It’s been a busy week for MEPs in Strasbourg. As always, many have also found time to tweet about some of the key topics discussed in plenary. We have analysed more than 10,000 tweets and, contrary to our initial expectations, the #PanamaPapers and the effectiveness of existing EU measures against tax-dodging did not emerge as the number one topic.
The main focus of this week’s MEP tweets was actually the new EU directive on Passenger Name Records (PNR) approved on Thursday and whether this would be useful tool in the fight against terrorism or not.
In addition to these two topics, MEPs’ Twitter conversations also focused on the new EU data protection rules, the Brexit saga (with many MEPs still very active) and the renewed authorisation of herbicide glyphosate.
The top five keywords and hashtags were:
#PNR: 451 times / Panama: 365 times (#PanamaPapers: 259 times) / Data: 327 times (#EUdatap: 119 times)/ #Brexit: 256 times / glyphosate: 129 times.
Let’s take a closer look at PNR and the Panama Papers discussions:
Many MEPs raised their voice to support the PNR directive which will force airlines to hand EU countries’ passenger data for all flights from a third country to the EU and vice versa. Opponents expressed their concerns over privacy and proportionality issues. The most active MEPs on #PNR were:
- Elisabetta Gardini @EGardini with 40 tweets & RTs
- Jan Philipp Albrecht @JanAlbrecht with 30 tweets & RTs
- Michal Boni @MichalBoni with 18 tweets & RTs
The most shared tweets were:
Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who raised concerns over the #PNR vote
Aujourd’hui, vote sur le #PNR au Parlement européen. Projet de surveillance coûteux et dangereux – https://t.co/S1438wY5IA
— Jean-Luc Mélenchon (@JLMelenchon) 14 de abril de 2016
González Pons, who on the contrary fully supported the #PNR Directive
Mi defensa del Registro de Pasajeros (PNR europeo) contra el terrorismo hoy en el @Europarl_ES https://t.co/wehzgt6fUU
— González Pons (@gonzalezpons) 13 de abril de 2016
Rachida Dati, who applauded the EP finally taking responsibility
CP suite à l’adoption du #PNR !Après 5 années perdues, le PE prend enfin ses responsabilités https://t.co/oZ1KINtOFd pic.twitter.com/oLzz0R1cR4
— Rachida Dati ن (@datirachida) 14 de abril de 2016
Regarding the online debate around the Mossack Fonseca or Panama Papers scandal, MEPs asked the European Commission and member states to step up their efforts to fight tax evasion and money laundering. The top three most active MEPs talking about the Panama Papers were:
- T. Comodini Cachia @ComodiniCachia with 44 tweets & RTs
- Pablo Zalba @PabloZalba with 15 tweets & RTs
- Gianni Pittella @giannipittella with 16 tweets & RTs
Mr Albrecht and Mr Boni have been certainly busy on the Twittersphere this week as they feature on the top three for the most discussed topics. The most shared tweets on the Panama Papers were:
Jean-Luc Mélenchon (yes, again), who urged for common action to tackle tax evasion
Intervention contre la fraude et l’évasion fiscales au Parlement européen – https://t.co/o4yPqplZZ9 – #PanamaPapers #PanamaLeaks
— Jean-Luc Mélenchon (@JLMelenchon) 12 de abril de 2016
Julia Reda, who was concerned that the vote over tax transparency would have limited the work of whistle-blowers and journalists
“Just 10d after #PanamaPapers EU will vote on #TradeSecrets directive that makes work of whistleblowers+journalists impossible” @ph_lamberts
— Julia Reda (@Senficon) 12 de abril de 2016
Michèle Rivasi, who attacked the FN group for their opposition to an “inquiry committee”
A huis clos (conf des présidents), l’ENF (groupe du FN) est le seul à s’être opposé à 1 comm° d’enquête sur #panamapapers. Qqchose à cacher?
— Michèle Rivasi (@MicheleRivasi) 14 de abril de 2016
See you at the next EP plenary 😉