Movers and Shakers | 1 October 2018
Keep track of developments in the European institutions and public affairs with our movers and shakers column.
Today's Movers & Shakers are about: which MEPs left and which joined the European Parliament, the European elections. appointments in the European agencies and public affairs, Brexit and more.
Composition of the Parliament:
Stefan GEHROLD (EPP, DE) joined the Parliament as member, replacing Burkhard BALZ.
Lars ADAKTUSSON (EPP, SE) left his seat to become an MP in his native Sweden. An MEP since 2014, he was a Vice-Chair of the delegation for relations with Afghanistan (D-AF) and the Freedom of religion and belief and religious tolerance Intergroup.
Composition of the committees and delegations:
Committee on civil liberties, justice and home affairs (LIBE): Judith SARGENTINI (Greens/EFA, NL) was elected as third Vice-Chair, replacing Jan ALBRECHT who left the Parliament.
Committee on transport and tourism (TRAN): Stefan GEHROLD (EPP, DE) joined as substitute.
Ismail ERTUG (S&D, DE) was elected as chair of the new ‘Friends of the Battery’ working group of the European Parliament Intergroup on climate change, biodiversity and sustainable development.
William (the Earl of) DARTMOUTH (EFDD, UK) quit the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), saying that the party has become "widely perceived as both homophobic and anti-Islamic”, under the leadership of his MEP colleague Gerard BATTEN.
Roberta METSOLA (EPP, MT) was chosen as the lead EPP group negotiator on 11 opinion reports within the civil liberties committee, relating to the EU budget.
Interview with Karin KADENBACH:
Last year’s European Health Forum Gastein highlighted the need for ‘health in all politics’. Here, Austrian MEP Karin KADENBACH, the Forum’s Vice-President, talks about why the idea still holds true, the importance of bold political choices, and how Parliament is standing up for our health. Read the interview.
EU chief negotiator Michel BARNIER announced his decision not to run to become the EPP lead candidate and to stay as Brexit negotiator.
European Chemicals Agency (ECHA):
Sharon MCGUINNESS was re-elected as chair of the management board. The board also confirmed Bjorn HANSEN as Executive Director.
Got any new appointment you would like us to include in our next newsletter? Contact Ifigenia Balkoura!
British American Tobacco (BAT): Jack BOWLES, currently Chief Operating Officer of BAT’s international business, will succeed Nicandro DURANTE as Chief Executive Officer of BAT following Nicandro’s retirement on 1 April 2019.
News in a nutshell:
Brexit: Responding to calls for another snap election, the UK Prime Minister Theresa MAY ruled out another poll, stating that “It would not be in the national interest to have an election."
In EU citizens’ rights news, the UK cabinet backed a proposal tabled by the Home Secretary Sajid JAVID suggesting to stop giving preferential access to EU citizens after Brexit. A new system will be introduced and is expected to work in the best interests of the UK.
The European Commission published a notice to stakeholders on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU rules in the field of fertilisers and pyrotechnic articles.
On Thursday 27 September, the leader of the UK Labour party Jeremy CORBYN visited Brussels, where he paid tribute to Jo COX at the official unveiling of a square in Brussels that was named in her honour. COX was a Labour MP who was murdered by a far-right extremist in June 2016. CORBYN then made his way to the European Commission where he met with the EU chief negotiator Michel BARNIER. Following their meeting BARNIER tweeted “continuing to listen to all views on Brexit and to explain EU positions, which aim for the UK’s orderly withdrawal and to build an ambitious future partnership together.”
Earlier last week, CORBYN piled pressure on Theresa MAY during his speech at the Labour party conference, where he said that his party could back a sensible Brexit deal, as long as it involves a customs union with the EU, a guarantee there would be no hard border in Ireland and no reduction in workers’ rights or environmental standards.
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM): Voters overwhelmingly backed the name change in the consultative referendum that was held on Sunday 30 September and aimed to end the name dispute with Greece. However, the turnout was low. FYROM's Prime Minister Zoran ZAEV said that if the MPs do not back the deal when he brings it to the Parliament, he will call snap elections.
EU Commissioner for enlargement Johannes HAHN tweeted “I congratulate those citizens who voted in today's consultative referendum and made use of their democratic freedoms. With the very significant "yes" vote, there is broad support support to the Prespa Agreement and to the country's Euroatlantic path. I now expect all political leaders to respect this decision and take it forward with utmost responsibility and unity across party lines, in the interest of the country.”
NATO Secretary General Jens STOLTENBERG also welcomed the result and urged all political leaders and parties to engage constructively and responsibly to seize this historic opportunity, and he added the NATO’s door is open but all national procedures have to be completed.