This week it’s all about Parliament: In the end Selmayr’s not told to take a hike, Macron’s speech causes excitement spike, MEPs debate Syria strike, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg can’t even get a like.
It’s Strasbourg week, so we’re looking at all things plenary.
Top of the agenda was the latest in #SelmayrGate as MEPs called for the Commission to reassess Martin Selmayr’s appointment as secretary general.
.@EP_BudgControl asks the @EU_Commission to reassess the procedure of appointment of the new Secretary-General in a draft resolution adopted this evening (22 to 3, 4 abstentions), #EPlenary to hold the final vote on Wednesday.
— CONT Committee Press (@EP_BudgControl) April 16, 2018
Some hoped the Commission would reopen the procedure and allow others to apply.
— David Carretta (@davcarretta) April 16, 2018
MEPs backed a resolution describing Selmayr’s appointment as coup-like, but failed to call for his head, said James Crisp. Embarrassing for Juncker, but Selmayr stays in his post.
Journalist who broke Selmayrgate says European democracy is a farce after MEPs back resolution describing appointment as coup-like but fail to call for his head. Embarassing for Juncker but Selmayr stays in post. @FraserNelson https://t.co/HLI05NNIQp
— James Crisp (@JamesCrisp6) April 18, 2018
The FT’s Mehreen Khan said the whole affair had ended with a whimper and some trolling as the Commission responded with a “round-table” discussion to look at how Parliament carries out its internal job moves!
#SelmayrGate ends with a whimper and some trolling. Commission responds to MEPs demand to reassess the appointment with a "round-table" discussion to also look at how Parliament carries out its internal job moves! pic.twitter.com/tsilI8Lx01
— Mehreen (@MehreenKhn) April 18, 2018
Human Resources Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said, “We stand ready to reassess how the application of the current rules and procedures can be improved in the future.” Translation: Martin Selmayr is there to stay.
.@GOettingerEU "We stand ready to reassess, together with @Europarl_EN and the other Institutions, how the application of the current rules and procedures can be improved in the future". Translated: @MartinSelmayr is there to stay. #selmayrgate @eunewsit
— emanuele bonini (@emanuelebonini) April 18, 2018
Spoof account Martini Seltzermayr “explained”: we will learn the lessons of SelmayrGate by ensuring no one can unceremoniously boot me out the way I did to Alexander Italianer.
— Martini Seltzermayr (@mseltzermayr) April 17, 2018
Lewis Crofts noted that in the SelmayrGate announcements: how rarely they refer to him by name. A hint of the Voldemort non-utterance perhaps?
— Lewis Crofts (@lewis_crofts) April 18, 2018
And now that it’s all over alter-ego Martini Seltzermayr wants to get on with the business of giving him absolute power over everything!
Now the #SelmayrGate diversion’s out of the way, perhaps we can actually get on with the business of giving me absolute power over everything
— Martini Seltzermayr (@mseltzermayr) April 18, 2018
If Selmayr was persona non grata, then French President Emmanuel Macron was toast of the day as he shared his vision for the Future Of Europe with the Parliament on Tuesday.
— European Parliament (@Europarl_EN) April 16, 2018
“I don’t want to be part of a generation of sleepwalkers, that is unaware of its own history,” he said. “I want to be part of a generation that will defend European sovereignty.”
Macron: “I don’t want to be part of a generation of sleepwalkers, that is unaware of its own history.”
“I want to be part of a generation that will defend European sovereignty, as it is the only way future generations will be able to decide their future.”
👏 👏 👏
— Seb Dance MEP (@SebDance) April 17, 2018
Adding that “Nationalism will lead Europe into the abyss.”
— Dave Keating (@DaveKeating) April 17, 2018
Danny Kemp detected some trolling when Macron said he was “for the most integrated and closest possible relationship after Brexit – it’s called EU membership!”
Macron trolls Britain: 'I am for the most integrated and closest possible relationship after Brexit – and there's a well-known solution – it's called EU membership'
— Danny Kemp (@dannyctkemp) April 17, 2018
Macron knew he’d done well. Just check out that wink….
And AmericanEUDude presented the live shot from the Parliament.
