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.
🚨BREAKING: EMA approves Moderna vaccine for EU-use. 160m doses on order
— Sam Morgan (@SamJamesMorgan) January 6, 2021
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.
Now we are working at full speed to approve it & make it available in the EU.
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) January 6, 2021
AYE AYE CAPTAIN quipped MEP Assistant predicting that roll out in individual member states might not be so speedy.
— mepassistant (@mepassistants) January 6, 2021
Gareth Harding agreed. Stop blaming the EU for slow Covid vaccination he said.
— Gareth Harding (@garethharding) January 4, 2021
Darren McCaffrey also pointed the finger of blame for slow roll-out at poor planning by national governments.
EU in talks with Pfizer and BioNTech about ordering 100 million more doses of Covid-19 vaccine, at €15.5 a pop – @Reuters
But as much as national leaders might want to blame Brussels
The slow roll out so far, not down to lack of vaccines but poor planning by governments
— Darren McCaffrey (@DarrenEuronews) January 5, 2021
Diego Velaquez said the Brussels-bashing was just plain weird!
The current Brussels-bashing around vaccinations is plainly weird
— diego velazquez (@diego_bxl) January 4, 2021
Meanwhile, has AstraZeneca even applied for approval yet? Asked Aydin Kurt-Elli.
Meanwhile, as AstraZeneca even applied for approval yet?
— Aydin Kurt-Elli (@aydinke) January 6, 2021
On to less joyful matters.
The world watched agog on Wednesday night as a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in Washington DC.
how it started ➡️ how its going pic.twitter.com/nYbkOCx6z4
— Saskia Jungnikl-Gossy (@sjungnikl) January 7, 2021
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.”
this is the best meme I've seen in a long time pic.twitter.com/s0jukIZMGp
— Diego (@diegopetrucci) January 6, 2021
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!
— Niamh Walsh (@NiamhWalsh26) January 7, 2021
Jamiroquai, Burning Man, Village People – he was ticking ALL the boxes.
I didn’t realise Jamiroquai was touring America? pic.twitter.com/9Epz08NPzJ
— Byron Kaye (@byronkaye) January 6, 2021
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.
When I left DC three years ago quite a few Americans expressed concerns for my safety in Brussels
— Dave Clark (@DaveClark_AFP) January 6, 2021
So comforting to watch all this from the quietness of “hellhole” Molenbeek, added Christoph Schmidt.
So comforting to watch all this from the quietness of hell hole Molenbeek.
— Christoph Schmidt (@trouwschmidt) January 6, 2021
While even Venezuela expressed its concern over the violence and instability in the U.S.
Venezuela expresses its concern over the violence and instability in the U.S. pic.twitter.com/Z0EbTNh8cY
— Mike Madrid (@madrid_mike) January 6, 2021
NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, described the scenes as “shocking”and said the outcome of the democratic election must be respected.
Shocking scenes in Washington, D.C. The outcome of this democratic election must be respected.
— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) January 6, 2021
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.
Europe is incredulous right now. https://t.co/eYHOkBZp5N
— Teri Schultz (@terischultz) January 6, 2021
Indeed it was:
Belgium: “Shock and disbelief,”
Italy: “Violence is incompatible with democratic rights.”
Austria: “An unacceptable attack on democracy.”
UK: “Disgraceful scenes”
🇧🇪 De Croo: “Shock and disbelief,” 🇮🇹 Conté: “Violence is incompatible with the exercise of democratic rights.”
🇦🇹 Kurtz: “An unacceptable attack on democracy.”
🇬🇧 Johnson: “Disgraceful scenes in the US Congress,”
🇳🇱 Rutte: “Trump, recognise Biden today.”
Europe on #USCapitol
— Beatriz Ríos (@BeaRios_) January 6, 2021
And so on and so on and
We haven’t finished week one of 2021.
We haven’t finished week one of 2021.
— Schona Jolly QC (@WomaninHavana) January 6, 2021
At least spoof Angela Merkel assured us that her departure from office is going to be very boring.
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
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
— Martini Seltzermayr (@mseltzermayr) January 6, 2021
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.
🇪🇺🇨🇳 The EU & China have approved in principle a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment.
This is a real step forward: for too long, our trade & investment relationship with China has been unbalanced – this deal redresses the balance 👉 https://t.co/S1GN5h6Foa#EUChinaInvest pic.twitter.com/zlUr0RvYsp
— Valdis Dombrovskis (@VDombrovskis) December 30, 2020
New year, New me tweeted DG trade.
— EU Trade 🇪🇺 (@Trade_EU) January 5, 2021
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
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. That's also the spirit of the EU/China investment pact https://t.co/5k79LAUuoq
— Wolfgang Munchau (@EuroBriefing) January 4, 2021
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
Sober take on #CAI and labour rights. For all the talk about putting an end to naivety and wishful thinking on China in recent years, the EU still seems to engage in a lot of wishful thinking (and willful ignorance) regarding China https://t.co/l5igYffalR
— Malin Oud (@MalinOud) December 31, 2020
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.
Seemingly each line of the now-defunct TTIP agreement was scrutinized and debated in EU capitals. The CAI was met with a collective shrug and no public debate (at least that I saw here in Belgium). Different kinds of agreements, of course, but an odd phenomenon.
— Matt Habinowski (@MHabinowski) January 5, 2021
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”.
“I will have a hard time voting for this deal”.
— Samira Rafaela (@samiraraf) January 6, 2021
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.
I'll make v clear & public bet abt EU-China Investment Agreement #CAI: absolutely no chances of approval from European Parliament.
Once "treatment" (euphemism) of Uighur women gets publicity it deserves + prison labor, mass surveillance, no political group will want to touch it https://t.co/BOc2Q5MzMp
— Tomasz Wlostowski (@TomWlost) January 2, 2021