Movers and Shakers | 18 September 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 committee on counter-terror, the State of Union speech and its key points, plenary session's highlights, latest changes in the European Commission, new appointments in public affairs, Brexit and more.
European Commissioners' cabinets wall chart:
With the college of Commissioners now complete and the allocation of portfolios finalised, our team have put together an updated wall chart detailing the European Commissioners’ responsibilities and their cabinets, including their job titles and contact details. Download the wall chart.
New Committee on counter-terror:
MEPs approved the composition of the special committee on terrorism which is comprised of 30 members (and 30 substitutes) and will assess the terrorist threat in Europe and focus on any potential faults, deficiencies and malfunctions in counter-terrorism measures. The committee held its first meeting on 14 September, when it elected its leadership:
Chair: Nathalie GRIESBECK (ALDE, FR)
1st Vice-Chair: Elena VALENCIANO (S&D, ES)
2nd Vice-Chair: Judith SARGENTINI (Greens/EFA, NL)
3rd Vice-Chair: Jeroen LENAERS (EPP, NL)
4th Vice-Chair: Geoffrey VAN ORDEN (ECR, UK)
Co-Rapporteurs: Helga STEVENS (ECR, BE) and Monika HOHLMEIER (EPP, DE)
EPP Co-ordinator: Arnaud DANJEAN (FR)
State of the Union: European Commission President Jean-Claude JUNCKER delivered his annual State of the Union speech on 13 September. In his keynote speech, JUNCKER called for a single EU presidency, EU wide transnational lists for European elections and the creation of an EU finance minister and stronger European army. Read more.
Dieselgate: On September 13, the European Parliament held a debate on Dieselgate following the recent summits held in Germany and Austria to discuss the future of the diesel technology in light of recent allegations that major car manufacturers colluded on emission technology. MEPs, notably from the Greens/EFA and S&D groups, accused the Commission of not standing firm in its position to urge manufacturers to recall diesel cars from the European streets and of not establishing a more stringent conformity factor. The EPP group members maintained their support in favour of diesel technology and believed in a possibility of changing and improving it. MEPs unanimously acknowledged the extent of the fraud and “cosy relationship” between EU governments and car manufacturers and urged the Commission to pursue infringements, ensure proper compensation for consumers and provide incentives for investing in clean vehicles. MEPs were equally discontent with the Commission’s lack of sound reaction to the Parliament’s Report resulting from the EMIS committee. Commissioner BIEŃKOWSKA expressed this time a more favourable stance regarding the idea of setting up an EU agency in charge of type approvals and market surveillance and stated that this would be addressed during upcoming trilogues on the proposal for a regulation on the approval and market surveillance of motor vehicles and their trailers. She also committed to continue to protect European industry and jobs, but not at the price of protecting an old technology. Read more.
Transparency, Accountability and Integrity in the EU institutions: MEPs approved by 368 votes to 161, with 60 abstentions the report that calls for a more transparent register of interest groups and representatives and require the MEPs to meet with interest groups representatives that have officially registered or asked them to register. Sven GIEGOLD (Greens/EFA, DE) is the rapporteur of the report.
ETS: On 11 September a debate on the EU emissions trading system was held. Rapporteur Julie GIRLING (ECR, UK) said that “aviation accounts for approximately 2.1 per cent of global CO2 emissions and that, in the EU, direct CO2 emissions from aviation account for approximately three per cent of the total. With the anticipated growth in air traffic, emissions in 2050 are expected to be seven to ten times higher than in 1990. Read the full Dods EU Monitoring's briefing.
European Accessibility Act (EAA): MEPs backed by 537 votes to 12, with 89 abstentions, the amended text that sets out the requirements to make a list of products and services, such as phones, ATMs and eBooks more accessible for people with disabilities. Following the vote, the Parliament will start negotiating with the Council, which is yet to decide on a common position. Morten LØKKEGAARD (ALDE, DK) is the Parliament’s rapporteur on the report.
Composition of the committees and delegations:
Dennis RADTKE (EPP, DE) joined the committee on employment and social affairs (EMPL) and the delegation for relations with the Korean Peninsula (D-KOR).
Francis ZAMMIT DIMECH (EPP, MT) joined the committee on legal affairs (JURI), the delegation for relations with Palestine (D-PAL) and the delegation to the parliamentary assembly of the union for the Mediterranean (D-MED).
Doru-Claudian FRUNZULICĂ (S&D, RO) joined the delegation to the Cariforum-EU parliamentary committee (D-CAR).
Jude KIRTON-DARLING (S&D, UK) left the delegation for relations with the countries of the Andean Community (D-AND) and the delegation to the Euro-Latin American parliamentary assembly (D-LAT) and joined the delegation to the EU-Russia parliamentary cooperation committee (D-RU).
Theresa GRIFFIN (S&D, UK) left the delegation to the EU-Russia parliamentary cooperation committee (D-RU) and joined the delegation for relations with the countries of the Andean Community (D-AND) and the delegation to the Euro-Latin American parliamentary assembly (D-LAT).
