Wednesday

26th Sep 2018

Column / Rem@rk@ble

Juncker’s time is running out

  • Juncker. “I. Will. Not. Resign!” When a European leader is choosing this as the key message of an interview or a tweet, the first question that comes to mind is: when will he resign? (Photo: European Parliament)

“I. Will. Not. Resign!” When a European leader – be he politician or civil servant – is choosing this as the key message of an interview or a tweet, the first question that comes to mind is: when will he resign? And the second: OMG – who is his communications adviser? Does he even have one?

One could be forgiven for thinking the quote comes from EU commissioner Guenther Oettinger. After all, he is the person immersed in not one, but several scandals. But – although it would be to his credit if he were considering resigning – this is not about him.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Okay, so who is this about? Well... it all started on Friday 18 November with European Commission president Juncker reportedly threatened to resign unless Martin Schulz remained president of the European Parliament during the second half of the legislature. A commission spokesperson did not deny the comment.

At the first midday briefing that followed (Monday 21 November), an EU Commission spokesperson said the report was biased “like most leaks”, and therefore “conveys a wrong version of the reality”. But he declined to give the correct version of reality.

Unexpectedly, just three days later Martin Schulz announced he would not run for a third term as EU parliament president. This led to many reactions about his departure, educated guesses about who might be his successor, and speculation about how Schulz leaving might entail a shake-up or even a radical overhaul of the top positions at the three main EU institutions.

Oops. President Juncker probably very much regrets his threat to resign now.

Before we return to him, here are some of the most remarkable Twitter reactions about Martin Schulz’ announcement.

Columnist Tom Nutall got all excited and creative about the reshuffle:

News editor James Crisp’s wrote one of his most brilliant The Briefs:

The @Berlaymonster’s snark about Martin Schulz:

The parody EU Council President Donald @TuskEU feels the heat of a potential big reshuffle:

Apparently parody Donald Tusk is not the only one feeling threatened by the Schuman shuffle. Because the real-life president Juncker made the frontpage of La Libre Belgique, saying: “I. Will. Not. Resign!”

With a spokesperson repeating in a tweet this as the key message, Juncker may have managed to reassure himself. But his strong denial will only make EU watchers think there must be some truth in what president Juncker so desperately tries to postpone: his time to leave has come.

Alice Stollmeyer is a digital advocacy strategist at @StollmeyerEU and a member of EUobserver's board. Her Rem@rk@ble column looks at social media trends about the EU.

Column / Rem@rk@ble

Make Twiplomacy boring again

Contrary to received digital strategy wisdom, sometimes boring is better when it comes to leaders' communication.

EU parliament will not budge on office expenses

Hungarian centre-right MEP Livia Jaroka sticks to earlier decision: documents related to the minor reform of the expenses system, requested by EUobserver, should remain secret.

Sefcovic launches bid to be EU Commission president

Europe must have a robust foreign policy and nurture high-tech industries, Slovak EU commissioner Maros Sefcovic has said in his bid to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as the next EU commission president.

Exclusive

Commission took no minutes at Juncker speech seminar

In August, Jean-Claude Juncker and his EU commissioners held a two-day seminar at a chateau outside Brussels to prepare this week's State of the Union speech. The commission implies there is no written record.

News in Brief

  1. No UK election before Brexit, says May
  2. Former French PM wants to be mayor of Barcelona
  3. Merkel's wingman in surprise defeat in internal party vote
  4. Orban sends thank-you letters to supportive MEPs
  5. UN chief: World suffering from 'trust deficit disorder'
  6. Stalemate in Sweden as parliament ousts prime minister
  7. Migrant rescue ship heading to French port
  8. EU angry at British tabloids on Brexit

Sefcovic launches bid to be EU Commission president

Europe must have a robust foreign policy and nurture high-tech industries, Slovak EU commissioner Maros Sefcovic has said in his bid to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as the next EU commission president.

'Every group split' ahead of EU copyright vote

Political groups in the European Parliament are split about how to vote for a directive that would reform the EU's copyright regime - amid warnings that freedom of expression and creators' rights are at risk.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  5. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  6. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  7. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  8. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  9. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  10. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  11. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow

Latest News

  1. World upside down as EU and Russia unite against US
  2. EU court delivers transparency blow on MEP expenses
  3. Russian with Malta passport in money-laundering probe
  4. Cyprus: Russia's EU weak link?
  5. Missing signature gaffe for Azerbaijan gas pipeline
  6. Every major city in Europe is getting warmer
  7. No chance of meeting EU renewable goals if infrastructure neglected
  8. Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us