Movers and Shakers | 13 September 2019

Written by Dods People EU on 13 September 2019 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: S&D Group welcomes two new vice-presidents, full details on Von der Leyen's new Commission, Court of Auditors President re-elected, the latest Brexit updates, EEAS, CoR, public affairs appointments, and more!


European Parliament

Political Groups

The group elected two new vice-presidents, Simona BONAFÈ (IT) and Ismail ERTUG (DE), on Wednesday. They replace former MEP Roberto GUALTIERI (IT), who was recently appointed Italian Finance Minister, and Bernd LANGE (DE) , whose role as chair of the International Trade Committee is incompatible with the vice-president role.


Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL)
Marianne VIND (S&D, DK) joins as a member.

Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI)
Manuel Bompard (GUE/NGL, FR) joins as a substitute, replacing Younous OMARJEE (GUE/NGL, FR).

Petitions Committee (PETI)
Angel DZHAMBAZKI (ECR, BG) joins as a substitute.


ACP-EU Delegation (D-ACP)
Piernicola PEDICINI (NI, IT) and Tomasz Piotr PORĘBA (ECR, PL) join as substitutes.

Chile Delegation (D-CL)
Marco ZULLO (NI, IT) joins as a substitute. Mircea-Gheorghe HAVA (EPP, RO) also joins as a substitute replacing Esteban GONZÁLEZ PONS (EPP, ES).

Euronest Delegation (D-EPA)
Maximilian KRAH (ID, DE) joins as a substitute.

Korea Delegation (D-KOR)
Marianne VIND (S&D, DK) joins as a member.

Latin American Delegation (D-LAT)
David McALLISTER (EPP, DE) joins as a substitute.

Mashreq Delegation (D-MAS)
Tiziana BEGHIN (NI, IT) joins as a substitute.

Union for the Mediterranean Delegation (D-MED)
Tiziana BEGHIN (NI, IT) joins as a substitute.

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European Commission

On Tuesday, president-elect Ursula VON DER LEYEN unveiled the full line up of her team. All Commissioners still need approval from the European Parliament before they can take up their posts, except for VON DER LEYEN who won confirmation from the Parliament in July and BORRELL who was approved as High Representative by the European Council in August.

The proposed incoming Commission is as follows:


Executive vice-presidents and Commissioners-desginate
A Europe fit for Digital Age and Competition: Margrethe VESTAGER (DK, RE)
An Economy that Works for People, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union: Valdis DOMBROVSKIS (LV, EPP)
The European Green Deal: Frans TIMMERMANS (NL, S&D)

Vice-presidents and Commissioners-designate
High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy nominee, Commissioner-designate for a Stronger Europe in the World: Josep BORRELL (ES, S&D)
Democracy and Demography: Dubravka ŠUICA (HR, EPP)
Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight: Maroš ŠEFČOVIČ (SK, S&D)
Protecting our European Way of Life: Margaritis SCHINAS (EL, EPP)
Values and Transparency: Věra JOUROVÁ (CZ, RE)

Agriculture: Janusz WOJCIECHOWSKI (ECR, PL)
Budget and Administration: Johannes HAHN (EPP, AT)
Cohesion and Reforms: Elisa FERREIRA (S&D, PT)
Crisis Management: Janez LENARČIČ (RE, SI)
Energy: Kadri SIMSON (RE, EE)
Equality: Helena DALLI (S&D, MT)
Economy: Paolo GENTILONI (S&D, IT)
Environment and Oceans: Virginijus SINKEVIČIUS (Greens/EFA, LT)
Health: Stella KYRIAKIDES (EPP, CY)
Home Affairs: Ylva JOHANSSON (S&D, SE)
Innovation and Youth: Mariya GABRIEL (EPP, BG)
The Internal Market: Sylvie GOULARD (RE, FR)
International Partnerships: Jutta URPILAINEN (S&D, FI)
Jobs: Nicolas SCHMIT (S&D, LU)
Justice: Didier REYNDERS (RE, BE)
Neighbourhood and Enlargement: László TRÓCSÁNYI (HU)
Trade: Phil HOGAN (EPP, IE)
Transport: Rovana PLUMB (S&D, RO)

If the UK remains in the EU after the 31 October, president-elect VON DEN LEYEN has said that they shall have to nominate a Commissioner candidate.

Structural Changes
A major structural change of the Commission was the creation of the executive vice-president role and the elevation of three of the expanded group of eight vice-presidents to this new position.  The executive vice-presidents, in addition to coordinating the work of other Commissioners that report to them, will also have access to and oversight over the Commission Directorates-General.