Bas BELDER (ECR, NL) joined the delegation for relations with Iran (D-IR).
Rebecca HARMS (Greens/EFA, DE) switched from substitute to member of the delegation to the EU-Russia parliamentary cooperation committee (D-RU).
Jakop DALUNDE (Greens/EFA, SE) left the Delegation to the EU-Moldova parliamentary association committee (D-MD), the delegation to the EU-Russia parliamentary cooperation committee (D-RU) and the delegation to the Euronest parliamentary assembly (D-EPA).
Paul NUTTALL (EFDD, UK) joined the committee on regional development (REGI), replacing James CARVER (EFDD, UK).
John Stuart AGNEW (EFDD, UK) joined the committee on the internal market and consumer protection (IMCO), replacing Margot PARKER (EFDD, UK).
Christelle LECHEVALIER (ENF, FR) joined the committee on industry, research and energy (ITRE) and the delegation for relations with the People's Republic of China (D-CN).
France JAMET (ENF, FR) joined the committee on international trade (INTA) and the delegation for relations with Switzerland and Norway and to the EU-Iceland joint parliamentary committee and the European Economic Area (EEA) joint parliamentary committee (D-EEA).
Jean-Luc SCHAFFHAUSER (ENF, FR) switched from substitute to member of the delegation to the ACP-EU joint parliamentary assembly (D-ACP), left the committee on industry, research and energy (ITRE) and the delegation for relations with the People's Republic of China (D-CN) and he joined the committee on foreign affairs (AFET) and the committee on development (DEVE).
Sophie MONTEL (ENF, FR) left the delegation for relations with Switzerland and Norway and to the EU-Iceland joint parliamentary committee and the European Economic Area (EEA) joint parliamentary committee (D-EEA) and joined the delegation for relations with Mercosur (D-MER) and the delegation to the Euro-Latin American parliamentary assembly (D-LAT).
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Dennis RADTKE (EPP, DE) joined the delegation for relations with the United States (D-US).
Sven SCHULZE (EPP, DE) switched from member to substitute of the committee on employment and social affairs (EMPL).
Christelle LECHEVALIER (ENF, FR) joined the delegation for relations with Japan (D-JP).
Viorica DĂNCILĂ (S&D, RO) joined the delegation for relations with South Africa (D-ZA).
Louise BOURS (EFDD, UK) joined the committee on employment and social affairs (EMPL).
Get to know:
Merja KYLLÖNEN (GUE/NGL, FI) in 5 questions
NEW: Subsidiarity and Proportionality Task Force:
President JUNCKER announced the creation of a new task force during his State of the Union speech. The task force will be established this month with First Vice-President TIMMERMANS at the helm. Its aim will be to evaluate where EU regulation and legislation is best placed and where national authorities are better suited to handle issues.
REFORM: European Union Agency for Network and Information Society (ENISA):
In his State of the Union Speech President JUNCKER spoke of creating a ‘European Cybersecurity Agency’ which will be tasked with protecting the EU from the increased threat of cyber-attacks. The Agency will build upon the work already being carried out by ENISA by providing it with extra resources and an increased mandate. Two new key areas of responsibility will be overseeing crisis management and cybersecurity certification.
Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CNECT):
Directorate D – Policy Strategy and Outreach: Ewelina JELENKOWSKA-LUCA became Head of Unit ‘Communication’ replacing Anna KATRAMI who was acting. Prior to this appointment Ms JELENKOWSKA-LUCA was Press Officer for the Commission’s representation in Rome.
Directorate R – Resources and Support: Elisabeth LIPIATOU became Head of Unit ‘Programme Operations and Common Services’ replacing Peter DIRY who was acting in the role. Ms LIPIATOU moved to DG CNECT from DG RDT.
Joint Research Centre (JRC):
Directorate D – Sustainable Resources: Giovanni DE SANTI was appointed as Director replacing David WILKINSON. Mr DE SANTI was previously Director of ‘Competences’ at JRC which is now being looked after by Xavier TROUSSARD in an acting capacity.
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Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (NEAR):
Directorate R – Resources: Holger SCHROEDER became Head of Unit ‘Resource Planning and IT’ replacing Wojciech KOWALSKI. Sarah RINALDI became Head of ‘Contracts and Finance ENI’ replacing Tuuli VIRTANEN who was acting.
Representations in Member States:
Italy: Daniela CIULLI became Press Officer for the Rome office replacing Ewelina JELENKOWSKA-LUCA who moved to DG CNECT.
European regional policy Commissioner Corina Crețu gave an interview to the Parliament Magazine and talked about the importance of cohesion policy, what it will look like in the future, and what Brexit might mean for Europe's regions. Read the interview.
European General Court:
Geert DE BAERE has been appointed Judge of the General Court as of 14 September 2017 to 31 August 2022. Mr DE BAERE is one of the seven additional judges to be appointed following the reform of the General Court which began in September 2016.
