The inner workings of the European Union can often seem like a chummy club to outside observers – a place where EU bureaucrats, well-enumerated MEPs and Brussels-based journalists work together and fraternise behind closed doors.
That clubby atmosphere certainly seemed to be on display today at Jean-Claude Juncker’s final European Council press conference in Brussels, before he stands down as President of the European Commission. During the press conference, as Juncker gave a short speech to the assembled journalists in French, and spoke of his pride defending Europe, the Commission official began to choke up with emotion.
At which point the assembled press lobby responded by bursting into a spontaneous round of applause for the unelected official:
Considering Juncker’s record at the Commission, Mr S isn’t quite sure that’s the most appropriate way for scrutinising journalists to bid him farewell…