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.
American EU Dude tweeted: “There’s white smoke for a new Commission…. because that’s what color the Commission is.”
there's white smoke for a new Commission…. because that's what color the Commission is
— American EU Dude (@AmericanEUDude) November 27, 2019
Martini Seltzermayr reckons it was all down to her new slogan ahead of the big vote: “Not Manfred.”
Got ourselves a new slogan ahead of the big vote lads pic.twitter.com/gIsCA3QlY6
— Martini Seltzermayr (@mseltzermayr) November 22, 2019
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.”
After VDL unveils a new job title for a commissioner (pinning "culture" on the end of it) and gets a round of applause, it becomes clear that MEPs will clap just about anything.
— James Crisp (@JamesCrisp6) November 27, 2019
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.”
While Ursula von der Leyen isn't as fun as Jean-Claude Juncker, she is more popular with MEPs. https://t.co/f5Kz944mnr
— Joe Barnes (@Barnes_Joe) November 27, 2019
Bruno Waterfield tweeted: “Juncker spoke for many millions of us when he described the European parliament as not merely “ridiculous” but “very ridiculous”.”
— Bruno Waterfield (@BrunoBrussels) November 27, 2019
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.”
.@TimmermansEU about Juncker:
"His leadership, his wisdom, his wit. Endless source of anecdotes. He is what in jewish tradition is called a mensch -a person who can be relied on to act with honour and integrity- We owe him a big debt of gratitude for what he has done for Europe" pic.twitter.com/rZOnwpB8Bl
— Pablo Pérez (@PabloPerezA) November 26, 2019
Meanwhile everyone and his dog queued up to hail the new Commission
Great news in from @EU_Commission overnight! Congrats to President-elect @vonderleyen who won majority @Europarl_EN support to make the European Union a green superpower & lead the 🌏digital economic revolution.
🇪🇺👏#vdLCommission #EUstrivesformore #EUinTheWorld @eu_eeas @dfat pic.twitter.com/oJ81HGkH2x
— EU in Australia (@EUinAus) November 27, 2019
"Early next year @SKyriakidesEU will launch an ambitious cancer plan. She is the right person to make sure that Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan helps to reduce the suffering caused by this disease. Europe needs to care for the things people care about." @vonderleyen #vdLCommission pic.twitter.com/dG6J7QO9jS
— EC in Cyprus (@EUCYPRUS) November 27, 2019
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.
The resolution was adopted with 429 votes to 225. 19 abstentions. pic.twitter.com/lTa4MhDEXl
— ENVI Committee Press (@EP_Environment) November 28, 2019
And success! Euroean Parliament declares climate emergency!
— Bas Eickhout (@BasEickhout) November 28, 2019
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.”
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.
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) November 27, 2019
Which Euractiv’s Sam Morgan said was the most elegant sum-up he’s seen.
Most elegant sum-up I've seen https://t.co/xmctzOiSVT
— Sam Morgan (@SamJamesMorgan) November 28, 2019
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?”
— mepassistant (@mepassistants) November 28, 2019
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.
Chortle all you like, but this is significant. It might be non binding, but today was the first test of the green majorities in the EP. If they translate to binding policy in this way, then it bodes well for tests on the CAP, ETS & Aviation in the future #GreenWave
— Emily Iona Stewart (@EIonaSt) November 28, 2019
As Liberal MEP Dinesh Dhamija said: “The next stage is how we act.”
It is a breakthrough that @Europarl_EN has declared a climate emergency.
The next stage is how we act on this.
If the UK leaves the EU they will not be very active at all. We can do so much more to help the environment by being part of a larger, organised force.#StopBrexit
— Dinesh Dhamija MEP 🔶️ (@dinesh_dhamija) November 28, 2019
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:
European countries need to submit climate plans in one month!
Spoiler. It ain't good.
Climate 🎯 targets? Weak.
Support for 👨👩👦👦Community Energy? Some.
Fossil fuels? Still subsidized 💰
— Friends of the Earth (@foeeurope) November 28, 2019
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.
🧐 Are you checking products to buy during the #BlackFriday?
💡 Remember: new #online platforms rules promote fair & transparent:
✅Clear terms & advance notice for changes
✅Mandatory disclosure for range of business practices
— DigitalSingleMarket (@DSMeu) November 23, 2019
The Irish Data Protection Commission republished e-receipt guidance for retailers.
— Data Protection Commission Ireland (@DPCIreland) November 28, 2019
And the British Embassy in Belgium told shoppers not to see red on #BlackFriday: “Protect your wallet and your ID.”
— UK in Belgium🇬🇧🇧🇪 (@UKinBelgium) November 28, 2019
But Consumer rights organisation head Monique Goyens asked: “Is it me or is this
#BlackFriday craze totally incompatible with efforts to mitigate climate crisis?”
Is it me or is this #BlackFriday craze totally incompatible with efforts to mitigate climate crisis? To save the planet, think twice. Best deal could be just not buying!
— monique goyens (@moniquegoyens) November 25, 2019
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!
Shall we collect a list of utterly soul-destroying and literally climate-destroying products in the run up to #BlackFriday?
My favourite today is decorative Christmas wreath nipple adornments
Risking trashing civilisation and allowing millions of species to go extinct for this?
— Molly💚Stroud (@MollyMEP) November 18, 2019
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.
— euronews (@euronews) November 26, 2019
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.
Did you read our newsletter yesterday?
If you didn't receive it, you can still read this one and previous issues on FIEC website. https://t.co/rsEuvKxHz3
For next issues, just suscribe on the home page! pic.twitter.com/uuS78GeIXF
— FIEC (@FIEC_Brussels) November 27, 2019