Tweets of the Week: Brexit, Goulard, and Fake News

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.


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?”


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.”


Meanwhile Adam Fleming explained that “The UK’s proposals for an alternative backstop have been absolutely TRASHED by Michel Barnier.”


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.”


Jack Parrock Tweeted: “This is going to get messy…”

“Going to…!”


In summary, strap in folks, next week’s going to be an absolute rollercoaster!


Mick Twister always has a way with words:


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. 


“Thoughts and prayers to this EPP comms person for including the party’s hot take on Goulard in their screengrab” said Charles. 


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.”


Well it certainly ended in flames for Goulard.


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?”

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 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


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.”


Michał Dunajewski said: “Misleading websites like EP Today are a long-term danger for our political system and way of life.”


And EU DisinfoLab named their thread on the subject: “How to hide your Indian interests behind American and Russian content”

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”. 

This week we are supported by ePURE, the European renewable ethanol association. Find out how renewable ethanol is essential to decarbonising EU transport at


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!


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