Movers and Shakers | 10 January 2020

Written by Mia Bartoloni & Megan MacDougall on 10 January 2020 in News

Keep track of developments in the European institutions and public affairs with our Movers and Shakers column. 

Today’s Movers & Shakers are about, Gridlock continues over Catalan MEPs, Parliament bids farewell to two of its members, the new Greek Permanent Representative to the EU, Austrian coalition government formed, latest Commission and public affairs appointments, and more!


European Parliament 

On Monday, the Parliament issued a statement saying that it would recognise the election of Catalan politicians Oriol JUNQUERAS, Carles PUIGDEMONT and Toni COMÍN as members. The statement follows a decision by the European Court of Justice which ruled late last year that the MEPs should enjoy immunity from the moment they are elected. 

Former Catalan vice-president JUNQUERAS has also been elected as president of the European Free Alliance in the Parliament. 

However, the matter of JUNQUERAS taking his seat in time for plenary next week was ultimately decided by the Spanish justice system. JUNQUERAS, who was sentenced to 13 years in prison by the Spanish Supreme Court for sedition, was this week prevented from travelling to Strasbourg with the Supreme Court ruling that he does not have Parliamentary immunity. 

Parliament bids farewell to Karoline EDTSTADLER (EPP, AT) who has recently been appointed Minister for Europe in the Austrian government. 

Naomi LONG (RE, UK) also leaves the Parliament to take on the role of Member of the Legislative Assembly in Northern Ireland. 

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European Commission 


Budget (BUDG) 
Directorate L (Treasury and financial operations) moves from DG ECFIN to DG BUDG with the exception of the team working on EMU-deepening, which remains in DG ECFIN. 

For complete changes to this DG, please refer to Dods People EU. 

Communication Networks Content and Technology (CNECT) 
Vesa TERAVA replaces Claire BURY as director of Directorate B (Electronic Communications Networks & Services) in an acting capacity. TERAVA also takes on the role of head of unit B2 (Implementation of the Regulatory Framework) from Wolf-Dietrich GRUSSMANN. 

TERAVA is replaced in her previous role as head of unit D1 (Research Strategy & Programme Coordination) by Thibault KLEINER who was former deputy head of cabinet of Commissioner Günther OETTINGER. 

Lucilla SIOLI replaces Max LEMKE as head of unit A2 (Technologies & Systems for Digitising Industry) in an acting capacity. 

Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROW) 
Gwenole COZIGOU has replaced Timo PESONEN in the role of director general (acting capacity) as the latter moves to the position of director general and the newly created Directorate General for Defence Industry and Space (DEFIS). In addition to the role of acting director general, COZIGOU will continue as as director of Directorate C (Sustainable Industry and Mobility).  
Former deputy director general Pierre DELSAUX and the Directorates I (Space Policy, Copernicus and Defence) and J (EU Satellite Navigation Programme) under his responsibility have also moved to the newly created Directorate General for Defence Industry and Space (DEFIS). 

For complete changes to this DG, please refer to Dods People EU. 

UK Task Force 
Clara MARTÍNEZ ALBEROLA, who was Jean-Claude JUNCKER’s former chief of staff, will now serve as deputy to Michel BARNIER, the EU’s chief negotiator. 

Want to know more? Click here for more information on our Dods People EU service. 

EU Institutions and Agencies 

Council of the European Union – Permanent Representations 

Permanent Representative Andreas PSTAVROU, left Brussels at the end of December and was replaced by Ioannis VRAILAS, former Permanent Representative of the EU to the OSCE. 

Public Affairs 

Ioanna CHARALAMPOPOULOU has joined the team as Public Affairs Manager. Ioanna brings more than 10 years’ experience in Public affairs on health topics and has previously worked for Greek Authorities and the European Commission (DG SANCO and DG CONNECT). She replaces Magdalena MACHALSKA. 

European Association of Automotive Suppliers 
Thorsten MUSCHAL, Executive Vice President, Sales & Program Management and Member of the Executive Committee of Faurecia S.A., has become president. 

Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services (FEAD) 
Peter KURTH has become the new president with Valérie PLAINEMAISON as Secretary General. KURTH takes over from outgoing president Jean-Marc BOURSIER, who will remain vice-president along with Cesare SPREAFICO. 

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National News 

Sebastian KURZ agreed to form a coalition government with the Greens on the 1 January with negotiations ending after three months of government formation talks. KURZ was sworn in as chancellor on the 7 January. Wener KOGLER, leader of the green party was sworn in as vice-chancellor. The greens take up control of four ministries, including the Justice portfolio. 

Boris JOHNSON’s Brexit deal was passed in the House of Commons by 330 to 231 votes on Thursday. The bill will now pass to the House of Lords. 

Former Prime Minister Zoran MILANOVIC won the first round of presidential elections on the 22 December with 29.5 per cent of the votes. Incumbent President Kolinda GRABAR-KITAROVIC came second with 26.7 per cent of the votes. MILANOVIC won the second round of voting with 52.7 per cent of the vote beating incumbent GRABAR-KITAROVIC. MILANOVIC will take office on the 19 February. 

Minister for Culture and Ecclesiastical affairs Joy MOGENSON returned to the role on the 1 January, after taking leave at the beginning of October 2019.  

Minister for Education, Universities and Research Lorenzo FIORAMONTI resigned from his post before the new year, siting the failure to secure funding for schools and universities in the country. The portfolio has now been split between two ministers. Lucia AZZOLINA replaces FIORAMONTI as Minister for Schools. Non-party affiliated Gaetano MANFREDI takes over the Universities and Research portfolio. 

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health Etienne SCHNEIDER is set to resign in February. 

The new Maltese Labour Party leader and Prime Minister will be chosen this weekend, following Prime Minister Joseph MUSCAT’S announcement that he would stand down in January. 

On Sunday 5 January Pedro SANCHEZ failed to obtain a majority of votes to form a coalition between the Social Democrats and the far-left Podemos. Sanchez needed an absolute majority to win the vote. A second vote took place on Tuesday 7 where a simple majority was needed; SANCHEZ was confirmed as Prime Minister, with 167 votes to 165, with 18 abstentions.  



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