Tweets of the Week: Empty UK Chairs, EU China Food Deal, Schiphol Airport

Welcome to EURACTIV’s EU Tweets of the Week. 

Boris Johnson has chairs to fill, Emmanuel Macron had steak to grill, and Dutch police get impromptu alarm drill.

This week in the UK, the Tory general election campaign got off to a bumpy start as Sky News host Kay Burley interviewed an empty chair after Tory party chairman James Cleverly was a no-show. 

Chuck Thomas quipped: “Breaking news: the empty chair on Sky News has just defected to the Lib Dems.”

But this isn’t the only seat that Boris Johnson needs to fill. 

In Brussels, EU Commission President-elect Ursula Von der Leyen said Britain must propose a candidate for a Commissioner, ideally a woman.


The FT’s Mehreen Khan was sceptical that Boris Johnson of all people, would rescue her attempt at getting a gender-balanced Commission.

Step forward as Julie King suggested Simon Taylor.

But the current Commissioner Julian King said: “There are limits…”

Guillaume suggested Lord Buckethead: “A ridiculous commissioner for a ridiculous situation.”

And Martini Seltzermayr mused that one John Bercow would sail through his hearing.

UK aside, the list of other new Commissioners was finally completed, with MEP Adina Valean was nominated as the Romanian candidate. 

Turning now to foodie news!


French President Emmanuel Macron treated Chinese President Xi to French wine and steak at a trade fair in Shanghai on Tuesday. Macron is in China with a business delegation to seek fewer export restrictions for French poultry and beef.

Meanwhile the EU and China concluded a bilateral agreement to protect 100 European geographical indications in China and 100 Chinese geographical indications in the EU.

Including Manchego, Bourgogne, Gorgonzola, Cava, Champagne, Feta, Irish whiskey…

And as MEP and Stirling general election candidate, Alyn Smith, reported, Scottish Whisky and Salmon. But he warned the good news could be trashed by a Tory Brexit.

At this point, is there anything Brexit won’t trash!?


But back to wine, for some reason 12 bottles of Bordeaux were blasted into orbit this week. 

I really don’t need to know any more about this story, but thanks James Crisp for tipping us off about – cue outdated Star Trek reference – “Deep Space Wine.”

Finally on Wednesday a major lockdown of Schiphol airport occurred after a plane on the tarmac signalled a hijacking attempt. Armed police evacuated its passengers and crew, and cleared the airport before it emerged that the whole thing was a false alarm. 

In Air Europa’s own words, “nothing has happened.”

Rob Christie said: “At least we know the button works.” 

As excited tweeters tried to imagine the scenario:


Ooops indeed!


And that’s it for this week. Join me again next Friday for more narrow escapes, tight scrapes and great japes in the Brussels Bubble Twittersphere.


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