The viral video couldn’t come at a worse time, turning into a PR nightmare for the EU, weeks before Britain decides it’s future with the union on June 23rd.
“…booze has always been a subject of Brussels gossip. He has proved his ability to sit through all-night Brussels haggling sessions, fortified by brandy and cigarettes. Perhaps the next EU President could have one of those slogans on the office wall – ‘You don’t have to be drunk to work here, but it helps.”
The footage showing Juncker’s unorthodox diplomacy was shot during the EU-Eastern Partnership summit, which was held on May 21-22, 2015 in Latvia. While it was posted last year, it has been rapidly gathering views and media coverage in the past few days.
Standing in front of the cameras alongside fellow EU official Donald Tusk, who heads the European Council, and the host nation, Latvian prime minister, Laimdota Straujuma, Juncker made a number of friendly gestures which may seem too frivolous for the occasion.
Juncker even introduced the approaching Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban with the words: “The dictator is coming.” Orban is known for his Eurosceptic views and is accused of attacking democratic values by critics.