Welcome to Euractiv’s #EUtweets of the week.
This week it’s election election election, Spitzenkandidaten anticipate rejection and EU leaders tussle over selection.
This episode is supported by Amfori find out more about their big event at the end.
Last week saw a bumper turn out across the continent for the European Elections, voter numbers were up a huge degree, in what many saw as a turning point for the EU.
However Martini Seltzermayr seemed unimpressed: For the ninth consecutive time, the EU has won the EU elections, he said!
For the ninth consecutive time, the EU has won the EU elections #EPelections2019
— Martini Seltzermayr (@mseltzermayr) May 27, 2019
The big story was the so-called Green Wave, who will now be a force to be reckoned with in the Parliament.
Our group will be 4th force in the EU Parliament with at least 67 MEPs!
Thank you for voting for a more democratic & sustainable Europe 💚💚
— Greens in the EP (@GreensEP) May 26, 2019
Meanwhile the “grand coalition” of the EPP and S&D took a beating – although as Frederic Simon pointed out the coalition actually collapsed halfway through this term.
The problem is, the EPP's traditional allies in the socialist S&D group have also shrunk and they are now short of a majority (not to mention that the so-called Grand Coalition collapsed midway thru this parliamentary term). 2/
— Frédéric Simon (@FredSimonEU) May 26, 2019
The predicted swing to the far right didn’t quite materialise.
Indeed Donald Tusk said voters drew conclusions from Brexit,” describing it as a vaccine against anti-EU propaganda and fake news,” reported Jennifer Rankin
Donald Tusk said voters drew conclusions from Brexit.
"Brexit has been a vaccine against anti-EU propaganda and fake news."
— Jennifer Rankin (@JenniferMerode) May 28, 2019
But Matteo Salvini’s La Lega dominated in Italy, something George Andreopoulos said will cause headaches in Brussels.
The election results in Italy will create major headaches in Brussels and rightly so. It is not just Brexit anymore that Eurocrats have to deal with. The rise of La Lega is an ominous sign of worst things to come if the EU does not embark on long-overdue reforms!#ItalyElections
— George Andreopoulos (@GeorgeSpartacos) March 5, 2018
And Nigel Farage’s Brexit party took more seats than any other individual national party in the European Parliament.
Sling as many milkshakes as you like, it seems nothing sticks to him!
In France Macron lost out to Marine Le Pen’s National Rally,
Marine Le Pen's far-right party narrowly beat Emmanuel Macron's party in France's EU elections. Read Robert Zaretsky on the decline of France's political center and the traditional parties' efforts to revive it:https://t.co/4qslLNWPxU
— Foreign Affairs (@ForeignAffairs) May 28, 2019
but his support of the liberals in the European Parliament saw the new ALDE-Renaissance group surge to a comfortable third place…
The first projections look very promising for our upcoming Group! ALDE, Renaissance, USR & other new parties are expected to win around 40 seats – a new group of around 100 seats. #EUElections2019 pic.twitter.com/N6yoL8eP0c
— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) May 26, 2019
… which could see them, along with the Greens in the position of kingmaker when it comes to choosing the next Commission President.
Or indeed Queen-maker as Ska Keller pointed out!
"What do you make of a queenmaker?"
Greens spitzenkandidat Ska Keller when asked by journo: who, as kingmaker so far in the #EUelections2019 , she would align with after Greens' strong performance
— Stephanie Burnett (@Stephy_Burnett) May 26, 2019
After the dust settled in the early hours of Monday morning, the real horse-trading started as pointed out by…
Just about everyone on Twitter.
It’s a phrase BBC’s Adam Flemming is going to stop using after accidentally calling Commissioner Vestager a horse to her face.
My brief attempt to explain WTF is going on with the horse-trading over the EU's top jobs. (A phrase I should stop using after I accidentally called @vestager a horse to her face the other day.) https://t.co/0HEDtslqS1 pic.twitter.com/8Xl6i2mLIc
— Adam Fleming (@adamfleming) May 28, 2019
Jack Parrock also reminded the spitzenkandidaten that until the process is complete, they are nothing more than horses
As the spitzenkandidaten started jostling for position, EU leaders met to eyeball each other and start bickering over who would get the top job.
— Georgi Gotev (@GeorgiGotev) May 29, 2019
Or “lock horns” or “spar” or “row” or “face off over.” Yes Berlaymonster, the Brussels press pack was indeed pounding the thesaurus again.
"lock horns" "at odds" "split over" "spar" "row" "face off over"
I notice the #euco press pack have been pounding the thesaurus overnight again.
— Berlaymonster (@Berlaymonster) May 29, 2019
The FT’s Mehreen Kahn reported that the dinner to discuss top jobs would be super secretive tonight. Leaders will be denied even phone signal in the room to stop leaks.
EU dinner to discuss top jobs will be super secretive tonight. One diplomat says leaders will have no phone signal in the room to prevent leaks
— Mehreen (@MehreenKhn) May 28, 2019
S&D’s Frans Timmermans and EPP’s Manfred Weber are still front and centre, but with both groups taking a big hit in the elections, the wind may be out of their sails.
Margrethe Vestager is starting to look like the safe bet… as even the bookies, and Dave Keating, certainly noticed.
— Dave Keating (@DaveKeating) May 29, 2019
But then there’s Michel Barnier who is being pushed by President Macron. Although experienced and very well known for pissing off the British, the Frenchman wasn’t part of the original Spitzen line-up which could put him out of the running.
However despite saying he didn’t want to name names, Macron immediately mentioned Margrethe Vestager, Frans Timmermans and Michel Barnier as potential candidates reported Euractiv’s Beatriz Rios.
"I don't want to talk about names," @EmmanuelMacron said. And then mentioned Margrethe @vestager, Frans @TimmermansEU and @MichelBarnier as potential candidates to be the next president of the @EU_Commission
— Beatriz Ríos (@BeaRios_) May 28, 2019
And speaking of the British, Theresa May turned up again to the Council informal dinner like a ghost at the feast.
This week we are supported by Amfori. Don’t miss their open and sustainable trade conference on 17 – 19 June. More than 20 breakout sessions, exciting speakers and networking with industry leaders.You can find out how to register by following them on Twitter.
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— amfori (@amfori_intl) May 27, 2019