Parliament groups select their heads, Conservative hopefuls tear each other to shreds, and it’s the council top jobs summit that everyone dreads. This episode is supported by UNESDA.
Yes, this week it’s a jobs special! Starting with the European Parliament, where the groups are starting to sort the wheat from the chaff.
EU Parliament Group leaders
Centre-right EPP: Manfred Weber 🇩🇪
Centre-left S&D: Iratxe Garcia Perez 🇪🇸
Liberal RE: Dacian Cioloș 🇷🇴
Greens/EFA: Ska Keller 🇩🇪 & Philippe Lambert 🇧🇪
Right ID: Marco Zanni 🇮🇹
Conservative ECR: Ryszard Legutko 🇵🇱 & Raffaele Fitto 🇮🇹
Left GUE/NGL: ?
— Europe Elects (@EuropeElects) June 19, 2019
Spanish MEP Iratxe García is the new leader of the Socialist group after previous incumbent, Udo Bullmann, dropped out.
— Kathleen Van Brempt (@kvanbrempt) June 18, 2019
Ska Keller was confirmed as the head of the Greens with minimal fuss and bother.
Greens @europeangreens re-elected @SkaKeller 🇩🇪 & @ph_lamberts 🇧🇪. Greens performed well at #EUelections2019 , making them vital for good stabilisation of pro-EU majority. This makes them in good position to claim some important roles in #EU pic.twitter.com/iWQ9tFa2Fk
— Leonardo 🇮🇹🇪🇺 #FBPE (@LeoVenez) June 20, 2019
And the ECR opted for a two for one with Ryszard Legutko & Raffaele Fitto as co-chairs.
Ryszard Legutko oraz Raffaele Fitto (Bracia Wloch) zostali współprzewodniczącymi frakcji Europejskich Konserwatystow i Reformatorow (EKR) w Parlamencie Europejskim.
— Beata Mazurek (@beatamk) June 19, 2019
Proceedings were markedly less smooth in the newly formed RenewEurope group. Emmanuel Macron’s top pick for the job, Nathalie Loiseau, suffered what Nick Gutteridge called an “extraordinary, self-inflicted and rapid fall from grace” after she denied making insulting comments about other group members, but then apologised for them anyway.
Nathalie Loiseau’s entirely self-inflicted demise is complete. An extraordinary and rapid fall from grace for someone who was hand-picked by Emmanuel Macron just three months ago to lead his push for a European Renaissance. Politics is a brutal old game. https://t.co/7vp9hgjd3I
— Nick Gutteridge (@nick_gutteridge) June 13, 2019
In case you were wondering, she reportedly – hat tip Alex Pigman – called Manfred Weber an “ectoplasm” and also allegedly attacked fellow French MEP Jean Arthuis, saying he was a “bitter man”.
Nathalie Loiseau jamais aussi savoureuse qu’en off… devant 10 journalistes.
Elle traite Manfred Weber d’« ectoplasme », Jean Arthuis d’ « aigri » et lance que Guy Verhofstadt est plein de « frustrations rentrées ».
Les trois sont ses alliés… 🙃 https://t.co/GyImJfPf9f
— Tugdual Denis (@TugdualDenis) June 11, 2019
In the end, the fledgling group elected former Romanian PM Dacian Cioloș.
“With Dacian, the group has elected a strong pro-European leader who will make sure our voice will be heard,” said Guy Verhodstadt.
Congratulations to @CiolosDacian, our new incoming Group leader! Together, we will prepare the first constituent session in Strasbourg.
With Dacian, the Group has elected a strong pro-European leader who will make sure our voice will be heard.
— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) June 19, 2019
Across the channel, the knives were out in the race for Tory leader and de facto British Prime Minister as the candidates still standing on Tuesday night took part in a televised debate.
But veteran actor Peter Egan said: “There was no debate. Only opinion and self promotion.”
There was no debate only opinion and self promotion. It went astray from the first question which went unanswered. It is shocking that even at this stage not a single conservative politician has an answer to the problem that they themselves created.
— Peter Egan (@PeterEgan6) June 18, 2019
Former Deputy PM Michael Heseltine said the de-… programme… “was a masterclass in avoiding the answers to questions.”
“It was a deeply depressing occasion… I’m disenfranchised.”
Former Deputy PM Lord Heseltine says tonight's debate “was a masterclass in avoiding the answers to questions… and there were a lot of assertions which make no sense”#newsnight | @maitlis | #BBCOurNextPM pic.twitter.com/XF8ZE8vvHz
— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) June 18, 2019
Stig Abell concluded that the big winners from the show were Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, and anyone doing anything else!
Big winners from tonight:
1. Theresa May
2. Jeremy Corbyn
3. People doing something else.#BBCOurNextPM
— Stig Abell (@StigAbell) June 18, 2019
An account called Ali L said “That’s an hour of my life I’ll never get back.”
And highlighted the scandal that erupted the next day over an Imam who asked questions on the programme, but had to delete his Twitter account because of antisemitic comments.
Last night's BBC Leadership debate.
That's an hour of my life I'll never get back.
Bad format, Maitlis was very poor & the BBC pick a question about how 'words have consequences' from an Imam who has had to delete his Twitter account because of his antisemitic comments. 🤦♀️
— Ali L (@Alichat66) June 19, 2019
But despite all the to-ing, fro-ing and back-stabbing, Boris Johnson is still in pole position.
Finally in its very own Game of Thrones showdown, the Spitzenkandidat jostling makes the Conservative party process look positively streamlined.
As EU leaders arrived for the Council Summit on Thursday everything was simultaneously on and off the table. A kind of Schroedingers summit.
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) June 20, 2019
Of course, if you want to know what’s really going on, look at the bookies. Ladbrokes have Weber and Vestager leading the betting on 2/1, that’s a 33.3% chance of winning, with non-spitzen Michel Barnier close behind on 3/1.
— EGBA (@EUgambling) June 17, 2019
But throwing caution to the wind, Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel, said wildcard
Angela Merkel would be ‘dream’ EU Commission president.
— SilviaAmaro (@Silvia_Amaro) June 13, 2019
Merkel herself sparked concern this week after she began shaking at a public event. Fortunately she is apparently fine and just needed a few glasses of water.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she is "very well" again after drinking three glasses of water.
Earlier Merkel was visibly shaking as she greeted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at temperatures of around 30 degrees celsius in Berlin. pic.twitter.com/uWhnW0scD7
— DW Politics (@dw_politics) June 18, 2019
But in the wildcard of all wildcards, Rory Stewart is now odds-on favourite to be Commission president joked Martini Seltzermayr.
— Martini Seltzermayr (@mseltzermayr) June 19, 2019
That’s about the one thing we can be sure DIDN’T happen in all the behind the scenes horse-trading.
This week’s episode is supported by UNESDA. Read more about Soft Drink Europe’s plan to reduce added sugars by 10% by 2020 by following them online.