Movers and Shakers | 16 October 2017
Keep track of developments in the European institutions and public affairs with our movers and shakers column.
Today's Movers & Shakers are about: the new S&D group MEP, latest appointments in the European Commission, the European Week of Regions and Cities which took place last week in Brussels, the new Regional Review Magazine, new appointments in public affairs, organisations that were rebranded, the new coalition government in Netherlands, Brexit and more.
Rory PALMER (S&D, UK), Parliament’s newest member, joined last week and is replacing Glenis WILLMOTT. He has already launched a campaign to keep the UK part of the Erasmus Plus.
Composition of the committees and the delegations:
Asim Ahmedov ADEMOV (EPP, BU) joined the committee on civil liberties, justice and home affairs (LIBE) and the delegation to the ACP-EU joint parliamentary assembly (D-ACP).
David MARTIN (S&D, UK) joined the Delegation to the Cariforum-EU Parliamentary Committee (D-CAR).
Asim Ahmedov ADEMOV (EPP, BU) joined the committee on foreign affairs (AFET), the subcommittee on human rights (DROI), the committee of inquiry to investigate alleged contraventions and maladministration in the application of Union law in relation to money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion (PANA) and the delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula (D-ARP).
Martina DLABAJOVÁ (ALDE, CZ) left the delegation to the Euronest parliamentary assembly (D-SCA) and joined the delegation to the EU-Armenia and EU-Azerbaijan parliamentary cooperation committees and the EU-Georgia parliamentary association committee (D-EPA) and joined the Delegation to the EU-Russia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee (D-RU).
Viktor USPASKICH (ALDE, LT) joined delegation to the EU-Armenia and EU-Azerbaijan parliamentary cooperation committees and the EU-Georgia parliamentary association committee (D-SCA) and the delegation to the Euronest parliamentary assembly (D-EPA).
Fabio Massimo CASTALDO (EFDD, IT) joined the delegation to the EU-Montenegro stabilisation and association parliamentary committee (D-ME).
Robert Jarosław IWASZKIEWICZ (EFDD, PL) left the committee on the environment, public health and food safety (ENVI).
Nathan GILL (EFDD, UK) joined the committee on petitions (PETI).
Maria SPYRAKI (EPP, EL) was appointed as spokesperson of her national political party, New Democracy.
Pavel TELIČKA (ALDE, CZ) left his national party, ANO 2011, with which he was elected in the European Parliament. The move comes two weeks ahead of the national elections in Czech Republic and while the party is leading the polls. Mr TELIČKA is a Vice-President of the Parliament.
British ECR group members Julie GIRLING and Richard ASHWORTH, have been stripped of the Conservative party whip, after supporting last week’s vote which said that “sufficient progress” had not been made for phase two of negotiations to begin as planned. Read more.
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Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE): will assess whether Hungary is risking breaching the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights, following MEPs’ request during plenary session to prepare a resolution. To be adopted by the plenary, it would require a two-thirds majority and then it may be considered by the Council. Judith SARGENTINI (Greens/EFA, NL) is Parliament’s rapporteur and her report is expected to be presented in March 2018.
Internal market and Consumer protection (IMCO): On 10 October, the IMCO Working Group on the Digital Single Market held its thirteenth meeting. The topic of debate was the Single Digital Gateway. Read Dods EU Monitoring’s briefing.
Get to know:
Antanas GUOGA (EPP, LT) in 5 questions. Mr GUOGA is Vice-Chair of the delegation to the EU-Armenia and EU-Azerbaijan parliamentary cooperation committees and the EU-Georgia parliamentary association committee.
MEP Awards 2018:
Nominations are open and you are invited to nominate MEPs for an award.
Now in their 14th year, the annual MEP awards bring together members of the European parliament and EU stakeholders to celebrate the work and highlight the outstanding achievements of MEPs.
Anyone is eligible to nominate an MEP that has made an outstanding contribution in an EU policy area.
Help us recognise and reward the challenging work and dedication of deputies who make a difference and help change European society for the better.
Cabinet of Federica MOGHERINI: Kristine STEPA joins as a cabinet member. STEPA was previously First Secretary (Antici) to Latvia's Permanent Representation in the European Union, and in MOGHERINI's Cabinet will have responsibility over policies relating to trade, the Artic region, foreign affairs and European Neighbourhood Policy. She will also oversee policy relating to the Committee of the Regions, relations with Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, and provides support to the Deputy Head of Cabinet Oliver RENTSCHLER on issues concerning the Political and Security Committee.
