Movers and Shakers | 2 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 German MEPs who were elected to the Bundestag, latest moves in the Commission's DGs and in EEAS, the new chairs of CoR's commissions, public affairs appointments, the Catalan independence referendum, Brexit and more.
Outgoing: ALDE group members Michale THEURER and Alexander LAMBSDORFF, GUE/NGL group member Fabio DE MASI and EFDD group member Beatrix VON STORCH will leave their seats in Brussels after being elected to the Bundestag.
The long serving S&D group deputy Glenis WILLMOT retired as of Monday 2 October.
ALDE: Dominique RIQUET (FR) switched from member to vice-chair of the group.
Composition of the committees and the delegations:
Lívia JÁRÓKA (EPP, HU) joined the committee on economic and monetary affairs (ECON), the committee on civil liberties, justice and home affairs (LIBE) and the committee on women's rights and gender equality (FEMM).
Răzvan POPA (S&D, RO) joined the committee on industry, research and energy (ITRE), the committee on legal affairs (JURI) and the delegation for relations with Canada (D-CA).
MEPs are in Strasbourg from Monday 2 to 5 October.
Research and Innovation (RDT):
Directorate B – Open Innovation and Open Science: Ales FIALA became Head of Unit ‘Research infrastructure’ replacing Antonio DI GIULIO who moved to DG SANTE.
Mobility and Transport (MOVE):
Directorate B – Investment, Innovative and Sustainable Transport: Elisabeth KOTTHAUS became Head of Unit ‘Social Aspects, Passenger Rights and Equal Opportunities’ replacing Jean-Louis COLSON.
Directorate C – Land: Elisabeth WERNER has been appointed as Director, as of 1 October. She will replace Matthew BALDWIN and move from Directorate A where she is Head of ‘Coordination and planning’.
Directorate E – Aviation: Filip CORNELIS has been appointed as Director, as of 1 October. He is currently acting in the role and is Head of ‘Aviation policy’ unit.
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European External Action Service (EEAS):
General Affairs: Sylvie TABESSE became Head of Unit ‘Inspection’ replacing Tanya VAN GOOL.
Budget and Administration:
Human resources: Luc VERON became Head of Unit ‘Selection and recruitment of staff’ replacing Diego MELLADO. Françoise COLLET replaced Mr VERON as Head of ‘Local agents. Ms COLLET was previously head of the EU Delegation to Cameroon, which is now under the supervision of Hans Peter SCHADEK.
Economic and global issues:
Africa: Patrick SIMONNET became Head of Unit ‘Horn of Africa, East Africa’ replacing Claudia WIEDEY, who is now head of the EU delegation to Morocco.
Americas: Hugo SOBRAL became Deputy Managing Director, replacing Roland SCHÄFER.
European Union Military Staff: Johnny ENGELL-HANSEN became Head of Unit ‘Horizontal coordination’ to replace Cristina MARTINS BARREIRA who has been appointed Head of Delegation ‘Togo’. Giovanni MANIONE became Deputy Director-General replacing Waldemar GLUSZKO. Vasil SABINSKI became Director of ‘Communication and information systems’ replacing Santiago BARBER LOPEZ.
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European Chemical Agency (ECHA):
Bjorn HANSEN was selected as the new executive director, replacing Geert DANCET who will retire in January 2018, for a five-year term, renewable once. The contract signature will take place on 14-15 December. He will also make a statement before the European Parliament and will answer MEPs' questions.
Belgium: Stéphanie ROSSION was appointed as the new spokesperson, replacing Nico VAN DIJCK, who was appointed as Antici counsellor.
Cyprus: Stavros HATZIYIANNIS took over Spyros ATTAS as representative to the Political and Security Committee (PSC).
Committee of the Regions (CoR):
Natural resources (NAT): Ossi MARTIKAINEN (ALDE, FI) was elected as the new chair, replacing Francina ARMENGOL (PES, ES). Christophe CLERGEAU (PES, FR) and Mark WEINMEISTER (EPP, DE) were also elected first and second vice-chair.
Territorial cohesion policy and EU budget (COTER): Petr OSVALD (PES, CZ) replaced Raffaele CATTANEO (EPP, IT) as chair. Spyros SPYRIDON (EPP, EL) was elected first vice-chair and József RIBÁNYI (EPP, HU) as second vice-chair.
Institutional and external affairs (CIVEX): Barbara DUDEN (PES) was elected as the new chair, succeeding François DECOSTER (ALDE, FR).
Social policy, education, employment, research and culture (SEDEC): José CENICEROS (EPP, ES) was elected as the new chair, replacing Yoomi RENSTRÖM (S&D, SE)
Marek WOŹNIAK (EPP, PL) was appointed rapporteur on the future of the EU finances until 2025.
Dimitris KALOGEROPOULOS (EPP, EL) was nominated as rapporteur on the mid-term review of the implementation of the European agenda on migration.
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Copa | European Farmers: Joachim RUKWIED was elected as the new president.
Ecommerce Europe: Luca CASSETTI joined the team as the new director for European public affairs on 11 September.
Independent Music Companies Association (IMPALA): Mark KITCATT was elected as the new chair, while Kees van WEIJEN elected as president. Geert DE BLAERE and Helen SMITH were re-appointed as treasurer and executive chair.
SEMI Europe: Emir DEMIRCAN joined as senior manager, advocacy and public policy. At SEMI, the global association for electronics manufacturing, Emir runs the association’s Brussels office and focuses on public policy issues pertaining to EHS, industrial policy, R&D&I, workforce development and trade. Prior to SEMI, he worked at CECIMO, the European Commission and Sun Chemical.
News in a nutshell:
Brexit: The fourth round of the negotiations was kicked off on Monday 25 September. EU chief negotiator Michel BARNIER demanded more clarity from the UK Government, while he also warned that time is running out. Read more. On citizens' rights the UK agreed to give direct effect to the Withdrawal Agreement, but the two sides disagreed on what role the European Court of Justice will play. On the financial settlement, the UK team clarified that the no member state should pay more or receive less due to Brexit during 2019-2020 period. On Ireland, BARNIER said that the conversation was constructive and progress was made in some areas. However, he said that while the whole week was constructive, sufficient progress has not yet been achieved. Read more.
UK prime minister Theresa MAY met with European Council president Donald TUSK in London on Tuesday. TUSK said “I feel cautiously optimistic about the constructive and more realistic tone of the Prime Minister's speech in Florence and of our discussion today. This shows that the philosophy of "having a cake and eating it" is finally off the menu."
A new inquiry was launched by the House of Lords EU Select Committee, named “Brexit: deal or not deal” that will look into any implementation or transition period and the consequences in case of not managing to reach an agreement.
EU Parliament chief negotiator Guy VERHOFSTADT sent a letter to home secretary Amber RUDD, expressing his concerns regarding how the free movement of EU citizens is applied following reports about incidents of letters of deportation.
Foreign Secretary Boris JOHNSON will launch the Institute for Free Trade, a new hard Brexit think tank at the Foreign Office, it was announced.
Catalan referendum: The independence referendum took place on Sunday 1 October. Catalan separatist claimed victory after the "Yes" won more than 90 per cent with 42.30 per cent turnout. The vote was marked by police violence, as many people were injured. In a televised message, Spanish prime minister Mariano RAJOY said "there has been no referendum on the self-determination in Catallonia today". Read more.