VdL’s new titles are a bit of a flop, Tusk Brexit speech is a major mic-drop, and Boris Johnson it appears can’t use a mop.
This week we are sponsored by European Sunlight Association, find out more about them at the end.
Although Ursula von der Leyen’s Commissioner list still isn’t complete – we’re looking at you Great Britain! – four of her future Commissioners were annointed with shiny new titles this week.
Top of the bill: the controversial “Protecting our European Way of Life” became “Promoting the European Way of Life”
Which DG Meme says sounds more like a tourist brochure than a migration portfolio.
+++ "Protecting our European Way of Life" became "Promoting the European Way of Life"
Sounds more like a touristic brochure than a migration portfolio, but it's a great improvement!https://t.co/KtE4owrEDR pic.twitter.com/351Nst0Awc
— DG MEME (@meme_ec) November 13, 2019
The general reception was lukewarm – at best. Big concessions here, commented Euractiv’s Sam Morgan sarcastically.
“Slow handclap to the author of this Commission press release which
- a) presents changes to commission portfolio names without context or explanation
- b) is unreadable
- c) gets the new portfolio names wrong, is immediately corrected”
tweeted Martini Seltzermayer
Slow handclap to the author of this Commission press release which
a) presents changes to commission portfolio names without context or explanation
b) is unreadable
c) gets the new portfolio names wrong, is immediately corrected
— Martini Seltzermayr (@mseltzermayr) November 13, 2019
It’s amazing Margaritis Schinas spends 3 hours of his life defending his job title in front of 90 MEPs. They all take it very seriously. And now, it’s simply gone because of a few votes. Looks more erratic than geopolitical to me said Diego Velazquez.
It's amazing: @MargSchinas spends 3 hours of his life defending his job title in front of 90 MEPs. They all take it very seriously. And now, it's simply gone because of a few votes. Without any noise. Looks more erratic than geopolitical to me.
— diego velazquez (@diego_bxl) November 13, 2019
But as MEP assistant added: Hearings are a blood sport
— mepassistant (@mepassistants) November 14, 2019
In the end said Andrew Gray tweeted, “protecting our European way of life,” not quite as important as protecting the future European Commission.
There goes "protecting our European way of life." Not quite as important as protecting the future European Commission, as it turns out. https://t.co/0Dx86R8Imt
— Andrew Gray (@andrew_r_gray) November 13, 2019
From incoming Eurocrats to an outgoing one.
On Wednesday evening departing Council President Donald Tusk, gave a speech looking back at two terms in office. His leitmotif?
“It’s the unity, stupid.”
It’s the unity, stupid.
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) November 13, 2019
His blunt speech received some credit online, with David Herszenhorn giving him the title of “Donald the liberated lame duck”
Donald the Liberated Lame Duck (@eucopresident Tusk) uses College of Europe speech to do some accounting & settle scores, chastizing Dutch & Germans for "overly tough" austerity; 3 UK PM's & all Brexiters for #Brexit & @EmmanuelMacron for, um, being Macron https://t.co/33SR6hw6mM
— David M. Herszenhorn (@herszenhorn) November 13, 2019
Tusk himself admitted: I wouldn’t have dared to say this a few months ago, as I could be fired for being too frank.”
💪❤️ Donald Tusk @eucopresident:
"I wouldn’t have dared to say this a few months ago, as I could be fired for being too frank:
"Don’t give up. In this match, we've already had added time, now we are in extra time, perhaps it will even go to penalties?"https://t.co/aatXGKcW28
— Brexitshambles (@brexit_sham) November 13, 2019
Before going on to compare Brexit to a game of football telling Remainers: “Don’t give up. We are already in extra time, but perhaps it will go to penalties.”
Meanwhile in Brussels, newly-liberated Donald Tusk tells Remainers:
“Don’t give up. In this match we had added time, we are already in extra time, perhaps it will even go to penalties?”
He wonders if Brexit is “the real end of the British empire” 🔥
— Tamara Cohen (@tamcohen) November 14, 2019
Though twitter user Ken Gray was quick to point out:
“He’s obviously not seen England’s record in penalty shootouts over the years…”
He's obviously not seen England's record in penalty shootouts over the years…
— Ken Gray (@kengray1967) November 13, 2019
Finally in more sombre news, Venice is suffering some of the worst floods in its history.
In pictures: heavy floods hit St Mark's Square, #Venice's landmark tourist attraction
With the tide peaking at 6.14 feet, this is the worst flooding the city has witnessed since 1966 pic.twitter.com/bZ2VvPbdns
— CGTN (@CGTNOfficial) November 14, 2019
And the mayor has called on Italy to declare a State of Emergency.
— NEWSAFRICATV (@NEWSAFRICATV1) November 14, 2019
Alexander Verbeek pointed out that this was predicted by climate scientists.
Floodings in Venice are increasingly more frequent and more extreme.
The floodings in #Venice are increasingly more frequent and more extreme.
As was predicted by climate scientists.
This is the #ClimateEmergency
— Alexander Verbeek 🌍 (@Alex_Verbeek) November 14, 2019
Although not everyone was downhearted:
This man decided swimming – shirtless – across St Mark’s Square was the appropriate response!
VENICE FLOODS: A man decided to go for a swim across St. Mark's Square in Venice after the historical Italian city flooded on Tuesday following high tides https://t.co/gwcjxXSrXi pic.twitter.com/YgFB6fFcGT
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 13, 2019
There were some equally hardy souls in Northern England which was also hit by flooding as the River Don burst its banks.
When Bingo hall opens at 4:30 and a bit of drizzle isn’t stopping you pic.twitter.com/0aGWEvonsx
— Sam Cunliffe (@samcunliffe) November 7, 2019
The European Commission announced that it had activated the Copernicus satellite imaging system to produce emergency maps of the flooded region.
You could not make this up: @BorisJohnson requesting EU assistance for UK flooding. Either he wants to be in the EU or he doesn't but this two-faced approach is becoming a joke… https://t.co/n8iuhG45cc
— Thomas Cole (@ThomasHCole) November 13, 2019
An account called Bacardi Oakheart joked: “Not saying it’s raining hard in Sheffield but I’ve just seen Greta Thunberg go past my house in a yacht holding a sign reading: I TOLD YOU SO.”
Not saying it's raining hard in Sheffield but I've just seen Greta Thunberg go past my house in a yacht holding up a sign that reads: I TOLD YOU SO.#floods
— Bacardi Oakheart (@Midgetgems26) November 7, 2019
Unfortunately for Boris Johnson when he eventually showed up to offer support, most of the focus was on his apparent inability to use a mop!
When you’ve used a mop before pic.twitter.com/78eq8XdSAR
— Patrick Maguire (@patrickkmaguire) November 10, 2019
This week’s episode is supported by the European Sunlight Association. Find out more about the potential health benefits of sunlight and sunbeds by following them online @eurosunlight
For further information on the potential #health benefits of #sunlight according to the newest #scientific findings, please see our White Book "Sunlight and sunbeds – natural and artificial UV radiation".https://t.co/UHVJ9ZxVLj
— European Sunlight Association (@eurosunlight) November 13, 2019
And that’s it for another week. Join me again next Friday for more battling and prattling in the Brussels Bubble Twittersphere.