Sunday

25th Jun 2017

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.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

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.

News in Brief

  1. Merkel and Macron hold symbolic joint press conference
  2. Juncker has 'no' clear idea of kind of Brexit UK wants
  3. Belgian PM calls May's proposal on EU citizens 'vague'
  4. UK lacks support of EU countries in UN vote
  5. Spain to command anti-smuggler Mediterranean force
  6. Estonia confirms opposition to Nord Stream 2 pipeline
  7. Ireland and Denmark outside EU military plan
  8. EU leaders renew vows to uphold Paris climate deal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EPSUOn Public Services Day, Stop Austerity! Workers Need a Pay Rise!
  2. EGBAOnline Gambling: The EU Court Rejects Closed Licensing Regimes In Member States
  3. World VisionFaces of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow: Join the Debate on Violence Against Girls - 29 June
  4. ECR GroupThe EU Must Better Protect Industry from Unfair Competition
  5. Malta EU 2017Better Protection for Workers From Cancer-Causing Substances
  6. EPSUAfter 9 Years of Austerity Europe's Public Sector Workers Deserve a Pay Rise!
  7. Dialogue PlatformGlobalised Religions and the Dialogue Imperative. Join the Debate!
  8. UNICEFEU Trust Fund Contribution to UNICEF's Syria Crisis Response Reaches Nearly €200 Million
  9. EUSEW17Bringing Buildings Into the Circular Economy. Discuss at EU Sustainable Energy Week
  10. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCan an Ideal Body Weight Lead to Premature Death?
  11. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Charges: What Does It Entail?
  12. World VisionWorld Refugee Day, a Dark Reminder of the Reality of Children on the Move

Latest News

  1. Macron’s investment screening idea watered down by leaders
  2. Leaders unimpressed by May’s offer to EU citizens
  3. New Irish PM praises unscripted nature of EU summits
  4. EU extends sanctions on Russia
  5. UK's universities set 'Brexit wish list'
  6. Decision on post-Brexit home for EU agencies postponed
  7. May's offer on citizens’ rights dismissed as ‘pathetic’
  8. 'Historic' defence plan gets launch date at EU summit