The Commission was explicitly designed to be balanced and to address problems with regional representation.  Half of the vice-presidents, including one of the executive vice-presidents, represent countries from Central and Eastern Europe. The new Commission also has an almost equal gender balance, with 14 men and 13 women. Political balance was also sought with each of the main three European political parties being represented by an executive vice-president.

There were several controversies that emerged from the announcement of portfolios that perhaps might result in changes before the Commission is approved by Parliament. The title of the ‘Protecting our European Way of Life’ portfolio held by SCHINAS was criticized by Liberal, Green and Socialist MEPs who claimed that it pandered to populist right.

Additionally, the appointment of Hungarian Commissioner TRÓCSÁNYI to the Enlargement role was controversial due to his own personal history as Justice minister in Hungary. Furthermore, Poland’s Commission candidate, Janusz WOJCIECHOWSKI is currently under investigation by the EU’s antifraud agency OLAF for alleged irregularities in the reimbursement of travel expenses.

Next Steps
Parliament plans to hold two hearings on 30 September, six on 1 October, six on 2 October, six on 3 October and three on 7 October to discuss the Commission. The three proposed Commission executive vice-presidents will attend hearings on October 8, with a final vote on the whole Commission set for October 23. The exact timetable of the hearings will be finalized by senior MEPs next week.

Estonia has withdrawn its request for Kadri SIMSON to fill in for former Commissioner Andrus ANSIP, who left his seat on the Commission to take up a seat as a MEP, and Romania has withdrawn its nomination  for Ioan Mircea PAȘCU to replace former Commissioner Corina CREȚU, who also took up her seat in Parliament. President JUNCKER said he did not support the nomination of short-term replacement Commissioners due to the cost that would be accrued through pension payments to the Commissioner and staff for a six week period, and that if any were nominated they’d not be given any portfolio responsibilities.


Justice and Consumers (DG JUST)
Johan TEN GEUZENDAM is no longer an Adviser in Directorate D

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European External Action Service

Representations and Delegations
Matti MAASIKAS has been appointed Head of the EU delegation in Ukraine, replacing Hugues MINGARELLI.

João AGUIAR MACHADO has been appointed Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) replacing Marc VANHEUKELEN.

Committee of the Regions

Virginia RAGGI (NI, IT) has been appointed an alternate member, replacing Micaela FANELLI

Alberto CIRIO (EPP, IT) has been appointed an alternate member, replacing Catiuscia MARINI.

European Court of Auditors

On Thursday, the college of members re-elected Klaus-Heiner LEHNE as president for a second term of three years.

Public Affairs

European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA)
Eric-Mark HUITEMA has been appointed as the new director general as of 1 October, succeeding Erik JONNAERT.

European Carton Makers Association (ECMA)
Mike TURNER has been appointed as managing director.

European Crop Protection Association (ECPA)
Géraldine KUTAS is new director-general.

Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH)
James QUINN has been nominated as the next president-elect by the Institution’s Council. Subject to ratification at the AGM on 17 September, QUINN will become president-elect for 2019-20.

International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA)
Ali MACLEOD has joined as technical adviser – diving.

Pharmaceutical Group of European Union (PGEU)
Duarte SANTOS, Member of the Board of the Portuguese Pharmacy Association (ANF), has been elected president for 2020. He will take over from Michał BYLINIAK.

Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA)
Maarten VAN BAELEN has joined as executive director.

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National News

The legislation formally ordering the Prime Minister to request an Article 50 extension if no deal is passed before the 19 October received Royal Assent on Monday and officially entered law.

The Scottish Court of Session ruled the advice given to by the Prime Minister to the Queen to secure the prorogation of parliament as being unlawful, and said that Parliament should be reconvened. The High Court in London ruled that the suspension of Parliament was legal and so the Supreme Court will solve the conflict.

Prime minister Giuseppe CONTE won the first confidence vote in the parliament’s lower house on Monday. The coalition between the Five Star Movement and the Democratic Party (PES) then won a second vote of confidence in the Senate on Tuesday, allowing it to take office.

The ruling Law and Justice (ACRE) party has asked  the Polish Sejm to be suspended until after the parliamentary elections on 13 October.

Prime minister Viorica DANCILA nominated three MPs of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats, the Social Democratic Party’s former ruling coalition partner, to the three spots in her cabinet that remained vacant after the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats elected to leave government. DANCILA nominated MP Gratiela GAVRILESCU to lead the Ministry of Environment, Ioan CUPA  the Energy Ministry, and Stefan BAISANU as minister liaison with the Parliament.

Romanian President Klaus IOHANNIS described the reshuffle request as “improper”; that he felt it was an attempt to avoid a vote on the governments future in parliament and said that he would only appoint the new Ministers if Parliament voted in favour of doing so.


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