This week, real trade war now, European development days take a bow, and Europe unites to save Penka the cow.
As Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said, 31 May was a bad day for world trade as the US hit the EU, Canada and Mexico with trade tariffs.
It’s a bad day for world trade. US leaves us no choice but to proceed with a WTO dispute settlement case and the imposition of additional duties on a number of US imports. We will defend the EU’s interests, in full compliance with international trade law. https://t.co/J3wPW5Ew7K pic.twitter.com/aDlOWcSgRv
— Jean-Claude Juncker (@JunckerEU) May 31, 2018
Guy Verhofstadt agreed with Commissioner Malmstrom saying the US tariffs were “pure protectionism” and “illegal” under WTO rules.
Agree w/@MalmstromEU saying US #tariffs are "pure protectionism" & "illegal" under rules governed by @wto. We must fight to protect our global trading rules & stand up for open #freetrade. In this spirit we continue to work w/partners around the globe https://t.co/zeHmMNoy9S
— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) June 6, 2018
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas added that the only response to “America First” must be “Europe United”.
— Germany in the EU (@GermanyintheEU) May 31, 2018
The Daily Mash had other ideas: suggesting the EU impose tariffs on fat American golfers.
— The Daily Mash (@thedailymash) June 1, 2018
Who could they be talking about?!
Weirdly, Nigel Farage came out in support of the Trump tariffs. Because, said Otto English, he’s a patriot in the same way that a heated fan oven is a reliable place to keep your ice cream.
Nigel Farage currently defending Trump's tariffs… which will directly impact on UK jobs … because he's a patriot in the same way that a heated fan oven is a reliable place to keep your ice cream #FarageOnLBC
— Otto English (@Otto_English) May 31, 2018
Mike Galsworthy pointed out that back in 2003 when George W Bush tried the same thing, the EU rode to the rescue.
Back in 2002-2003 George W Bush tried to do the same thing (again to get political support at home)
It hurt UK high-grade steel.
The EU Commission rode to the rescue, with planned retaliatory tariffs on politically sensitive US produce…
… and GWB crumpled in Dec 2003.
— Mike Galsworthy #FBPE (@mikegalsworthy) May 31, 2018
Dmitry Grozoubinski begged “please swipe right WTO, I just want someone to hold me and tell me my regulations are non-discriminatory.”
Please swipe right WTO, I just want someone to hold me and tell me my regulations are non-discriminatory… pic.twitter.com/S5FjE5YIfu
— Dmitry Grozoubinski (@DmitryOpines) June 4, 2018
Anna Isaac thinks the tariff lists are starting to sound like beat poems.
Anyone else finding these tariff lists are turning into beat poems? #TradeWar the EU version:
Tanks, casks, drums, cans
Woven cloth, incl. endless bands
Whisky, in containers holding
Mixtures of odoriferous substances
not containing added spirit
— Anna Isaac (@Annaisaac) June 1, 2018
And fashion icon Berlaymonster said “Pah, we don’t need your American jeans.
We have EUROPEAN jeans.”
Pah, we don't need your American jeans.
We have EUROPEAN jeans.
— Berlaymonster (@Berlaymonster) June 1, 2018
This year’s European Development Days kicked off in Brussels on Tuesday with the hashtag “She is We” to highlight this year’s theme: women’s empowerment.
— EuropeAid (@europeaid) June 5, 2018
Some startling statistics came out:
In 37 countries, rapists are exempt from prosecution if they marry their victim.
In 37 countries, rapists are exempt from prosecution if they marry the victim or are already married to the victim. #TimeIsNow to end this! #SpotlightEndViolence #EDD18 #shEDDs pic.twitter.com/WDSBlI02gx
— UNDP in Brussels (@UNDPEU) June 5, 2018
Only 2% of all overseas development aid is spent on gender equality.
Only 2% of all overseas development aid is spent on gender equality. In 2018!Appalling. No wonder women in developing countries continue to be left behind. We can do better. #EDD18
— Marissa Ryan (@Marissa_C_Ryan) June 5, 2018
And 246 million school children experience Gender Based Violence every year.
246 million learners experience #GBV in and around schools every year, and numbers may be even higher. We need to partner up with each other, governments, schools and communities for sustainable solutions to this human rights challenge #EDD18 @UNGEI @eduint @RsFawe @PlanGlobal pic.twitter.com/xSTpkUUdd1
— VVOB (@VVOBvzw) June 5, 2018
Norwegian PM Erna Solberg said discrimination against women and girls belongs on the garbage heap of history along with racism and slavery.
