Outrage over Strasbourg attack, democracy in Hungary continues to crack, and Theresa May avoids the sack.
This week we are supported by The European Centre of Employers and Enterprises Providing Public Services more about them at the end.
On Tuesday night a lone gunman carried out a horrific attack on the streets of Strasbourg. Three people were killed and several others injured.
— Sophia McBride (@sophiacmcbride) December 12, 2018
As members of the public took refuge in restaurants and hotels
— iixxii (@iixxii) December 12, 2018
dozens of MEPs, including Claude Moraes reported that MEPs and Parliament staffers were safely locked inside the Parliament.
Shocking news in #Strasbourg this evening. Thoughts with the victims of this horrific on going incident with a fatality & many injured. Safe with my staff & friends in the European Parliament thanks for all the kind inquiries.
— Claude Moraes MEP (@Claude_Moraes) December 11, 2018
They remained there until after 2am as there was not enough security to escort everyone home safely.
Speaking on Wednesday, Manfred Weber said the terrible events reminds us of our peaceful values to defend freedom & democracy.
The day after the terrible events in #Strasbourg reminds us of our peaceful values. We will defend freedom & democracy. We will not let hate prevail. We will stand up against terrorists everywhere in Europe. #EPlenary #JeSuisStrasbourg pic.twitter.com/bymv5vgr98
— Manfred Weber (@ManfredWeber) December 12, 2018
The plenary also held one minute silence
— Hilde Vautmans (@hildevautmans) December 12, 2018
and flags flew at half-mast before getting back to work.
— EPinIreland (@EPinIreland) December 12, 2018
As we record, the gunman named by police as Chérif Chekatt is still on the run.
In Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban gave himself full control over the country’s formerly independent judiciary.
Cas Mudde said this move leaves no doubt: Hungary has transformed into an authoritarian regime. But democracy didn’t die in darkness. It shamefully died in the EU spotlight.
This move leaves no doubt: Hungary transforms from liberal democracy into competitive authoritarian regime. Elections are no longer even remotely "free and fair". But in Hungary, democracy didn't die in darkness. It died in EU spotlight. For shame! https://t.co/CkkKHWrjkt
— Cas Mudde ? (@CasMudde) December 12, 2018
Guy Verhofstadt called the reforms “outrageous” and said enough was enough!
Outrageous new reforms put the Hungarian judiciary under political control. Orban’s grip on electoral law, corruption matters and the right to protest will further undermine liberal democracy & make political change almost impossible. Enough! https://t.co/GD1wavhF5g
— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) December 13, 2018
Orban also passed a so-called “slave law” raising the limit for enforced overtime and causing uproar and these scenes of protest inside the parliament
MUST WATCH: As the National Assembly of Hungary descends into chaos, opposition MP Bence Tordai rolls up on PM Orban and trolls him to his face. This is unprecedented. Orban is visibly uncomfortable. He was not counting on this. #Hungary pic.twitter.com/C8XCKN9A6G
— Benjamin Novak (@b_novak) December 12, 2018
And these outside it
— Liveuamap (@Liveuamap) December 12, 2018
— Ruptly (@Ruptly) December 13, 2018
The European Parliament also called on the European Council to activate Article 7 against Hungary for a clear breach of EU values.
#EPlenary calls on @EUCouncil to activate Art.7(1) in view of a clear risk of a breach by Hungary of EU values. Press release to follow. Presser w/ @judithineuropa at 14h pic.twitter.com/llzYQP0uY9
— LIBE Committee Press (@EP_Justice) September 12, 2018
Viviane Reding said voted in favour of the resolution because Rule of law must be the rule, not the exception!
— Viviane Reding (@VivianeRedingEU) May 17, 2017
And MEP Roberta Metsola added “Our values are not up for negotiation. Not now. Not ever.”
"Our values are not up for negotiation. Not now. Not ever."
— Roberta Metsola MEP (@RobertaMetsola) April 26, 2017
Finally, Theresa May had quite the week!
First she did a mini-tour of Europe, calling in on Mark Rutte in the Netherlands, Angela Merkel in Berlin, Leo Varadkar in Dublin and anyone who would see in her in Brussels before facing a no confidence vote back home… not a good look.
But even her visits didn’t go as planned.
The Prime Minister’s exit strategy failed again in Berlin and as Alan white Can confirm, Theresa May getting locked in her car is much funnier when you put the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme over it.
Can confirm Theresa May getting locked in her car is much better when you put the Curb Your Enthusiasm theme over it pic.twitter.com/NiAmUDqTFk
— Alan White (@aljwhite) December 11, 2018
Though she survived the vote, James Crisp Days couldn’t help but wonder if it would just be easier for the country to be ruled by unelected bureaucrats.
Days like this you can't help but wonder if it would just be easier for the country to be ruled by unelected bureaucrats..
— James Crisp (@JamesCrisp6) December 12, 2018
But May wasn’t deterred – Berlaymonster thought her response went something like this:
That Theresa May announcement in full. pic.twitter.com/3u9PoW4ii0
— Berlaymonster (@Berlaymonster) December 12, 2018
Before heading back to Brussels for this week’s Brexit Council… there’s one every week now, right?
The @Europarl_EN issues new #Brexit position. In view of the latest developments in the UK, we recall that renegotiating the backstop is not possible, we want a close as possible future relationship, and that we intensify our no-deal planning. pic.twitter.com/2cZ90nc2Ny
— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) December 12, 2018
So Rupert Myers produced this handy flow chart showing where we are now, and where we’re likely to be going in the coming days.
Confused about Brexit? I’ve produced this handy flow chart showing where we are now, and where we’re likely to be going in the coming days pic.twitter.com/wPUi6YyKHo
— Rupert Myers (@RupertMyers) December 12, 2018
Even Silvio Berlusconi says that every night he lights a candle in the hope the UK holds a new referendum, and remains in the EU.
Mi auguro che la Gran Bretagna possa rimanere dentro l’Unione Europea. Accendo una candelina tutte le sere affinché ci possa essere un nuovo referendum per rimanere in Europa.
— Silvio Berlusconi (@berlusconi) December 12, 2018
Yup Silvio, prayers are about all we’ve got left in this shambles.
As Bruno Waterfield reported one EU diplomat saying: “We know that no matter what we do, it will have no impact on votes which depend on divisions in the Conservatives or British society.”
“No one has forgotten,” said one EU perm rep yesterday “We know that no matter what we do, it will have no impact on votes which depend on divisions in the Conservatives or British society.”
— Bruno Waterfield (@BrunoBrussels) December 13, 2018
This week we are supported by The European Centre of Employers and Enterprises providing public services who this week awarded 16 enterprises for their corporate social responsibility and commitments in Investment, Digitalisation and Integration.
16 enterprises of public services and services of general interest have received the #CEEPCSRLabel today in Stockholm, showcasing their commitments in Investment, Digitalisation and Integration. More: https://t.co/K0yqRxRj5K pic.twitter.com/zE6v518GlS
— CEEP (@ceep_eu) December 11, 2018
That’s it for this week. Join me again next Friday for the last good, bad and ugly in the Brussels bubble Twittersphere for 2018.