Tweets of the Week: Covid Vaccine, Capitol Mob and China Deal

Brand new vaccine is just the job, US capitol stormed by angry mob, and China investment deal makes MEPs sob.

Welcome back to Euractiv’s EU Tweets of the Week.

First, let’s start with the good news! On Wednesday, the European Medicines Agency approved the Moderna vaccine for EU-use and 160 million doses are on order.

Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said the vaccine is safe & effective and the EU would be working at full speed to make it available in the EU.

AYE AYE CAPTAIN quipped MEP Assistant predicting that roll out in individual member states might not be so speedy.

Gareth Harding agreed. Stop blaming the EU for slow Covid vaccination he said.

 

Darren McCaffrey also pointed the finger of blame for slow roll-out at poor planning by national governments.

Diego Velaquez said the Brussels-bashing was just plain weird!

Meanwhile, has AstraZeneca even applied for approval yet? Asked Aydin Kurt-Elli.

On to less joyful matters.

 

The world watched agog on Wednesday night as a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in Washington DC.

Whipped into a frenzy by the outgoing President things took an ugly turn as the criminals broke in.

 

As Twitter and Facebook finally suspended Trumps accounts many were quick to point out the role of social media.

 

From a website to rate women on campus all the way to “the Capitol seems to be under the control of a man in a viking hat.”

Before we move on, can we take a minute amid all the madness to just pause for a moment and contemplate the complete LOOK this fascist was serving!

Jamiroquai, Burning Man, Village People – he was ticking ALL the boxes.

As the night wore on, many people juxtaposed what was happening in DC with other parts of the world.

When I left DC three years ago quite a few Americans expressed concerns for my safety in Brussels said Dave Clark.

So comforting to watch all this from the quietness of “hellhole” Molenbeek, added Christoph Schmidt.

While even Venezuela expressed its concern over the violence and instability in the U.S.

NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, described the scenes as “shocking”and said the outcome of the democratic election must be respected.

It takes a HELLUVA lot for the NATO Sec Gen to weigh in on internal developments in allied countries, said Teri Schultz. Europe is incredulous right now.

Indeed it was:

Belgium: “Shock and disbelief,” 

Italy: “Violence is incompatible with democratic rights.”

Austria: “An unacceptable attack on democracy.”

UK: “Disgraceful scenes” 

And so on and so on and

 

We haven’t finished week one of 2021.

At least spoof Angela Merkel assured us that her departure from office is going to be very boring.

https://twitter.com/Queen_Europe/status/1346957825780690944

Were I the EU, I would simply immediately sign a trade deal with China, but only after it agreed to stop being a communist dictatorship, tweeted Martini Seltzermayr

Well, funny you should mention that…

 

As last week the EU and China concluded in principle negotiations for a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment or CAI for short.

New year, New me tweeted DG trade.

But with the final text still not available a lot of people were skeptical about China’s promises to adhere to new commitments on human rights in particular forced labour.

The EU is always willing to pay lip service to human rights, but in the end always ends up colluding with abusive regimes to protect exports, said Wolfgang Munchau

Malin Oud added that for all its talk, the EU still seems to engage in a lot of wishful thinking (and willful ignorance) regarding China

Matt Habinowski wondered why, when every line of the now-defunct TTIP agreement was scrutinized and debated, the CAI has been met with a collective shrug from EU capitals.

But it’s not a done deal, the European Parliament must give its approval and Samira Rafaela along with dozens of fellow MEPs stated plainly: “I will have a hard time voting for this deal”. 

The CAI has absolutely no chances of approval from European Parliament. Once the “treatment” of Uighur women gets publicity it deserves along with prison labor, mass surveillance, no political group will want to touch it and it will be rejected with a massive majority, predicted Tomasz Wlostowski.

 

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