Europe promises ‘Fit for 55’. It’s not an advert for personal training for the over-50s

Weather, global warming and climate change, according to NASA

Jargon emissions. That’s not my phrase but I’m awfully glad Politico’s Playbook thought of it.

The description captures the European Union’s (EU) massive “Fit for 55” plan. Released last week, it signifies the intention to 55 per cent of the bloc’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

That it sounds like an advert offering personal training for the over-50s is another matter altogether. When the plan was unveiled, I remember thinking what on earth its title meant. It failed as a carbon emissions cutting statement of intent. For that meaning to be conveyed, the title should have been ’55 to be fit’, thereby neatly encapsulating the fact that minus 55 per cent of emissions leads to a fitter (ie healthier) planet. If one must use the word “fit”.

What’s all this about fitness anyway? Playbook says, “Someone high up in the Commission’s comms department has got a ‘fit’ fetish”. And that there’s also an “attempt to create a circular economy of language”. This has apparently overwhelmed the EU’s communications wizards who “appear to be beguiled by the merest hint of alliteration, regardless of any other considerations, including meaning”.

And it gets better and better. Playbook adds, “Jargon is essential for life in the Brussels bubble. Normal human language decomposes for millions of years in the Commission’s departments and is then spewed up into the atmosphere from the central power plant of the Commission’s press room. Scientists say the problem is that it then hangs in a nebulous mass above Brussels, preventing any real communication from getting out”.

It’s enough to close off all hope of comprehension.

Originally published at on July 17, 2021.




PhD. Journalism by trade & inclination. Sign up for free email updates on email me at

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Civil Aviation in Nigeria: 10 Buhari Administration Highlights

Will a new dawn for Pakistan mean a shift in relations with India?

How Terrorists Are Creating a New Language

‘Catch Yourself On’: How we can wise up and know what to look out for in Northern Ireland

Guess who’s holding a national election on Nov.

Dangote Is Not Your Friend

Defining the 30th years’ Commemorate of the China-ASEAN Partnership through Economic and…

What links the late Idriss Deby’s Chad to Egypt and India

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Rashmee Roshan Lall

Rashmee Roshan Lall

PhD. Journalism by trade & inclination. Sign up for free email updates on email me at

More from Medium

Analysis | Addressing the hunger crisis in Afghanistan

Turkish gold conversion plan likely to falter on lack of public trust

From one planet, another.

Kuwait got it; will Ukraine? (Hint: international help)