This week, CO2 emissions bear the brunt, Alex Stubb is out in front, EU offended by Jeremy Hunt and Theresa May pulls dancing stunt.
Today we are supported by the European Parliament.
It is indeed it is a Strasbourg week and the big news was that MEPs voted 389 to 239 in favour of toughening CO2 limits for new cars and speeding up the roll-out of e-cars by 2030.
#EPlenary ?? | Cars ?| Environment ?
By a majority of 389 votes to 239, MEPs have voted in favour of toughening CO2 limits for new cars and speeding up the roll-out of e-cars by 2030.
— EPinIreland (@EPinIreland) October 3, 2018
Neena Gill MEP, said the call for a 40 percent cut in car and van CO2 emissions was “ambitious,” adding “It’s now up to Member States to show similar level of ambition so we can turn these goals into reality.”
MEPs have backed an ambitious call for a 40% cut in car & van CO2 emissions by 2030. @Europarl_EN #EPlenary leading the way in the fight against #climatechange. It’s now up to Member States to show similar level of ambition so we can turn these goals into reality.
— Neena Gill MEP (@NeenaGmep) October 3, 2018
Constantine Levoyannis said it was a big win for MEP Miriam Dalli, but there huge challenges ahead for industry.
#EPlenary votes in favour of 40% CO2 reduction targets for cars & vans. #CCF amendment carbon correction factor rejected. Tight voting numbers on key topics=testament2difficult choices facing policymakers. Huge challenges ahead4industry. Big win4 @Miriamdalli #Mobility #transport pic.twitter.com/9yPBKBufs2
— Constantine Levoyannis (@clevo275) October 3, 2018
Most people were pretty happy apart from the car industry who described the targets as “extremely aggressive.”
ACEA reacts to @Europarl_EN vote on #CO2 targets for cars and vans. "We remain particularly concerned about the extremely aggressive #CO2 targets and the imposition of sales quotas for #ElectricCars that MEPs have backed." | LEARN WHY: https://t.co/1Wu23FQPTv pic.twitter.com/fKcIlkdxYL
— ACEA (@ACEA_eu) October 4, 2018
Also in Strasbourg, Former Finnish PM Alex Stubb threw his hat in the ring to become the EPP’s candidate for the European Commission top job, much to the delight of EU Politics nerds.
— Sam Morgan (@SamJamesMorgan) October 2, 2018
Simon Hix described him as “hugely impressive. I cannot think of a front bench British politician who is in the same league.”
— Simon Hix (@simonjhix) October 2, 2018
Even Berlaymonster was inspired and remarkably light on snark: “Qualified. Eloquent. Principled. But when have EU governments ever chosen the best person for the job?” he said.
But when have EU governments ever chosen the best person for the job? https://t.co/CfpmSsJcp8
— Berlaymonster (@Berlaymonster) October 2, 2018
Publicly his candidacy was even welcomed by rival Manfred Weber, but Jon Worth speculated what was going on underneath those smiles.
— Jon Worth (@jonworth) October 3, 2018
Martini Seltzermayr demanded to know @alexstubb’s favourite cocktail.
Anyone know @alexstubb’s favorite cocktail? Only it’s quite important for my career
— Martini Seltzermayr (@mseltzermayr) October 2, 2018
But the general consensus was that fitness fanatic Stubb is probably more into beetroot and organic kale smoothies.
Not even. Beetroot & organic kale smoothies.
— Gareth Harding (@garethharding) October 2, 2018
Or protein shakes.
Protein shake, I’m guessing
— American EU Dude (@AmericanEUDude) October 2, 2018
Finally, the UK was keeping the rest of the EU entertained as always. This week, British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt preposterously claimed that the EU is just like the USSR!
The most brutal rebuttal came from Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis
Who said “Dear Jeremy Hunt, I was born in a Soviet gulag and been imprisoned by KGB a few times in my life. Happy to brief you on the main differences between EU and Soviet Union. Anytime. Whatever helps.”
I was born in Soviet gulag and been imprisoned by KGB a few times in my life.
Happy to brief you on the main differences between #EU and Soviet Union. And also why we escaped the #USSR
Anytime. Whatever helps. https://t.co/c2h7gbnj59
— Vytenis Andriukaitis (@V_Andriukaitis) October 1, 2018
Of course Hunt tried to backtrack claiming, despite all evidence to the contrary that he didn’t say the EU is like the Soviet Union. Before adding that Britain is “very angry” about Brexit negotiations
— Bloomberg Brexit (@Brexit) October 2, 2018
It’s not the only one!
Guy Verhofstadt described his comments as “offensive and outrageous.” “Churchill and Thatcher must be turning in their graves.”
Offensive and outrageous comments by Mr. Hunt, especially to those millions of Europeans that lived under Soviet occupation. Churchill and Thatcher, these great defenders of European freedom and democracy must be turning in their graveshttps://t.co/Ie57QnIA1v
— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) October 1, 2018
Theresa May meanwhile praised shipyard strikers in Gdansk, and recalled the Velvet Revolution and fall of Berlin Wall signalling that she doesn’t agree with her foreign secretary.
Theresa May praises shipyard strikers in Gdansk, recalls Velvet Revolution and fall of Berlin Wall – signal to the EU that she doesn't agree with Jeremy Hunt on USSR.
— Jennifer Rankin (@JenniferMerode) October 3, 2018
But that was entirely overshadowed by her bizarre decision to come out dancing at the Conservative Party Conference which dominated the front pages.
Some rare good front pages for the PM tomorrow. EU's worst fears about her being further weakened and boxed in by the Tory party conference don't appear to have materialised. Not yet, anyway. pic.twitter.com/h2Uj8cuM7k
— Nick Gutteridge (@nick_gutteridge) October 3, 2018
Swedish Ambassador Torbjörn Sohlström said bravo for starting her conference speech with ABBA’s Dancing Queen.
— Torbjörn Sohlström (@sohlstromt) October 3, 2018
But the rest of the Twittersphere was more perplexed.
Labour MP Diane Abbott thought whoever came up with that idea should be sacked.
So Theresa May comes on stage for her big conference speech…dancing. Whoever thought that was a good idea should be sacked. I am looking at you Robbie Gibb #ConservativeConference2018
— Diane Abbott (@HackneyAbbott) October 3, 2018
Shehab Khan said You couldn’t make it up.
That start to Theresa May's speech was genuine parody. You couldn't make it up, she literally came out dancing to Dancing Queen. That's British politics for you.
— Shehab Khan (@ShehabKhan) October 3, 2018
And in an equally bonkers move, former foreign minister Boris Johnson, trolled May by running through a field of wheat.
— Dan Bloom (@danbloom1) October 1, 2018
Don’t these people have more important things to do!?… like, erm, Brexit?
Matt Steinglass tweeted this cartoon
Brexit negotiations, the Dutch view pic.twitter.com/unjPX8tXSi
— ??? ?? ?? ???? ?????????? (@mattsteinglass) October 2, 2018
And that’s it for this week! Join me again next Friday for more prancing and dancing in the Brussels Bubble Twittersphere.