Welcome to EURACTIV’s EU Tweets of the Week.
Brexit shouting until we are hoarse, Goulard’s ousting revealed at the source, and fake news website exposed by task force.
This week we are supported by ePURE, more about them at the end
No prizes for guessing what we’re leading with this week! Yes it’s another edition of Brexit Season Five — the one that jumped the shark.
But as the tit for tat negotiations over Brexit reached fever pitch, the big question in Brussels was over a statue.
James Crisp posted the image:
There appears to be a (flying?) pig outside the European Commission.
There appears to be a (flying?) pig outside the European Commission pic.twitter.com/7T7LRoWf7f
— James Crisp (@JamesCrisp6) October 9, 2019
The debate raged over whether the pig was flying or running — no one likes a metaphor more than EU hacks— leading Laurence Norman to ask “is this another Tusk instagram-style signal?”
is this another Tusk instagram-style signal?
— laurence norman (@laurnorman) October 9, 2019
For once, no. Council President Donald Tusk was playing a much straighter game tweeting directly at British PM Boris Johnson: “what’s at stake is not winning some stupid blame game.”
.@BorisJohnson, what’s at stake is not winning some stupid blame game. At stake is the future of Europe and the UK as well as the security and interests of our people. You don’t want a deal, you don’t want an extension, you don’t want to revoke, quo vadis?
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) October 8, 2019
Meanwhile Adam Fleming explained that “The UK’s proposals for an alternative backstop have been absolutely TRASHED by Michel Barnier.”
The UK's proposals for an alternative backstop have just been absolutely TRASHED by @MichelBarnier in the European Parliament but he did confirm the two sides are looking at "a more important role" for the Northern Irish political institutions.
— Adam Fleming (@adamfleming) October 9, 2019
Nick Gutteridge reported Jean-Claude Juncker saying: “I don’t exclude the deal. We are working on the deal. But we are not accepting this blame game which started in London.”
Jean-Claude Juncker: 'I don't exclude the deal. We are, Michel [Barnier] and myself, working on the deal. And we are not accepting this blame game which started in London. We are not to be blamed, but we will see in the next coming days how things will develop.'
— Nick Gutteridge (@nick_gutteridge) October 9, 2019
Jack Parrock Tweeted: “This is going to get messy…”
— Jack Parrock (@jackeparrock) October 8, 2019
In summary, strap in folks, next week’s going to be an absolute rollercoaster!
Mick Twister always has a way with words:
As Brexit descends into farce
Our bog paper stocks will get sparse,
But when there is none
The Mail and the Sun
Are handy for wiping one's arse.#Brexit #BrexitShambles #toiletpaper #ToiletRoll https://t.co/KUaXErvY5D
— Mick Twister (@twitmericks) October 9, 2019
In Brussels, French Commission-designate Sylvie Goulard had her second hearing in front of the European Parliament on Thursday. But didn’t exactly hold all the cards.
In a now deleted tweet the EPP Group accidentally shared their internal memos saying: “Guys, we are going to kill her in the vote but do not say .. until then.”
Prompting @mepassistant to speculate what exactly happened in that communication meeting.
#EPP: So guys, we need to send the message that we're gonna kill #Goulard's candidacy, but in a subtle way.
EPP intern: We could do a press release overlayed on a message saying that we're gonna kill her later.
EPP: BRILLIANT.#EPhearing2019 pic.twitter.com/iN0cZS15xA
— mepassistant (@mepassistants) October 10, 2019
“Thoughts and prayers to this EPP comms person for including the party’s hot take on Goulard in their screengrab” said Charles.
Thoughts and prayers to this EPP comms person for including the party's hot take on Goulard in their screengrab https://t.co/HEYhCZlHOM
— Charles B. P. (@charles_b_p) October 10, 2019
And FT correspondent Mehreen Khan also sent condolences to @EPPGroup Twitter account. “You’ve had a good few weeks. But it was always going to end in flames.”
Condolences to @EPPGroup twitter account. You've had a v good few weeks. But it was always going to end in 🔥🔥🔥
— Mehreen (@MehreenKhn) October 10, 2019
Well it certainly ended in flames for Goulard.
— Sam Morgan (@SamJamesMorgan) October 10, 2019
Hinting at Macron’s role in electing Ursula von der Leyen as Commission president instead of EPP’s Manfred Weber, the Parliament magazine asks: “Is this Manfred’s revenge?”
Reading between the lines here, looks like EPP Group's Director of Press and Communications Pedro López de Pablo hasn't managed to keep a lid on the group's plans to "kill" Sylvie #Goulard in vote today. Is this Manfred's revenge? pic.twitter.com/XDxpNMTQRR
— The Parliament Magazine (@Parlimag) October 10, 2019
And Dave Keating speculated I think the MEPs are going to let her pass with just a few votes — in order to humiliate Macron but still allow VDL’s Commission to start on time.
I think the MEPs are going to let her pass with just a few votes – in order to humiliate Macron.
That should be enough to satisfy the #RevengeOfManfred desires but also meet Merkel’s (apparent) demand that no more nominees be rejected so VDL can start on time.
— Dave Keating (@DaveKeating) October 10, 2019
I hope you didn’t have any money on that Dave!
Finally this week, beware of fake news!
The EU East Stratcom Task Force revealed: A news website that doesn’t write 99% of its articles, targets decision makers in the EU and misleads about the origin of most of their content: Who’s behind it? Russia Today
A news website that doesn’t write 99% of its articles, targets decision makers in the EU and misleads about the origin of most of their content: RT (Russia Today). https://t.co/fOF6lmBd47
— EU Mythbusters (@EUvsDisinfo) October 9, 2019
Jaume Duch, DG for Communication at the European Parliament, welcomed the warning about EPToday: ”Being honest about who you represent (or not) is crucial to have an open democratic debate.”
Glad @EUvsDisinfo warns about this site today. Being honest about who you represent (and not) is crucial to have an open democratic debate. Thread 1/4
— Jaume Duch (@jduch) October 9, 2019
Michał Dunajewski said: “Misleading websites like EP Today are a long-term danger for our political system and way of life.”
Such misleading websites like EP Today are long-term danger for our political system and way of life.
— Michał Dunajewski (@m_dunajewski) October 9, 2019
And EU DisinfoLab named their thread on the subject: “How to hide your Indian interests behind American and Russian content”
We've named this thread: "How to hide your Indian interests behind American and Russian content"
— EU DisinfoLab🇪🇺 (@DisinfoEU) October 9, 2019
But Stefano Soro sees a silver lining: sometimes the effect is involuntarily hilarious. Today’s headline news is “No warplanes or tanks: Russian military releases RELAXING VIDEO from the Arctic archipelago”.
The silver lining is that sometimes the effect is involuntarily hilarious. Today's headline news (and their latest tweet) is "No warplanes or tanks: Russian military releases RELAXING VIDEO from picturesque Arctic archipelago".
No sh*it, Sherlock.
— Stefano Soro (@stefanosoro) October 9, 2019
This week we are supported by ePURE, the European renewable ethanol association. Find out how renewable ethanol is essential to decarbonising EU transport at ePURE.org
Heard about E10? The E is for #Ethanol, but it also stands for…
— ePURE (@ePURE_ethanol) October 7, 2019
And that’s a wrap for another week, join us again next Friday for all the hot takes, deep fakes and high stakes at the European Council!