wide constituency for European elections #EP2019
?We have long advocated for this idea – here are the main reasons for transnational lists: https://t.co/SvriMi4f9C #transnationallist #EPlenary pic.twitter.com/5LrJS2Rs6A
— JEF Europe (@JEF_Europe) February 5, 2018
So would they or wouldn’t they go for it? Spoiler alert! They didn’t.
The European People’s Party spearheaded the parliament’s vote against the initiative.
— EPP Group (@EPPGroup) February 7, 2018
But Zuzana Pavelková said the EPP and GUE failed to do their homework.
— Zuzana Plk (@ZuzanaPlk) February 7, 2018
Sam Ryan pointed out that last month Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he supported transnational lists, but this week his party voted against them.
“I support a Europe-wide list for the European Parliament. Let’s get people in cafes in Naples and restaurants in Galway talking about the same election choices” – @campaignforleo speaking last month in Strasbourg
— Sam Ryan (@SammyJRyan) February 7, 2018
What did pass was a stronger #spitzenkandidaten process. From now on the president of the European Commission will be elected instead of selected.
And the @Europarl_EN also just supported @gonzalezpons' proposal to strengthen the Spitzenkandidaten process and make the appointment of the @EU_Commission president an election instead of selection. https://t.co/luGj0o2ozu
— Jimmy Bastings (@JBastings) February 7, 2018
MEP Danuta Huebner said the process is a matter of democracy and transparency.
No way back can be accepted by @Europarl_EN with regard to the democratisation of the procedure of electing the President of the European Commission. #Spitzenkandidaten process is for us a matter of democracy and transparency #EPlenary @EPInstitutional
— Danuta Huebner (@danutahuebner) February 7, 2018
Other highlights from plenary include a vote to ban geoblocking for online shopping.
No more blocking. No more re-routing. #EPlenary has agreed to end unjustified #geoblocking in the EU. It's a great news for online shoppers & sellers https://t.co/miJm51evzI #DigitalSingleMarket pic.twitter.com/GhpstOOUlR
— DigitalSingleMarket (@DSMeu) February 6, 2018
But don’t get too excited — pretty much all the cool stuff you want to buy online is excluded like online tv, Netflix, ebooks, online games, music downloads. So, yeah, 5 out of 10 for effort, but could try harder.
Already the press releases lauding the death of #geoblocking are flooding in. I call bullshit! Film, tv, sports, etc – ie The Stuff I Actually Want To Buy – are excluded. @EUparliament has only approved half a solution! pic.twitter.com/IaAJMOx4Ux
— Jennifer Baker (@BrusselsGeek) February 6, 2018
And on Thursday, MEPs voted on whether or not to bend space and time. In scenes not really reminiscent of Doctor Who, the parliament’s own Time Lords decided more study was needed on whether or not to scrap changing of clocks from winter to summertime.
Today MEPs are voting on whether to scrap the changing of the clock or not. We're pretty sure the EU (1) has better things to be doing (2) shouldn't be messing with time ? pic.twitter.com/iCVyq8TX0O
— Conservative MEPs (@ConMEPs) February 8, 2018
Finally, staying with space travel, Elon Musk and SpaceX launched a Tesla Roadster into outer space on the world’s biggest rocket.
— AFP news agency (@AFP) February 7, 2018
It launched at 19:30 Central European Time on Tuesday.
— Ronny Patz (@ronpatz) February 6, 2018
The Daily Mail reported ear-splitting triple sonic booms.
Ear-splitting TRIPLE sonic booms are recorded in new footage of SpaceX's twin Falcon Heavy booster landing https://t.co/hu47SJHFST
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) February 8, 2018
While everybody geeked out!
Euronews reported David Bowie’s Starman was the tune selection.
NO COMMENT | The images are difficult to comprehend but this is Elon Musk's cherry-red Tesla Roadster powering through space, complete with Starman and playing David Bowie on loop. pic.twitter.com/CjY1Oyvhf4
— euronews (@euronews) February 7, 2018
Stephen Fry liked the reference to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on the car’s dashboard.
— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) February 6, 2018
And Charles de Lauzirika asked who would have guessed that HEAVY METAL would more accurately predict the future than 2001 or BLADE RUNNER?
— Charles de Lauzirika (@Lauzirika) February 6, 2018
And Nick Motown was willing to bet that even in the seemingly empty, vast expanses of space, the Tesla still somehow had an Audi driving 8cm behind it.
Even in the seemingly empty, vast expanses of space, I bet that Tesla still somehow had an Audi driving 8cm behind it.
— Jason (@NickMotown) February 8, 2018
This week we are supported by Digital Europe. Join them for their annual Masters of Digital event on 20 February which will include the first-ever Digital Europe SME Award.
Are you a Master of Digital? Join us on 20 February for the perfect mix of engagement with high-level policymakers & senior industry representatives on #DigitalEconomy #AI #Data. Plus, 1st-ever #DIGITALEUROPE #SME Award & #Tech showcases. https://t.co/hJ4nuPAELL #MoDigital18 pic.twitter.com/jerEbVkXJT
— DIGITALEUROPE (@DIGITALEUROPE) February 7, 2018
That’s all for this week. Join me again next week for more snark, sass and shenanigans in the Brussels Bubble Twittersphere and send in your suggestions using the hashtag #EUTweets.