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.”
The new UK proposal doesn't have GB>NI customs checks but does require all consignments to be notified with quite a lot of info. Remember @MichelBarnier has been saying that all imports to NI would need to be accompanied by a customs declaration? https://t.co/PcDvWbVvzz
— Adam Fleming (@adamfleming) October 2, 2019
Spoof account General Boles tweeted: “This gigantic colon is the border solution we’ve all been crying out for.”
This gigantic colon is the border solution we've all been crying out for 🙄 pic.twitter.com/WDlQsfEu1O
— General Boles (@GeneralBoles) October 1, 2019
Bruno Waterfield revealed the EU’s first take on BoJo’s plan is “he cannot be serious!”
First EU take on briefed versions Boris Johnson's deal is “he cannot be serious”https://t.co/GARGrPYSVd
— Bruno Waterfield (@BrunoBrussels) October 2, 2019
But Berlaymonster speculated the EU might just agree to it “for the lolz”
BREAKING: EU TO AGREE TO BORIS BREXIT OFFER 'FOR THE LOLZ'#fantasyheadlines
— Berlaymonster (@Berlaymonster) October 2, 2019
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.
Christ, The Brexit Scriptwriters seem to be laying on the symbolism a bit thick aren’t they? pic.twitter.com/6ORBjSyElZ
— 𝗔𝗶𝗱𝗮𝗻 𝗢’𝗕𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻 (@artimusfoul) October 2, 2019
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.
This is an opening scene straight out of ‘The Thick of It’pic.twitter.com/lKzbaX5ZlL
— Peter Hoskins (@PeterHoskinsTV) October 1, 2019
Of course, if you really want to understand the “sodding nightmare”, check out Jon Worth’s latest Brexit diagram.
I can confirm this #BrexitDiagram V26 is a sodding nightmare
I can't work out how *if* a Deal were to be struck in Brussels how this would play out with the time needed to debate a Queen's Speech https://t.co/OxP3BPXkP4
— Jon Worth (@jonworth) October 3, 2019
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.
— John Cummins (@lyslejc) September 29, 2019
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.”
— Jamila Schäfer (@jamila_anna) September 29, 2019
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…
— Evan O'Connell (@evanoconnell) May 20, 2019
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
— Die Tagespresse (@DieTagespresse) September 29, 2019
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
— Srdjan Cvijic (@srdjancvijic) September 30, 2019
Props to Nico Semsrott for asking the proposed Foresight Commissioner, Maros Sefcovic, the tough questions. Namely, what he will be having for dinner tonight.
— Mehreen (@MehreenKhn) September 30, 2019
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.”
Remember the 'unelected bureaucrats' we were going to Take Back Control from?
Here I am scrutinising one – commissioner-designate for agriculture at one of the hearings faced by every potential commissioner.
I will then get the chance to vote for or against them. pic.twitter.com/0Zfe2ilaoa
— Molly Scott Cato MEP (@MollyMEP) October 2, 2019
And DG MEME summed up Sylvie Goulard’s hearing thus:
— DG MEME (@meme_ec) October 2, 2019
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.
Donc @vonderleyen va bien bien faire aménager un appartement de fonction (25m2) au #Berlaymont comme je le révélais il y a 15 jours. Les we, elle rentrera à Hanovre. Elle fera des économies de loyer, mais quelle image: La bulle dans la bulle… pic.twitter.com/QwoEzlpOmE
— Jean Quatremer (@quatremer) October 3, 2019
“Not bad considering the last guy didn’t even live in Brussels,” quipped Martini Seltzermayr.
Not bad considering the last guy didn’t even live in Brussels https://t.co/IVPeykOW37
— Martini Seltzermayr (@mseltzermayr) October 3, 2019
And James Crisp thinks all the commissioners should pile in!
If Ursula von der Leyen is planning to live in the Berlaymont, I think her college of commissioners should follow her example and do the same.
And for that matter every DG of the commission as well.
Like a barracks for bureaucrats.
— James Crisp (@JamesCrisp6) October 3, 2019
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.
Want to know what innovation can do for climate action and the transition to a green economy?
Save the date for a unique conference in Brussels: Innovating for a Just Transition in Europe – 18 Nov
— EIT Climate-KIC (@ClimateKIC) October 3, 2019
That’s it for this week join me again next Friday for more highs and lows, bluster and blows in the Brussels Bubble Twittersphere.