— American EU Dude (@AmericanEUDude) April 17, 2018
Christian Rocca imagined Macron’s to do list.
One thing that is on his list is the situation in Syria.
Macron said that three countries – France, UK and the US – had saved the honour of the international community. Is that a dig at the European countries that did nothing? asked Max Hofmann.
#Macron getting worked up about #SyriaStrikes at European Parliament, saying “three countries (France, USA, UK) saved the honor of the international community”. Indirect criticism of European countries that did nothing?#Futureofeurope #Syriawar pic.twitter.com/dCWzR7jWBM
— Maximilian Hofmann (@maxhofmann) April 17, 2018
Guy Verhofstadt meanwhile wants a 3-fold strategy on Syria: engage all constructive forces in the region; start a roadmap to establish a new, democratic Syria; and launch new sanctions against those who violate agreed ceasefires.
— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) April 16, 2018
Some, including The Telegraph, highlighted his call for a “European Union Army.”
— Ray Bareham (@WyeLea) April 17, 2018
But Damon Wake said even if such a thing existed, the mind boggles at the debates and horse-trading it would take for all 28 member states to reach a decision.
Even if such a thing existed, the mind boggles at the debates and horse-trading it would take for the 28 to reach a decision to launch strikes. https://t.co/N7SMdFDc8f
— Damon Wake (@damonwake) April 17, 2018
The Russian military accused Britain of staging and directing an alleged chemical attack in Syria.
BREAKING: The Russian military says that an alleged chemical attack in Syria was staged and directed by Britain.
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 13, 2018
As if! said Berlaymonster. The British government couldn’t even stage and direct a nativity play, let alone an elaborate false flag campaign.
The British govt couldn't stage and direct a nativity play, let alone an elaborate false flag campaign. https://t.co/Rx7xcryd5V
— Berlaymonster (@Berlaymonster) April 13, 2018
Finally, the Parliament also turned its attention to the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal, again calling on Mark Zuckerberg to come to a hearing and face the music.
— Greens in the EP (@GreensEP) April 18, 2018
But of course The Zuck won’t do it… even though Facebook is splashing millions on lobbying in Brussels.
— Renke Barendrecht (@_Renke) April 19, 2018
Antonio Tajani isn’t giving up. “Facebook is registered in Dublin, so it is subject to EU law,” he said. “It must cooperate and be accountable to the European Parliament, its regulator.”
Facebook is a company registered in Dublin, subject to EU law. It must cooperate and be accountable to the European Parliament, its regulator. Mr Zuckerberg has a responsibility to provide explanations in person to elected representatives of EU citizens, as he did with Congress. pic.twitter.com/5iL2cLMQDa
— Antonio Tajani (@EP_President) April 18, 2018
The Parliament’s Mr Privacy, Jan Albrecht, said there is a missing brick in this wall, and it’s the ePrivacy regulation.
— Laura Kayali (@LauKaya) April 18, 2018
Data protection and privacy are not commodities, but fundamental rights, said Carlos Coelho, and Cambridge Analytica’s access to Facebook users’ data is an attack on those rights.
.@CarlosCoelhoPE in #Plenary: Data Protection and #privacy are not commodities but fundamental rights. The criminal access by #CambridgeAnalytica to the data of private @facebook users is an attack on the fundamental rights of EU citizens. #dataprotection @EP_Justice @EPPGroup
— Matthew Bonett (@bonettmatthew) April 18, 2018
But we can’t help thinking a hearing might look a lot like this:
— Jon O. (@OriginalJLP) April 12, 2018
This week we are supported by FoodDrinkEurope. Check out their Single Market Manifesto on their website.
On the 25th anniversary of the #SingleMarket, FoodDrinkEurope celebrates the progress it has brought to businesses and consumers with a Single Market Manifesto, presenting the benefits and outstanding challenges for #food and #drink. https://t.co/7a0XxNQBEw pic.twitter.com/XRyPMld8Dt
— FoodDrinkEurope (@FoodDrinkEU) April 18, 2018
That’s it for this week. I’m on holiday next week, so join our assistant producer Tess, who will be on this side of the camera for more digs, debates and debacles in the Brussels Bubble Twittersphere and send in your suggestions using the hashtag #EUTweets.