As Europeans prepare to vote in the EU Parliament elections, the European Commission has raised some eyebrows with a tweet extolling the virtues of the union, in true George Orwell style.
“The EU is peace. The EU is freedom. The EU is solidarity. The EU is diversity. The EU is human rights. The EU is opportunities,” read the Commission’s tweet, posted on Saturday. The message ended with a simple instruction: “Vote.”
With European Parliament elections scheduled for next weekend, there are a multitude of political parties across the continent who question the commission’s 11 EU commandments.
British Euroskeptic Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is set to pick up the most votes in the UK, beating both the Conservatives and Labour Party combined in one poll. In France, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally is edging past pro-EU Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche! party, while Italian populist Matteo Salvini has predicted a historic victory for “the politics of good sense,” and held a rally with 11 other European nationalist leaders in Milan on Saturday.
Electioneering aside, some observers noted that the commission’s “creepy” tweet bore a striking resemblance to the three slogans of the ruling party in George Orwell’s dystopian novel ‘1984:’ “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength.”
If the commission’s social media team had read ‘1984,’ one commenter suggested, they’d “understand why this tweet is creepy.” Another pointed out that it sounded like a message straight from the novel’s “Ministry of Truth.”
“At least you had the humility not to include ‘democracy’,” sniped trade unionist Paul Embery.
The fact that the European Commission’s 28 commissioners, are unelected possibly only strengthens the comparison. Commissioners are proposed based on suggestions from national governments and appointed by the European Council. Once in, they are bound to represent the interests of the union as a whole, rather than the interests of their home countries.
As it is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing policy, enforcing compliance with treaties, and representing the union in trade talks, the EU commission has perhaps the most power of any EU body.