Earthquakes and forest fires have been told to put themselves on hold as the Brussels bubble takes its customary 6-week summer holiday.
Unexpected crises will just have to wait, EU officials said, as they head to the beaches they’re pretending they haven’t already been “working” from for the last 18 months.
“Of course we have a rota system for emergencies, but there’s a difficult two weeks when we’ll be leaving the work experience kid in charge,” an EU official told Berlaymonster, in an apparent reference to Latvian trade commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis.
“Floods during term-time were bad enough,” the official added. “But can you imagine a major catastrophe without anyone from the EU able to issue a strongly-worded statement or mumble something about the need for balance? It just doesn’t bear thinking about.”
Berlaymonster understands that the skeleton staff left to steady the ship over summer should at a pinch be able to note something with concern, but mustering a “deeply condemns” might prove a bit trickier.
Meanwhile, to avoid a foreign-policy crisis emerging while diplomats are fully occupied with slapping on suncream, Brussels is understood to have reached a tentative deal with Vladimir Putin to limit any sovereign incursions into territory recognised under international law to strictly the minimum necessary.
As a stopgap measure, EU officials have already been asked to set out-of-office replies stating that “I take note of your situation and may take stock of it and/or express an emotion including but not limited to regret, concern, deep concern, or welcome on my return from Sardinia.”
Using state-of-the-art Microsoft Office 98 technology, emails received from the UK relating to Brexit will receive the sleeker, more tailored response of “No.”
Commission staff are reportedly urging major unforeseeable incidents to wait until the first week of September, when they stand a chance of giving President Ursula von der Leyen something to talk about in her State of the Union speech, for once.
In response to a request for comment from Berlaymonster, a spokesperson for the European Earthquake and Tsunami Federation said “LOL”, before starting to quiver ominously.