"There is a place reserved on the garbage heap of history for the discrimination against women & girls. It belongs there along with racism & slavery." — @erna_solberg, Prime Minister of Norway at #EDD18. ?? @europeaid pic.twitter.com/Xb04qbGULa
— UN Women (@UN_Women) June 5, 2018
And Rwandan President Paul Kagame added that it is up to leaders at every level to ensure that there is accountability for changing harmful societal norms.
President Kagame: It is up to leaders at every level to ensure that there is accountability for changing harmful societal norms. The task cannot just be left to individuals to sort out among themselves. #EDD18 #EDD2018
— Presidency | Rwanda (@UrugwiroVillage) June 5, 2018
And a cartoon competition illustrated neatly where we are at with gender equality.
— CONCORD (@CONCORD_Europe) June 6, 2018
Finally, the most pressing news of the week: PENKA THE COW!
Hashtag, save Penka. Hashtag, Pray for Penka.
A pregnant runaway cow from Bulgaria was condemned to death by officials after ‘illegally’ roaming across the border into Serbia.
A pregnant runaway cow from Bulgaria which roamed into neighbouring Serbia has been condemned to death because she crossed the EU border, prompting a desperate plea from her owner to save her https://t.co/ItySJZSSWD
— AFP news agency (@AFP) May 31, 2018
Fortunately Telegraph hacks James Crisp and James Rothwell were immediately on the case and set up a petition!
“That cow is pregnant,” said Crisp. “I am taking EU out of the bubble and down to the level of real people with real problems.”
Typical elitist attitude Chris. That cow is pregnant. I am taking EU out of the bubble & down to the level of real people with real problems. .
I don't think the agricultural commissioner 's stuffy response will be much comfort to penka's distraught ownerhttps://t.co/0kRrqaDLhv https://t.co/DHsqkdVMDZ
— James Crisp (@JamesCrisp6) June 1, 2018
And BOOM the petition reached 10k signatures…
BOOM. 10k signatures to #SavePenka. Bulgarian government told the Brexit bulletin's @JamesCrisp6 today that Penka is in quarantine for next 4-5 days having tests done, so she's not out of the woods yet. Let's wait and see…
— James Rothwell (@JamesERothwell) June 4, 2018
Presumably these people are all taking it very seriously and not having a laugh at all!
Some people did take it VERY seriously.
Roland Oliphant said Penka’s story goes to the heart of EU project, it’s future, and life in its neglected hinterlands.
Penka the Cow waits to hear her fate. And her story goes to the heart of EU project, it's future, and life in its neglected hinterlands pic.twitter.com/KtDvZXJGoT
— Roland Oliphant (@RolandOliphant) June 5, 2018
Conservative MEP John Flack said “Penka the cow has demonstrated that the EU often lacks common sense and compassion.”
“#Penka the cow has demonstrated that the EU often lacks common sense and compassion. She is now in quarantine but her future is still uncertain. I hope that sense prevails and she isn't needlessly slaughtered,” says @JohnFlackMEP who’s beefing up his campaign to #savepenka ? pic.twitter.com/OQQPMztsR9
— Conservative MEPs (@ConMEPs) June 6, 2018
Richard Wellings agrees that “the plight of Penka is a perfect example of how laws drawn up by bureaucrats in Brussels can hurt ordinary people and animals.”
The plight of Penka is a perfect example of how laws drawn up by bureaucrats in Brussels can hurt ordinary people and their animals across Europe: https://t.co/3C3Ztt6U7A
— Richard Wellings (@RichardWellings) June 2, 2018
And Marie Le Conte pleaded: “Stop talking about the EU cow! I refuse to be made to care about the EU cow! Enough is enough!”
stop talking about the EU cow, I refuse to be made to care about the EU cow, enough is enough
— Marie Le Conte (@youngvulgarian) June 5, 2018
Rest easy Marie, the Bulgarian Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry says Penka is safe and is on her way back home… through quarantine of course!
Bulgarian food safety agency assured that the cow Penka is safe. She is back to Bulgaria going through quarantine procedure as the rules require.
— BG Agriculture (@BG_MAFF) June 1, 2018
This week we are supported by Wind Europe: Find out more about their Clean Energy EU campaign to go for 35 percent by following them on Twitter.
— WindEurope (@WindEurope) May 31, 2018
That’s it for this week. Join me again next week for more moos, views and news.