What on earth is a pig in a poke, in EU institutions diversity is broke and European Council discussions are far from a joke.
This week we are supported by CEPI, the voice of the European Paper industry more about them later on.
The latest Brexit updates took a turn for the surreal this week after British PM Boris Johnson said the EU must “put a tiger in the tank” and European Council chief Charles Michel responded that the EU would not “buy a pig in a poke”.
Boris Johnson says UK cut-off date for trade deal is end July & EU must “put a tiger in the tank" to get one.
EC chief Charles Michel agrees EU is "ready to put a tiger in the tank but not to buy a pig in a poke".
— Pippa Crerar (@PippaCrerar) June 15, 2020
Diego Velaquez was perplexed: Hey Twitter, can you explain this pig idiom to me, he tweeted.
Hey Twitter, can you explain @eucopresident's pig idiom to me?
— diego velazquez (@diego_bxl) June 15, 2020
John Brown reckons Michel has clearly been given a dictionary of English idioms and is making the best of it.
Charles Michel has clearly been given a dictionary of English idioms and is making the best of it pic.twitter.com/kMCNDiHK3D
— John Brown 🇬🇧🇪🇺🇧🇪 (@johnbrown1325) June 15, 2020
Laura Shields said he had displayed a fine grasp of English idiom, but
unfortunately most Brits don’t know what ‘buying a pig in a poke’ actually means.
Fine grasp of English idiom by @eucopresident …
….unfortunately most Brits don't know what 'buying a pig in a poke' actually means. https://t.co/xSywY6jnF0
— Laura Shields 🇬🇧🇺🇸🇧🇪🇪🇺 (@mediawhizz) June 15, 2020
Jack Parrock agreed: File this one under: “Things people can use to say Brussels doesn’t connect with citizens’”
File this one under: ‘Things people can use to say Brussels doesn’t connect with citizens’
— Jack Parrock (@jackeparrock) June 16, 2020
I’m a native English speaker who teaches clear writing and I haven’t got a clue what he means, said Gareth Harding. Better to master basics of simple writing than show-off using little-known, archaic expressions lost on most people.
I’m a native English speaker who teaches clear writing – and I haven’t got a clue what @eucopresident means here. Better to master basics of simple writing than show-off using little-known, archaic expressions lost on most people. https://t.co/IjYKEboMzI
— Gareth Harding (@garethharding) June 16, 2020
But the Council President’s spokesman rode to the rescue explaining that “to put a tiger in the tank” means to speed up.
While not buying a “pig in a poke” means we won’t just speed up. We have to remain focused on content and consequences.
During the meeting the UK prime minister urged “to put a tiger in the tank”.
Meaning: we have to speed up…
EUCO president responded “yes, but we won’t buy a pig in a poke”.
Meaning: we won’t just speed up. We have to remain focused on content and consequences”
— Barend Leyts (@BarendLeyts) June 15, 2020
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The Black Lives Matter movement finally reached the European Parliament on Wednesday with a debate on racism and discrimination.
The EU institutions must live up to their own motto: united in diversity, said
MEP Samira Rafaela.
Het Europees Parlement heeft gedebatteerd over #racisme en discriminatie. Niet voor het eerst. Ik riep daarom in het debat op, om onszelf de spiegel voor te houden. Ook de EU-instellingen moeten hun eigen motto naleven: verenigd in diversiteit. #blacklivesmatter pic.twitter.com/7tOOIjWmEP
— Samira Rafaela (@samiraraf) June 17, 2020
Currently, there is no reflection of society in either the Commission or the European Parliament added fellow MEP Evelyn Regner.
— Evelyn Regner (@Evelyn_Regner) June 17, 2020
One tweeter accused Commission President Ursual Von der Leyen of using platitudes to describe the EU’s alleged anti-racism when the Parliament is almost exclusively white, the Commission is exclusively white and the Council is exclusively white.
The only non-whites in EU institutions are mostly cleaners or security staff.
Non-whites in EU institutions: cleaners, security.#EUSoWhite
— Zalameh (@BDS4Justice) June 17, 2020
Discrimination was highlighted even further when one of the European Parliament’s few black MEPs, German Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana, told the plenary she was harassed and intimated by police at Brussels Gare du Nord just the day before.
One of the European Parliament's few black MEPs, German Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana, has told the pleary she was harassed and intimated by police at Brussels Gare du Nord yesterday after she took pictures of officers arresting two black teens
— mehreenkhn (@MehreenKhn) June 17, 2020
Her group the Greens expressed solidarity with their MEP, saying she committed no crime. “Yet she was approached because of the colour of her skin. Such attitudes make clear that racism is all around us.”
We express solidarity with our MEP @DrPierrette, intimidated by police yesterday.
She committed no crime. Yet she was approached because of the colour of her skin. Such attitudes make clear that #racism is all around us.
— Greens/EFA in the EU Parliament 🌍 (@GreensEFA) June 17, 2020
Finally this week, the European Council video-conference will focus on the recovery fund and a new EU budget.
It’s grants v loans: round 1, tweeted Jim Brunsden.
Does anyone remember when the June summit was gonna be all about whether Poland would be on board with the climate neutrality goal for 2050? Asked Beatriz Rios.
By the way, do you remember when the June summit was gonna be all about whether Poland would be on board with the climate neutrality goal for 2050?
— Beatriz Ríos (@BeaRios_) June 16, 2020
And Peter Teffer is suffering from EU-jargonitis: when random letters of magazine titles remind you of the EU budget.
EU-jargonitis: when random letters of magazine titles remind you of the EU budget. pic.twitter.com/lnRyfMmH2K
— Peter Teffer (@peterteffer) June 16, 2020
That’s it for this week, join me again next Friday for more pokes and jokes in the Brussels Bubble Twittersphere.