Agriculture and Rural Development Directorate-General (AGRI):
Directorate B - Quality, Research and Innovation, Outreach: Nathalie SAUVE-VANDEVYER replaces Lene NÆSAGER as Director. NÆSAGER, who held the role on an acting basis, returns to Unit B1 (External Communication and Promotion Policy) as Head of Unit.
Directorate I – Legal, Institutional and Procedural Matters: Nathalie SAUVE-VANDEVYER, the new Director of Directorate B, was formerly Director of Directorate I, where she has been replaced by Michael NIEJAHR, Head of Unit I1, who holds the role on an interim basis.
Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF):
Director-General Giovanni KESSLER is to be seconded to Italy's Customs and Monopoly Agency. He will be replaced on an interim basis by Principal Advisor Nicholas ILETT, while the Commission hopes to appoint a new Director-General early in the new year.
Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union Directorate-General (FISMA):
Directorate B – Investment and Company Reporting: Chantal HUGHES left her role as Head of Unit B1 (Free Movement of Capital and Application of EU Law), and is replaced by her deputy, Anne-Françoise MELOT, on an acting basis.
Human Resources and Security Directorate-General (HR):
Directorate B - Talent Management: Geraldine DUFORT has been seconded and leaves Unit B3 (Learning and Development) under acting Head of Unit, and Director of Directorate HR-B, Christian LEVASSEUR.
Directorate D – Fit at Work: Italo LOMBARDI becomes Head of Unit D5, Medical Service Ispra, taking over from Danielle DEPIESSE, Head of Unit D4, who held the role on an interim basis.
Directorate E – Legal Affairs: Lars ALBATH became Head of Unit E2 (Appeals and Case Monitoring), taking over from his deputy, Massimo BABICH, who held the role on an interim basis.
Mobility and Transport Directorate-General (MOVE):
Directorate A – Policy Coordination: Jorgen BJERRE became Acting Head of Unit (Coordination and Planning) in MOVE Directorate A, taking over from Elizabeth WERNER as she moved to Directorate C. BJERRE was previously a deputy within the Coordination and Planning Unit.
Directorate C – Land: Elizabeth WERNER became Director of MOVE Directorate C – Land, taking over from Matthew BALDWIN, who was holding the role on an interim basis. WERNER was previously Head of Unit in MOVE’s Directorate A, with responsibility for coordination and planning.
Shared Resources Directorate ENER/MOVE: Rogero VINCITORE stepped in as Acting Head of Unit (Information Management and Systems) following the departure of Andre MAMBOURG. VINCITORE is Deputy Head of the unit.
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The Parliament Magazine introduced a special new and improved edition of its Regional Review to coincide with the European Week of Regions of Cities. This special edition, which is both in English and in French, features comment and analysis on key topics being covered at the event and beyond, including the future of cohesion policy and exclusive interviews with new CoR President Karl-Heinz LAMBERTZ and regional policy Commissioner Corina CRETU.
Committee of the Regions:
This week the Committee of the Regions celebrated the 15th “European Week of Regions and Cities”. At the CoR plenary in Brussels, President LAMBERTZ delivered the first ever “State of the European Union: the View of Regions and Cities” speech, in which he emphasised the importance of citizen engagement and connection, social security for all Europeans, and strong cohesion policy. The plenary adopted opinions on EU budget, space, pillar of social rights, globalization, transport, data economy and children in migration.
The address was followed by a debate of the European Council President Donald TUSK and local politicians on the future of Europe. The situation in Catalonia was also discussed. Commissioner for Climate action and Energy Miguel Arias CANIETE set out EU’s priorities, in the view of the UN climate talks in Bonn. The speech was also used to launch a bottom-up initiative called “Reflecting on Europe”, collecting EU citizens’ views on the future of Europe.
The Committee of the Regions also launched a joint Broadband Platform with the Commission to boost efforts to deploy high-speed broadband in all European regions. Platform participants will meet twice a year to discuss issues relating to broadband deployment. The first meeting took place on Thursday, and was attended by CoR President LAMBERTZ, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya GABRIEL, and local and regional representatives from member states.
