Movers and Shakers | 20 December 2019

Written by Mia Bartoloni and Megan MacDougall on 20 December 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: Oriol JUNQUERAS has parliamentary immunity after being elected as a MEP in May's European elections, European Court of Auditors appointments, New Estonian Minister for Rural Affairs, Slovakian Health Minister resignation, UK cabinet re-shuffle and more!

European Parliament 

On Thursday the European Court of Justice ruled that Catalan separatist leader, Oriol JUNQUERAS has parliamentary immunity after being elected as a MEP in May's European elections. The decision would also apply to exiled president Carles PUIGDEMONT and minister Toni COMIN. 

JUNQUERAS, along with other Catalan leaders, was sentenced to thirteen years in jail in October over the 2017 independence referendum and subsequent declaration of independence ruled illegal by Spanish courts. After his election to the Parliament in May with the Greens/EFA group, Spanish courts refused to allow him to take an oath on the country's constitution, which they say is necessary to become a MEP. 

Committees and Delegations 

Culture and Education Committee (CULT) 
Gheorghe-Vlad Nistor (EPP, RO) joins as a substitute. 

Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) 
Marc ANGEL (S&D, LU) joins as a substitute. 
Siegfried MUREŞAN (EPP, RO) moves from substitute to member, replacing Cristian-Silviu BUŞOI. 

Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI) 
Sunčana GLAVAK (EPP, HR) joins as a substitute. 

Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) 
Sunčana GLAVAK (EPP, HR)  joins as a member. 

Human Rights Sub-committee (DROI) 
Gheorghe-Vlad Nistor (EPP, RO) joins as a substitute. 

International Trade Committee (INTA) 
Gheorghe-Vlad Nistor (EPP, RO) joins as a substitute. 

Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia Delegation (D-SCA) 
Gheorghe-Vlad Nistor (EPP, RO) joins as a substitute. 

Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo Delegation 
Sunčana GLAVAK (EPP, HR)  joins as a member. 

People’s Republic of China Delegation (D-CN) 
Marc ANGEL (S&D, LU) joins as a substitute. 

Maghreb Delegation (D-MAG) 
Marc ANGEL (S&D, LU) joins as a member. 

United States Delegation (D-US) 
Gheorghe-Vlad Nistor (EPP, RO) joins as a member. 
Sunčana GLAVAK (EPP, HR)  joins as a member. 

Plenary highlights 

On Wednesday, incumbent European Ombudsman Emily O’REILLY (IE) was re-elected on a third round of voting for the 2019-24 parliamentary term with 320 votes. Runner-up Julia LAFFRANQUE (EE) received 280 votes.  

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European Commission 


Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) 
Sophie HELAINE replaces Tassos HANIOTIS as Head of Unit C4 (Monitoring and Evaluation). 

Economic and Financial Affairs (ECFIN) 
Maarten VERWEY, who is currently director general in the Structural Reform Support Service, will become director general of ECFIN. VERWEY will succeed incumbent Marco BUTI who becomes head of cabinet to Commissioner for Economy, Paolo GENTILONI. 

Want to know more? Click here for more information on our Dods People EU service. 

EU Institutions 

European Court of Auditors (ECA) 
The Council of the European Union has appointed Joëlle ELVINGER (LU) and François-Roger CAZALA (FR). ELVINGER and CAZALA to replace outgoing members Henri GRETHEN and Danièle LEMARQUE respectively. They have both been appointed for the period from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2025. 

The Council also renewed the mandates of current members Alex BRENNINKMEIJER (NL), Klaus-Heiner LEHNE (DE) and Nikolaos MILIONIS (EL) for another six-year mandate. 

European External Action Service (EEAS) 
Paulo SOARES (PT) was appointed the head of mission for the new European Union Advisory Mission in the Central African Republic (EUAM RCA). The EUAM RCA was established by the EU Council on 9 December 2018 and should be launched next Spring. The mission aims to support the reform of internal security forces in the Central African Republic. SOARES is currently Head of Interoperability Cell of the military EU Training Mission in the Central African Republic. 

Permanent Representations 

President Kersti KALJULAID has appointed Rein TAMMSAAR, the country’s current ambassador to the Political and Secuirty Committee, as the new Permanent Representative to the EU, replacing Kaja TAEL. TAEL departs the Permanent Representation to take on the role of diplomatic representative for climate and energy policy in Estonia’s foreign office.  

Public Affairs 

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National News 

Arvo ALLER filled the vacant post of Minister for Rural Affairs on the 10 December. 

The opposition party, Civic Platform, have nominated Małgorzata Kidawa-BLONSKA as a nominee for the Presidential elections in May next year. She is to stand against incumbent Independent, Law and Justice Party (PiS) affiliated Andrzej DUDA. 

Minister for Health Andrea KALAVSKA has resigned. Prime Minister Peter PELLEGRINI will head the Health Ministry until the election in February next year. 

United Kingdom 
In a mini re-shuffle his week, Boris JOHNSON reappointed Nicky MORGAN as the culture secretary. MORGAN stood down as an MP before the general election, however, is received a peerage in order to carry on as culture secretary. 

Simon HART was made Welsh secretary cabinet, replacing Alan CAIRNS, who stood down earlier this year.




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