Shit happens? How about a relevant comment, Commissioner Vestager?

When asked to comment on the scandal involving the EC's top economist, Commissioner Vestager replied "shit happens" (Photo by Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)


It was odd to say the least that when asked about the scandal surrounding the failed appointment of a US citizen to the post of top European Commission economist, Commissioner Vestager could think of no better rejoinder than “shit happens”.

Was the Danish competition supremo trying to show off her knowledge of throwaway English idiom, or was she in reality tone deaf to the issues raised?

“I just wanted to find the right person and do it in the right fashion and then, shit happens,” Vestager told Politico over ramen at the Unamido Japanese restaurant in Brussels.

Do they serve EU Kool aid at the Unamido? It might be that Madame Vestager had imbibed a little too much.

The Brussels executive claims its officials shed their nationality when they cross the Berlaymont threshold; they become exclusively ‘European’.

Those who work in Brussels know this claim is nonsense, but perhaps the EU competition czar believed nationality was just a trifling detail.

Either way, she was put in her place, somewhat ironically by the EU’s arch-Europhile, President Macron.

Nationality matters, Madame Vestager, even in Brussels. And in case you hadn’t noticed, nationality matters for EU citizens too: they identify with their nation-state, not the Brussels machine.