Tweets of the Week: EU Bauhaus, Navalny, Frontex celebration dinner

Commission hopes EU Bauhaus will be ideas spinner, Navalny’s Putin video is an internet winner, and Frontex splurges 94k on a celebration dinner!

 

On Monday the European Commission added another initiative to its long list of existing projects with an even more impenetrable name than usual: The European Bauhaus:

 

Ruth Reichstein explained the idea is a co-design process about how we want to live better together while protecting our planet.

 

Some people really loved it, including MEP Terry Reintke

 

But others were less convinced.

 

EU Bauhaus Concept Too Vague And Not Detailed Enough To Be Confusing, reported spoof news account Le Chou.

 

…made almost entirely out of jargon and abstract aims, added Berlaymonster

 

Freek Spinnewijn declared himself totally bewildered.

 

And Gareth Harding was downright scathing: Of all the vanity projects I’ve seen in almost 30 years hanging around the EU, The European Bauhaus is the most impenetrable, inconsequential and ill-timed.

 

But look at all the pretty buildings Gareth!

 

In more serious news, on Sunday, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was arrested as he flew back to the country after recovering in Germany from an attempt on his life.

 

The race is on, who will offer deepest concerns first? asked Sam Morgan.

 

Well indeed, all the usual suspects expressed serious unease about the developments, including Council President Charles Michel, EU High Representative Josep Borrell, Parliament President David Sassoli, and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

 

Former Council President Donald Tusk also tweeted: They didn’t break Navalny with poison, they will not break him with prison. Let our solidarity be his strength.

 

Other European leaders were also horrified. German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, called it “Incomprehensible” while his UK counterpart Dominic Raab said it was “Appalling.”

 

But satirical account Darth Putin was skeptical, citing “the 7 stages of Western concern”

1 We are concerned

2 We are deeply concerned

3 We are gravely concerned

4 There must be answers

5 There will be consequences

6 It is important to engage with Russia

7 We should separate this from commercial issues

 

But matters didn’t end there as Navalny’s team dropped a bombshell exposé video on Tuesday.

 

Bellingcat explained that the film, released less than 48 hours after his arrest in Russia, follows a new, major, investigation into the corrupt money that funds Vladimir Putin, including details of the massive palace complex he’s built for himself.

 

Carl Bildt said: This is really something – there are now more than 30 million views of the video.

 

Make that more than 40 million at time of recording!

 

Bellingcat’s Eliot Higgins described the decision to release the video shortly after he’s thrown into prison by a regime that tried to kill him multiple times, “an extremely bold move.”

 

Yeah. That’s one way to put it!!

 

Finally this week, it emerged that Frontex isn’t just all about snazzy new uniforms. It’s also about spending eye-watering wads of cash on fancy dinners.

 

Nikolaj Nielsen broke the news for the EUObserver revealing that the agency had spent €94,000 on a dinner in Warsaw in May.

https://twitter.com/NikolajNiel sen/status/1351070459396288514

 

That’s about one third of the budget envisaged for the Office of Fundamental Rights in 2020! Said Luca Gambardella.

 

Frontex has spent €2.1m over a period of five years on the annual European Border and Coast Guard Day event. It’s like they want people to hate the EU, tweeted

Peter Teffer.

 

Meanwhile Frontex director allegedly told staff the agency is not an expensive lifeguard service. He should have added: we are just an expensive service for events, drones and illegal actions… snarked Amandine Bach.

 

Bluppfisk said, to be fair, if there are 800 guests, that’s €120 a head which doesn’t seem that excessive.

 

Indeed, Europolitikus also wanted to know how many people participated?

Was it a dinner or a whole day event? Dinners in Brussels cost similar amounts.

 

Thing is guys, it’s not just the dinner – as delicious as it undoubtedly was –

Frontex faces serious allegations of harassment, misconduct and unlawful operations involving pushbacks at the EU’s external borders, as Jorge Liboreiro pointed out.

 

That’s it for another week. Join me again next Friday for more meals, deals and steals in the Brussels Bubble Twittersphere.

 

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