Monday

20th Feb 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.

Le Pen used 'fake' EU parliament jobs

A leaked EU anti-fraud office report says French far-right leader, Marine Le Pen, had her bodyguard and personal assistant paid by the EU parliament for jobs they did not do.

EU commission drops anti-corruption report

Transparency campaigners are livid after the EU commission scuppered plans to publish an EU anti-corruption report amid unfolding corruption scandals in Romania and France.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Fees: Council Reaches Agreement on Wholesale Caps
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Innovation House Opens in New York to Help Startups Access US Market
  3. Centre Maurits CoppietersMinorities and Migrations
  4. Salzburg Global SeminarThe Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play
  5. UNICEFNumber of Ukrainian Children Needing Aid Nearly Doubles to 1 Million Over the Past Year
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersThe Situation of Refugee Women in Europe
  7. Salzburg Global SeminarToward a Shared Culture of Health: Charting the Patient-Clinician Relationship
  8. European Free AllianceAustria Should Preserve & Promote Bilingual and Multinational Carinthia
  9. Martens CentreShow Your Love for Democracy! Take Part in Our Contest: "If It's Broken, Let's Fix It"
  10. CISPECloud Computing Leaders Establish Data Protection Standards to Protect Customer Data
  11. Malta EU 2017Landmark Deal Reached With European Parliament on Portability of Online Content
  12. Belgrade Security ForumBSF 2017: Building a Common Future in the Age of Uncertainty