Tweets of the Week: VDL Commission, Climate Emergency, and #BlackFriday nonsense

Welcome to EURACTIV’s EU Tweets of the Week. This episode is supported by FIEC, the voice of the EU construction industry.


VdL Commission gets the okay, it’s a climate emergency MEPs say, and #BlackFriday nonsense, please go away.


This week Ursula Von der Leyen went to Stransbourg for her last chance to persuade the European Parliament to back her new Commission.


No spoiler alerts required, of course they did. 

461 in favour. 

157 against. 

89 abstentions.


American EU Dude tweeted: “There’s white smoke for a new Commission…. because that’s what color the Commission is.”


Martini Seltzermayr reckons it was all down to her new slogan ahead of the big vote: “Not Manfred.”


James Crisp said that after VDL unveiled a new commissioner job title by pinning “culture” on the end it and got a round of applause, it was clear that MEPs will clap “just about anything.”


Meanwhile Joe Barnes pointed out: “While Ursula von der Leyen isn’t as much fun as Jean-Claude Juncker, she is more popular with MEPs.”


Bruno Waterfield tweeted: “Juncker spoke for many millions of us when he described the European parliament as not merely “ridiculous” but “very ridiculous”.” 

Hashtag #BringBackJuncker


As Pablo Pérez reports Frans Timmermans was also a fan:

“His leadership, his wisdom, his wit. Endless source of anecdotes. He is what in Jewish tradition is called a mensch.”


Meanwhile everyone and his dog queued up to hail the new Commission


From Australia

To Cyprus


It was: congratulations, welcome, applaud, looking forward to working with, anticipate constructive negotiations with… and on and on and on. Welcome to the new Commission, it’s the same as the old Commission and it’s business as usual in Brussels.


Turning to an issue that most definitely isn’t business as usual, on Thursday MEPs declared a climate emergency.



MEPs said the Commission must ensure all proposals are aligned with a 1.5 degree target and the EU should cut emissions by 55% by 2030 to become climate neutral by 2050.


Ezra Klein said: “Stopping climate change is only expensive compared to an imaginary world where climate change doesn’t exist. It’s *incredibly cheap* compared to the actual cost of a 3 degree warmer world.”


Which Euractiv’s Sam Morgan said was the most elegant sum-up he’s seen.


But MEP assistant was skeptical: “Look at all this non-binding policy, climate change must be cowering in fear already. What do you mean it’s laughing?”


Emily Iona Stewart replied: “Chortle all you like, but this is significant. It might be non-binding, but it was the first big test of the green majorities in the EP and it bodes well.” Hashtag #GreenWave.


As Liberal MEP Dinesh Dhamija said: “The next stage is how we act.”


And Friends of the Earth chipped in: “European countries need to submit climate plans in one month! Spoiler. It ain’t good.” And depicted current plans thus:


And, finally today is #BlackFriday.


And while many of us are wondering why on Earth Europe has adopted this hideous hype from across the Atlantic, official Twitter accounts were happy to jump on the bandwagon to share their message.


The Commission’s Digital Single Market account reminded customers about new online platforms rules.


The Irish Data Protection Commission republished e-receipt guidance for retailers.


And the British Embassy in Belgium told shoppers not to see red on #BlackFriday: “Protect your wallet and your ID.”


But Consumer rights organisation head Monique Goyens asked: “Is it me or is this 

#BlackFriday craze totally incompatible with efforts to mitigate climate crisis?”


No Monique, it is definitely NOT just you.


MEP Molly Scott Cato also name-checked one of the “utterly soul-destroying and literally climate-destroying products” for sale on #BlackFriday: decorative Christmas wreath nipple adornments!


Um, ok. No, we definitely don’t want to trash civilisation for that!


Indeed a French parliamentary committee has adopted an amendment that aims to ban #BlackFriday promotional campaigns.


Well, phew!


This episode is supported by FIEC, the voice of the EU construction industry. Find out about all the issues that matter to them, by checking out their Construction Matter newsletter online.

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