European Research Council (ERC): Professor Jean-Pierre BOURGUIGNON was re-appointed as President for the ERC, continuing his role until the end of 2019. Mr BOURGUIGNON has been in the position since 2014.
Austria: Nikolaus MARSCHIK succeeded Walter GRAMHAMMER as Permanent Representative.
Latvia: Alise BALODE took over Juris ŠTĀLMEISTARS as deputy permanent representative as of August.
Malta: Lorenzo VELLA replaced Neil KERR as deputy permanent representative. Mr VELLA was previously employment and social policy attache in the Representation and chair of the social questions working party during the Maltese presidency.
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DLA Piper: Orestis OMRAN joined the firm as counsel and member of the EU regulatory team and will head the Brussels based EU-Greek Practice of the firm. He will be focusing on doing business with, in and from Greece in the areas of regulatory, competition and antitrust, corporate, banking, finance, restructuring and insolvency.
European Association of the Machine Tool Industries (CECIMO): Olga CHILAT joined as EU Public Affairs Economist. Olga is a graduate in Master in Arts in European Economic Integration and Business at the College of Europe, Bruges. Previously, she worked at the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, European Commission. With an extensive knowledge in economics and data mining, Olga will focus on the modernisation of Europe’s industry, including economic, fiscal and monetary incentives.
Confederation of European Waste-to-Energy Plants (CEWEP): Paul De BRUYCKER was elected as the new president of the confederation, replacing Ferdinand KLEPPMANN. Filippo BRANDOLINI and Michiel TIMMERIJE were re-elected as deputy presidents, while Hubert de CHEFDEBIEN, Jacob SIMONSEN and Carsten SPOHN were elected as deputy presidents too.
European Business Aviation Association (EBAA): Robert BALTUS has been appointed as chief operations officer and Eric DROSIN was named communications director, starting on 4 September.
Women Political Leaders Global Forum (WPL): Alice STOLLMEYER, founder and director of the @StollmeyerEU Digital Advocacy was appointed as communications director. Alice is a Digital Advocacy Strategist. With a solid background in social science, science studies and communications, she has been working on energy and climate issues since 2009. In 2012 she founded her own consultancy @StollmeyerEU, which specialises in EU public affairs, political communications and digital advocacy. In 2016 consultancy broadened its portfolio to EU politics, democracy, human rights and digital developments.
News in a nutshell:
Brexit: The future of the UK seats in the European Parliament was discussed in the Constitutional Affairs Committee. Co-rapporteurs Danuta HUBNER (EPP, PL) and Pedro SILVA PEREIERA (S&D, PT) suggested the number of the MEPs to be reduced to 700 and the 51 vacated seats to be reserved for EU enlargement and pan-European lists. The remaining 22 of the 73 seats that are currently held by British MEPs to be allocated to the remaining 27 member states. Read more.
MPs backed the second reading of the Repeal Bill, clearing the first hurdle for the government. 157 amendments have been tabled so far by all parties. The bill will be discussed and voted on committee stage, expected October.
UK Prime Minister Theresa MAY has agreed to discuss Brexit directly with MEPs, Guy VERHOFSTADT revealed during a news conference. However, it is unclear whether Mrs MAY will hold the discussion with just the small circle of mainstream political group leaders, or all MEPs in an open session. Read more. She will also make a speech in Florence on 22 September to set out her vision for the next stages of the Brexit talks.
On Tuesday, the UK Government published its papers on foreign policy, defence and development. According to the papers, the UK wants to maintain "a deep security partnership" with the other 27 EU member states in future to help tackle issues such as illegal migration, terrorism and cyber attacks. Read more. Responding to the news, EPP group leader Manfred WEBER said, “it seems that the UK is still thinking they can cherry pick in the Brexit talks. In other words, they want to pick the bits that they want and the bits that they do not want. I don't think this will work. It will not fly. You have to decide if you want to keep the advantages of the EU and European ideals or leave the EU. " Read more.
The fourth round of negotiations talks has been delayed by a week, it has been confirmed. The move comes a week after Guy VERHOFSTADT, the European Parliament's top negotiator, predicted the talks would be postponed by an "important intervention" by Theresa May.
On Wednesday 13 September, European Commission president Jean-Claude JUNCKER said during his State of Union speech, that while the Brexit vote marked a “tragic” point in the history of the union, the remaining 27 members must move on”. “EU will “always regret” Brexit, and added “I think you will regret it soon, if I must say. Read more.
Romania: Minister for defence Adrian TUTUIANU resigned from his role over mishandling the issue of military staff salaries. Economy minister Mihai-Viorel FIFOR succeeded him in the helm of the ministry of defence. Previously, deputy prime minister Marcel CIOLACU had replaced TUTUIANU on an interim basis. Gheorghe SIMON took over FIFOR as minister for the economy.
Slovakia: Martina LUBYOVÁ was appointed as the new minister for education, research and sport, replacing Peter PLAVČAN who resigned earlier this month. Minister for agriculture Gabriela MATEČNÁ was acting in the role in the meantime.