Tweets of the Week: Brexit Plans, Austrian elections, Commissioner Hearings

Welcome to EURACTIV’s EU Tweets of the Week. 


It’s the Brexit Chronicle’s gazillionth edition, Austrian elections give Kurz the ignition, and would-be Commissioners face a grand inquisition.


This week we are sponsored by EIT’s Climate-KIC, find out more about their big event at the end.


On Wednesday, after a somewhat nebulous conference speech, British PM Boris Johnson sent new proposals for a Brexit deal to the European Commission.


As BBC’s Adam Fleming explained, “the new UK proposal doesn’t have GB-Northern Ireland customs checks but does require all consignments to be notified with quite a lot of info.” 


Spoof account General Boles tweeted: “This gigantic colon is the border solution we’ve all been crying out for.”


Bruno Waterfield revealed the EU’s first take on BoJo’s plan is “he cannot be serious!”


But Berlaymonster speculated the EU might just agree to it “for the lolz”


Indeed the whole thing is descending into farce.


Aidan O’Brien reckons, Christ, the Brexit scriptwriters are laying on the symbolism a bit thick! As a unicorn was knocked off Buckingham Palace gates.


And Boris Johnson having his coffee taken away by assistants is indeed

an opening scene straight out of The Thick of It. Hat-tip Peter Hoskins.


Of course, if you really want to understand the “sodding nightmare”, check out Jon Worth’s latest Brexit diagram.


Or this one… Or this one… or … well, he’s on to version 26 in the third series. Let’s just say a UK election is looking pretty likely.


Speaking of elections…


On Sunday, Austria elected a new Parliament, with Sebastian Kurz winning a clear victory with around 37 percent.


As radio journalist John Cummings pointed out, the mood at the ÖVP is anything but blue  – or even turquoise.


Kurz’s former coalition partners, the FPÖ, were the biggest losers brought about by the so-called Ibiza scandal. As German Greens politician Jamilla Schåfer put it: “10% of them are going to Ibiza.”


The leaked Ibiza video showed the far-right party leader offering lucrative public contracts in exchange for campaign support, and led to the collapse of Austria’s coalition between Kurz and the far-right.


Cue the music…



And the Greens made a huge comeback in this year’s elections, prompting one satirical newspaper to speculate, that after the Socialists and the Freedom party, Kurz could now blowing up government with Greens


Finally, this week Commissioner-hopefuls are being questioned in the European Parliament to see if they have what it takes.


Politico’s Paul Dallison helpfully provided the obligatory bullshit bingo card

Props to Nico Semsrott for asking the proposed Foresight Commissioner, Maros Sefcovic, the tough questions. Namely, what he will be having for dinner tonight.


British Green MEP Molly Scott Cato threw some shade at the Leave campaign by tweeting: “Remember the ‘unelected bureaucrats’ we were going to Take Back Control from? Here I am scrutinising one.”


And DG MEME summed up Sylvie Goulard’s hearing thus: 



But the real shock news of the new Commission is that Ursula Von der Leyen is planning to *live* in the Berlaymont, as Jean Quatremer reported. Apparently a room is being renovated for her next to her 13th floor offices.


“Not bad considering the last guy didn’t even live in Brussels,” quipped Martini Seltzermayr.


And James Crisp thinks all the commissioners should pile in!


Now that’s a sitcom I’d watch!


This week we are supported by the European Institute of Innovation & Technology’s Climate-KIC. They will be organising a unique conference on innovation, climate action and the green economy in Brussels on 18th November. Follow the #JustTransition to find out more.


That’s it for this week join me again next Friday for more highs and lows, bluster and blows in the Brussels Bubble Twittersphere.

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