Movers and Shakers | 14 January 2019

Written by Dods People EU on 14 January 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: an MEP set to become the Latvian Prime Minister, the EP’s longest serving member in reselection battle, significant new year changes in the European, Commission and public affairs appointments, breakthrough in the Swedish political deadlock, Brexit and more...

European Parliament


Jakob von WEIZSÄCKER (S&D, DE) has left the European Parliament to take up his new position as the Chief Economist at the German Ministry of Finance. Babette WINTER will be his replacement.

Krišjānis KARIŅŠ (EPP, LV) has been nominated as the new Prime Minister of Latvia. Aleksejs LOSKUTOVS is set to replace KARIŅŠ for the remainder of the term.

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Political Parties

Marco VALLI and Giulia MOI (EFDD, IT) have both been expelled from the Five Star Movement for violations of the parties Code of Ethics and are now Independent MEPs. VALLI had made false claims about his degree on his CV while MOI’s dismissal was due to her involvement in a misuse of reimbursement funds scandal.

As it stands both remain members of the EFDD group in Parliament.

European Elections

The longest serving MEP Elmar BROK (EPP, DE) has failed to make the Christian Democratic Union’s provisional candidate list in North Rhine-Westphalia. The final decision will be made by delegates at the regional conference on 26 January and BROK is currently considering whether to mount a challenge.

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European Commission


Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI):
Josefine LORIZ-HOFFMANN has left the position of Director of Directorate F (Rural Development II).  Her replacement as Acting Director is Martin SCHEELE.
Also departing is Flavio COTURNI, former Head of Unit C1 (Policy Perspectives).  Ricard RAMON I SUMOY is the new Acting Head of Unit.
Philippe COENJAARTS moves from being Head of Unit H3 (Assurance and audit – Direct payments) to Head of Unit A4 (Assurance and audit – Rural development). His replacement at Unit A3 is Zoltan SOMOGYI

Budget (DG BUDG)
Marco CARNACCINI is no longer Head of Unit, Performance Related Budgeting.  The new Acting Head of Unit is Krisztina KOVACS.
Marco CARNACCINI is the new Head of Task Force, Task Force on Administrative Efficiency/Business Process Reengineering (BPR).
There has been a slight reshuffle; with the “Corporate Financial and Accounting Systems” unit now being a part of Directorate R, which the newly renamed “Strategic Coordination & Communication” unit is now directly under the Director General.

Communication Networks, Content & Technology (DG CONNECT)
Augusto BURGUEÑO ARJONA has left the position of Head of Unit C1 (eInfrastructure & Science Cloud). Thomas SKORDAS, the Director of Directorate C, will serve as Acting Head of Unit.
Colette MALONEY and Mikaela FARR-DAVID have been appointed permanent Heads of Unit where they were previously acting.

Informatics (DG DIGIT)
Kadhi SAAD is the new Head of Task Force, Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-EU), replacing prior Acting Head Ken DUCATEL. DUCATEL remains Director of Directorate S (IT Security).

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Energy (DG ENER)
Klaus-Dieter BORCHARDT has been promoted to Deputy Director General responsible for Directorates A to C, filling the vacant position. He will remain as Acting Director of Directorate B (Internal Energy Market) for the time being.
Marian O’LEARY departs as Director of EURATOM, with Stefano CICCARELLO currently serving as Acting Director.
Heads of Unit departing are Pavel JIRSA (Head of Unit E2) and Alessandro D’ATRI (Head of Unit SRD1). D’ATRI is replaced by Frederic VERSINI.

Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (DG FISMA)
There has been an extensive reshuffle of the DG.  The new Directorates and Directors are:

  • Directorate A: General Affairs – Pamela BRUMTER-CORET
  • Directorate B: Horizontal Policies – Mario NAVA
  • Directorate C: Financial Markets – Ugo BASSI
  • Directorate D: Bank and Insurance – Martin MERLIN
  • Directorate E: Financial Surveillance and Crisis Management – Klaus WIEDNER

Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE)
Vincent FAVEL is the new Head of Unit EMFF (Implementation/EASME), replacing Luisa PRISTA as Acting Head of Unit.

Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)
Henricke TRAUTMANN has been appointed as Head of Unit B2 (Regional Programmes Neighbourhood South). The position was vacant, with Ingrid SCHWAIGER being Acting Head of Unit.

Office for Infrastructure and Logistics – Brussels (DG OIB)
Luc LATOUCHE departs as an Adviser to the Director on Rationalisation and Simplification of Processes. The position is currently vacant.

Research and Innovation (DG RTD)
Edyta ZIOMEK is the new Acting Head of Unit A5 (Better Regulation & Innovation Principle). The former Acting Head of Unit was Liviu STIRBAT.
Vincent FAVREL departs as Head of Unit D5 (Administration and Finance). Jochen BRODERSEN will serve as Acting Head of Unit.

Trade (DG TRADE)
Zoltan SOMOGYI is no longer Head of Unit D3 (Agriculture, Fisheries, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Market Access, Biotechnology).  The new Head of Unit is Flavio COTURNI.

Public Affairs

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European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC)
Sylvie LEMOINE has been appointed as Executive Director Product Stewardship, replacing Peter SMITH who has retired. LEMOINE was previously Senior Government Affairs Manager at the Dow Chemical Company’s Brussels office.

The Mayor of Stockholm Anna KÖNIG JERLMYR was elected as the new President last month for a two-year term, replacing Daniël TERMONT.

Polyolefin Circular Economy Platform (PCEP)
The value chain initiative joint founded by PlasticsEurope and European Plastics Converters (EuPC) has announced Venetia SPENCER as their new Secretary-General. SPENCER previously led the Environment and Energy team at BCW (formerly Burson-Marsteller).

News in a Nutshell

The government were defeated in Parliament last Wednesday as an amendment proposed by Dominic GRIEVE passed 308-297. This amendment requires the Prime Minister to inform Parliament on her intentions within three sitting days if they lose the vote on the Withdrawal Agreement, rather than the planned 21 days.

The Withdrawal Agreement vote is due to take place on Tuesday.

European Commission President Jean-Claude JUNCKER and European Council President Donald TUSK collectively replied to a letter from the Prime Minister on the Withdrawal Agreement today. It states that the EU is not able to change the Withdrawal Agreement but strongly stresses the EU’s commitment to ensuring that a trade deal is in place by 2021 to ensure that the backstop need not come into force.

Prime Minister Alexis TSIPIRAS will call a Vote of Confidence in his government on Wednesday after their junior coalition partner the conservative Independent Greeks resigned from government at protest to the Government’s position on the Macedonia name dispute.

Krišjānis KARIŅŠ has been officially nominated as the new Prime Minister. A coalition government led by his Unity party (EPP) with Development/For! (ALDE), the New Conservative Party, the populist KPV LV and the National Alliance (ACRE) is set to take office. KARIŅŠ has set a two-week deadline to officially sign a coalition agreement between the parties.

Public Finance Minister Eugen TEODOROVICI has been appointed as interim Regional Development Minister and EU Funds Minister Rovana PLUMB appointed as interim Transport Minsiter.

President Klaus IOHANNIS had rejected the appointment of Lia Olguţa VASILESCU and Mircea DRAGHICI to the posts, which were vacant due to the resignations of Paul STĂNESCU and Lucian ŞOVA in November.

The Centre Party and the Liberal Party (both ALDE) have agreed to support the Social Democratic Party (PES) leader Stefan LÖFVEN for another term as Prime Minister. However, it is expected that some Centre and Liberal Party MPs will oppose breaking their longstanding alliance with the Moderate Party (EPP).

Speaker Andreas NORLÉN will meet with the party leaders on Monday and will need to name a nominee for Prime Minister ahead of Wednesday’s scheduled Parliamentary vote.


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