Movers and Shakers | 14 June 2019
Keep track of developments in the European institutions and public affairs with our movers and shakers column.
On Wednesday, Ska KELLER (DE) and Philippe LAMBERTS (BE) were re-elected co-presidents of the group. On Tuesday the EFA elected Alyn SMITH (UK) as president, succeeding Catalan MEP Josep-Maria TERRICABRAS who stood down. This means that SMITH will be first vice-president of the group.
The group also welcomes Volt Europa and their MEP Damien BOESELAGER (DE) as well as Nico SEMSROTT (DE) from Die Partei.
The ALDE Group in the European Parliament have rebranded themselves under the name ‘Renew Europe’. The move comes after the group merged with Emmanuel MACRON’s La République En Marche and other liberal parties.
Nathalie LOISEAU, former French Europe minister and head of MACRON’s Renaissance election list, will no longer run for the leadership of the new group. LOISEAU has recently been embroiled in controversy after a series of remarks she had made over the past week in which she criticised other members of the group as well as referring to Manfred WEBER, leader of the EPP group, as an ‘ectoplasm’. Lead contenders for the position now include Fredrick FEDERLEY (SE) and Sophie IN’ T VELD (NL).
After rejecting offers to join the new nationalist alliance ‘Identity and Democracy’, Spanish party VOX has decided to join the ECR together with their MEPs Mazaly AGUILAR POVILL, Jorge BUXADÉ VILLALBA and Hermann TERTSCH.
The new Matteo SALVINI led parliamentary group, which combines the current ENF group with several other nationalist and euro-sceptic parties such as the German Alternative for Democracy (previously ECR) will be called Identity and Democracy (ID). Marco ZANNI (IT) has been appointed their leader with Nicolas BAY (FR) and Jörg MEUTHEN (DE) elected deputies.
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Valdis DOMBROVSKIS will be re-nominated by the Latvian government to serve as their representative on the next European Commission. DOMBROVSKIS was elected as a MEP in May’s elections and will decide next week whether he will complete his current Commission term or enter the Parliament next month, after discussions with Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis KARIŅŠ and Commission President Jean-Claude JUNCKER; who has said that he’d rather incumbent Commissioners not leave before the end of the term to avoid the cost of adding short-term replacements.
Budget (DG BUDG)
Raluca BLANARU has left the position of Head of Unit R2 (HR Business Correspondent Team, Finance and Internal Control), with Daniela GHEORGHE becoming the Acting Head of Unit.
Alexander WINTERSTEIN will depart the position of Deputy Chief Spokesperson of the Commission in order to become an Austrian government spokesperson.
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European External Action Service
Representations and Delegations
Nicolas BERLANGA MARTINEZ has become the new head of the European Union delegation to Somalia, replacing Véronique LORENZO.
Wijnand DE BRUIJN has been re-elected president for what is essentially a third term. Furthermore, current treasurer Dominique DERVAUX was re-appointed for a further two-year term. Vice-presidents Hans Dittrich and Santiago DE ANDRÉS were also re-appointed for a further two years.
Emanuele MANIGRASSI has been appointed manager for EU public affairs.
European Rail Infrastructure Managers (EIM)
Gorm FRIMANNSLUND has been elected as vice-president, joining other vice-presidents Lena ERIXON and Luc LALLEMAND.
Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE)
Rens VAN DOBBENBURGH has been elected as president while Thierry CHAMBON, Siegfried MODER, Torill MOSENG, Stanislaw WINIARCZYK have been elected vice-presidents for a two-year period (2019-2021).
German Shipowners’ Association (VDR)
Prof. Dr Dirk Max JOHNS will be leaving the management effective 15 August in order to devote himself to his lecturing activities as Professor at the Hamburg School of Business Administration.
Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU)
Duarte SANTOS has been elected as president for 2020. He replaces outgoing president Michał BYLINIAK.
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Two of the three MPs of the populist Human Shield party left over the last week following the suspension of Branimir BUNJAC over his wish to serve in the European Parliament against the campaign strategy of the party. This comes after the party won its first ever seat in the European Parliament in last month’s European elections.
On Monday evening, prime minister Alexis TSIPRAS officially requested the dissolution of parliament and the call for general elections from president Prokopios PAVLOPOULOS. The vote is scheduled for 7 July.
Romania’s opposition parties have called a no-confidence vote in Viorica DĂNCILĂ’s Social Democrat (PES) and ALDE coalition government next Tuesday over the government’s controversial justice reforms. They are likely to be unsuccessful, requiring 234 votes to defeat the government but only having the support of around 200.
After victory in the European Parliament elections, Progressive Slovakia (ALDE) and Together (EPP) have announced their intention to run a combined list in the 2020 Parliamentary elections.
The new party of outgoing Slovak President Andrej KISKA will be officially launched on Monday. There are likely to be calls for this new movement to work with the Progressive Slovakia/Together coalition.
In response to calls from Conservative leadership candidates Dominic RABB and Esther MCVEY that Parliament should be prorogued to ensure that Brexit happens on the 31 October regardless of the viewers of Parliament, the Labour Party introduced a motion on their opposition on Wednesday seeking to take over Parliamentary time to discuss legislation intended to block a No Deal Brexit. The motion, which had the support of almost every other opposition party, as well as prominent pro-Europe Conservative MPs ultimately failed, being defeated by 309 votes to 298.
After ten candidates officially managed to secure sufficient support to gain a spot on the first ballot in the Conservative leadership contest, there was only one to emerge victorious in the first round of voting that took place on Thursday. Former foreign secretary Boris JOHNSON secured a comfortable lead with 114 votes, well ahead of the runner up Jeremy HUNT with 43 votes. Three bottom placing candidates have been eliminated; Andrea LEADSOM, Esther MCVEY and Mark HARPER all received less than 17 votes and are now out of the running. The next round of voting will be held next Tuesday and the winner will be announced the week beginning 22 July. JOHNSON has notoriously made public that he will advocate for the UK to leave the EU with or without a deal on 31 October and has said that he will withhold Britain’s Brexit bill as leverage.