Tweets of the Week: Selmayr, Macron, Syria, and Facebook

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.

Some hoped the Commission would reopen the procedure and allow others to apply.

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.

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!

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.

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.

Lewis Crofts noted that in the SelmayrGate announcements: how rarely they refer to him by name. A hint of the Voldemort non-utterance perhaps?

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!

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.

“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.” 

Adding that “Nationalism will lead Europe into the abyss.”

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 knew he’d done well. Just check out that wink….

And AmericanEUDude presented the live shot from the Parliament.

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.

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.

Some, including The Telegraph, highlighted his call for a “European Union Army.”

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.

The Russian military accused Britain of staging and directing an alleged chemical attack in Syria.

As if! said Berlaymonster. The British government couldn’t even stage and direct a nativity play, let alone an elaborate false flag campaign.

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.

But of course The Zuck won’t do it… even though Facebook is splashing millions on lobbying in Brussels.

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.”

The Parliament’s Mr Privacy, Jan Albrecht, said there is a missing brick in this wall, and it’s the ePrivacy regulation.

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.

But we can’t help thinking a hearing might look a lot like this:

This week we are supported by FoodDrinkEurope. Check out their Single Market Manifesto on their website.

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.

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