It’s time to wrap up another EP Plenary with a #MEPTalks. With no surprise, last week the most discussed topic was #Brexit and its consequences for the future of the EU took the top spot during July’s EP plenary session, with a whopping 900+ tweets.
Twitter even served as a breaking news platform for Nigel Farage, one of the strongest supporters of the ‘Leave Campaign’, who created buzz tweeting his decision to stand aside as Leader of UKIP (600+ tweets).
But MEPs were also active on some of their other pet topics, such as the trade deal between the EU and Canada (250+ tweets); the refugee crisis (200+ tweets) and calls for better protection measures to whistle-blowers – particularly in the context of the Panama papers (100+).
The 5 most active MEPs
Michal Boni: 529 tweets / Julie Ward: 238 tweets / David Coburn: 503 tweets /Ana Gomes: 244 tweets / Marie-Christine Vergiat: 200 tweets
The most popular tweets
The most shared tweets were posted by Nigel Farage, thanking his followers for their support during the Leave Campaign:
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) 4 de julio de 2016
Marine Le Pen, leader of ‘Le Front National’, and Jean-Luc Mélenchon, member of the French Left Party, stated loud and clear that EU leaders must respond to the UK’s vote by making the EU it more transparent, social and responsive to citizens’ concerns. A lack of action could result in further departures.
— Jean-Luc Mélenchon (@JLMelenchon) 5 de julio de 2016
— Marine Le Pen (@MLP_officiel) 5 de julio de 2016
Tweets by Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE Group leader, and Manfred Weber, EPP Group leader, ranked as well amongst the top shared from last week specially those directed at Farage. Verhofstadt described him as a ‘rat fleeing from a sinking ship’ while Weber said he was the ‘latest coward to abandon the chaos’ he is responsible for.
The Brexiters do not seem to have a clue of what needs to be done. Cameron, Johnson and #Farage behave like rats fleeing a sinking ship
— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) 5 de julio de 2016
— Manfred Weber (@ManfredWeber) 4 de julio de 2016
CETA sneaks in
It is interesting to note that although not included on the EP Plenary agenda, the decision of the European Commission to submit to national parliaments the ratification of the trade deal between the EU and Canada (CETA) created a significant buzz.
The most popular tweets were posted by MEPs who have been historically against the deal with Canada. Some MEPs welcomed the decision as the very first positive effect of the #Brexit.
— Dim. Papadimoulis (@papadimoulis) 6 de julio de 2016
— Ernest Urtasun (@ernesturtasun) 6 de julio de 2016
The #Brexit saga is far from over. An interesting take-away: Twitter users seemed to favour MEPs who challenge the “EU system” over MEPs who back the “status quo”.
More on this to come with the next plenary. In the meantime – enjoy your summer!