This week also saw the launch of the Cohesion Alliance, a Europe-wide coalition calling for the post-2020 EU budget to ensure that cohesion policy is radically simplified, strengthened and made more effective for every region of the European Union. In a joint meeting between the European Parliament’s regional development committee (REGI) and the Committee of the Regions’ committee for territorial cohesion policy and EU budget (COTER), CoR President LAMBERTZ laid out the goals of the coalition, which calls for one third of the next EU budget to be devoted to cohesion policy.
The RegioStars awards took place on Tuesday 10 October. The ceremony highlighted the good practices of the most innovative regional projects and awarded the most inspiring ones. The awards categories were: smart specialisation for SME innovation, Energy Union: climate action, women empowerment and active participation, education and training, CityStars: cities in digital transition. An independent Jury, led by MEP Lambert VAN NISTELROOIJ (EPP, NL), selected the finalists based on innovation, impact, sustainability and partnership criteria.
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ALDE Group in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (ALDE-PACE): Rik DAEMS was elected as the new group leader, following the resignation of Jordi XUCLÀ.
Community Public Affairs: was rebranded to NOVE as of 1 October. The new website will launch mid-October.
IFAH-Europe: was rebranded to AnimalhealthEurope: The new name was unveiled at a gala dinner. The event was attended by the EU Health and Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis ANDRIUKAITIS, who was a keynote speaker. The organisation, which promotes animal health and wellbeing unveiled its new logo, depicting “people, animals and the earth, signifying man’s mutually dependent relationship with animals for companionship and food products”.
Incisive Health: is growing its international practice with two senior hires to its Brussels Office. Francesca SCASSELLATI SFORZOLINI is joining as Managing Director and Head of Brussels Office. She has over 20 years of public affairs experience, having previously been director of healthcare for Burson‐Marsteller, as well as serving in senior positions within global multi-nationals and leading not-for-profit and advocacy groups such as standards organisation GS1 and the European Climate Foundation. In her new role, Francesca will be supported by Agnes BRANDT, who also joins as an Account Director. Agnes was previously head of office and policy advisor to MEP Matthias GROOTE, former chair and S&D coordinator of the committee for the environment, food safety and public health (ENVI) in the European Parliament.
Medicines for Europe: Marc-Alexander MAHL was elected as the new president for a two-year mandate, taking over from Jacek GLINKA. The new president launched the “Access to medicines: better care for more patients” new campaign, calling on health ministers to fully embrace generic, biosimilar and value-added medicines to improve the sustainability of healthcare systems across Europe.
News in a nutshell:
Brexit: EU chief negotiator Michel BARNIER and the Secretary of state for exiting the EU David DAVIS held a press conference following the conclusion of the fifth round of the negotiations. BARNIER said that he was unable to recommend to the European Council the start of the second round of talks should be initiated in a summit on 19-20 October, as he warned that the Brexit talks are in deadlocked. Read more.
Plans to bring the EU Withdrawal Bill back to the Commons this week have been delayed amid fears of a major Conservatives rebellion. Read more.
The Department for International Trade’s focus on hiring civil servants from within Whitehall above recruiting external expertise is contributing to the disparity between the negotiating prowess of the UK and other non-EU states ahead of Brexit, an investigation has suggested. Read more.
Theresa MAY is in Brussels today in a desperate attempt to break deadlock in Brexit negotiations. Read more.
Austria: The People's Party (ÖVP) won 31.6 per cent of the votes, while the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) got around 26 per cent, according to projections. Sebastian KURZ is on course to become the next prime minister and Europe’s youngest leader, if projections are confirmed. A coalition between the two parties is expected to be formed, but no official announcement has been made yet.
Catalonia: regional president Carles PUIGDEMONT failed respond to the Spanish government’s request to clarify whether he would declare independence from Spain or not. The Spanish government extended the deadline until Thursday.
Netherlands: After a seven-month political deadlock, the political parties reached an agreement to form a coalition government lead by the VVD party of prime minister Mark RUTTE. The new coalition includes the Christian Democrats, the D66 and Christian Union.
A photographic journey along the outer borders of the European Union: The “Far from Brussels” exhibition of the German photographer, Stefan ENDERS is displayed outdoors on the fence of Parc Léopold on rue Wiertz and is comprised by 44 large-scale works on metal panels, while the rest of the exhibition can be found in the Committee of the Regions from 2 to 27 October. The photographer took pictures from over 200 people in the outer boarders of 15 EU member states, narrating stories and life experiences from boarder areas.