Tweets of the Week: Spitzenkandidaten debate, Robbins in Brussels, Vestager and Beer

Welcome to Euractiv’s #EUtweets  of the week.


Commission hopefuls fail to impress,

Why Robbins is in Brussels is anyones guess,

And thanks to Vestager fine, beer will cost less.


This episode is sponsored by Wind Europe, find out more about them at the end.

The big highlight of this week was the Spitzenkandidat debate at the European Parliament as six candidates all vying for the European Commission top job took to the stage.

Nico Cué, Ska Keller, Jan Zahradil, Margrethe Vestager, Manfred Weber and Frans Timmermans all appealed to the European public to back them.

And spoof account DG Meme was right behind them!

Despite all the pomp and ceremony, Nick Gutteridge thought the set looked like a naff daytime gameshow.


While Aoife White was unimpressed with the social media segment saying they “didn’t manage to read out anything particularly fun or compelling at all”


She reckons those viewing were probably 10% Brussels snark, 30% abuse, 60% spambots.


Katie Owens thought it was a wasted opportunity not to put some of those “social media” questions to the candidates.


And Jack Parrock thought the “debate” was so dull that “It’s lucky no one in the UK actually watches it!” If they did he reckons there’d be a few remainers on the turn.


Indeed, it wasn’t much of a debate at all. More like 6 elevator pitches from established politicians who may or may not even be in the eventual running for the Commission role.


The Economist’s Tom Nuttall said “Not all the candidates are terrible, but this is a depressing simulacrum of a debate, with candidates who probably won’t get the job promising to execute powers the office doesn’t hold.”

One man who headed to Brussels this week without Spitzenkandidaten on his mind was UK Brexit negotiator Olly Robbins.


Asa Bennett reported that Robbins would not be sorting out Brexit with his Brussels trip on Tuesday


James Crisp was among those who didn’t really get why Robbins needed to come to Brussels to find out how quickly the political declaration can be redrafted. Michel Barnier has said it could be done in 48 hours at least three times in various speeches.


Cue lots of people suggesting he’s here to sort out his EU citizenship.

Finally this week the European Commission slapped AB InBev with a €200 million fine for restricting cross-border sales of beer between the Netherlands and Belgium.


“Consumers in Belgium have been paying more for their favourite beer” because of AB InBev’s illegal practices said Competition Commissioner and top job hopeful Vestager.


Euractiv’s Sam Morgan took issue with that… doubting that Jupiler is anyone’s Favourite beer!


And do follow Sam’s thread for a selection of the worst beer-related puns this side of the Atlantic.


It’s the first and last time you’ll ever hear Juncker complain that Stella’s excessively concentrated quipped Martini Seltzermayr


Adding You won’t get this sort of thing in the Weber Commission, I can tell you


Robert Heslop has a conspiracy theory: “I love it how the EuropeanCommission announce the fine on AB InBev for selling beer at a higher price 1 week before European Elections,” he tweeted.

Shurely some coincidence!


And Eline Chivot added: “Lower prices for beers. OK now it’s official, absolutely everyone is a fan of Vestager in Brussels. Just to be annoying she’ll be keeping track of how many more drunk guys will be shouting under her windows.


This week we are sponsored by WindEurope. Want to make a real impact on climate change? Go vote! It’s easy. It’s quick. And you don’t have to dress like these guys to do it!

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