Movers and Shakers | 22 February 2016
Keep track of developments in the European institutions and public affairs with our movers and shakers column.
The Dods People EU team have put together a wall chart listing all Directorates-General. This includes Twitter accounts, all Directors-General, Vice-Presidents and Commissioners along with their nationalities. Download the wall chart here.
Ex- MEP (2004-2009, 2009-2014) Jaromír KOHLÍČEK (GUE/NGL, CZ) returned to the Parliament, replacing Miloslav RANSDORF who passed away in January. There are currently no outstanding vacant seats in the European Parliament.
On 18 February the think-tank “Friends of Europe” launched a new informal group on public health with MEPs joining the group. The event was hosted by Philippe DE BACKER (ALDE, BE) in the European Parliament, where the first out of the three high-level roundtables on disruptive innovation for health took place. MEPs will look at key challenges EU is faced with in the health sector, such as new healthcare technologies and the sustainability of the current healthcare systems in order to ensure a stronger EU action. The following MEPs have joined the Group on Health Policy:
Jill EVANS (Greens/EFA, UK),
Elisabetta GARDINI (EPP, IT),
Marian HARKIN (ALDE, IE),
Karin KADENBACH (S&D, AT),
Giovanni LA VIA (EPP, IT),
Gesine MEISSNER (ALDE, DE),
Alojz PETERLE (EPP, SI),
Pavel POC (S&D, CZ),
Olga SEHNALOVÁ (S&D, CZ)
International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO):
During the European Parliament DEVE meeting on 17 February, a representative of DG DEVCO announced that the Director-General, Fernando FRUTUOSO DE MELO, will be leaving the Commission on the March 1 2016 in order to head the Civilian House of the Portuguese President. His replacement is to be announced in due course.
Mobility and Transport (MOVE):
Directorate E – Aviation and International Transport Affairs: Filip CORNELIS (also Head of Aviation Safety) became Acting Director, replacing Margus RAHUOJA.
Regional and Urban Policy (REGIO):
Directorate F – Operational Efficiency and Central Europe: Sabina BOURDY (previously Head of Cyprus and Greece, Directorate G) became the new Head of Slovakia, replacing Christopher TODD.
Directorate G – Smart and Sustainable Growth and Southern Europe: Christopher TODD became the new Head of Italy and Malta, replacing Willebrordus SLUIJTERS. Willebrordus SLUIJTERS appointed Head of Greece and Cyprus, replacing Sabina BOURDY.
On Wednesday 17 February the Commission announced that it decided to transfer the “Task Force for the Turkish Cypriot Community” to the Secretariat General's Structural Reform Support Service (SRSS). The particular Task Force was part of the Directorate General for the regional policy (REGIO) and was set up in 2004, in order to assist the Turkish Cypriot to the preparations for the reunification of Cyprus and the application of the EU Aid Programme for the Turkish Cypriot Community. Under the new structure the Task Force will be under the direct management of President Jean-Claude JUNCKER and Vice-President Valdis DOMBROVSKIS.
European External Action Service (EEAS):
The mandate of Stavros LAMBRINIDIS as European Union Special Representative (EUSR) for Human Rights has been extended until 28 February 2017.
European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE): Catherine WOOLLARD was appointed as the new Secretary-General, succeeding Michael DIEDRING as from 16 February.
Shift2Rail: Carlo BORGHINI was nominated as the new Executive Director for a five-year term. The appointment will be effective by late spring 2016, subject to the completion of the administrative procedure of the recruitment.
News in a nutshell:
Bulgaria: Ex-Commissioner for Consumer Protection and current Deputy Prime Minister Miglena KUNEVA was elected Minister for Education and Science by the Parliament. The appointment of KUNEVA followed the resignation of Todor TANEV over systematic problems in the education system and controversial proposals for changes. Prior to this Prime Minister Boyko BORISOV had demanded his resignation.
France: The party of MEP Marine LE PEN, National Front was raided on Wednesday over allegations that it was using European Parliament’s funds to pay twenty party assistants in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, who were listed as party workers as well. The case was first emerged back in early 2015 by the anti-fraud authorities of the Parliament. On other news in France, the Minister for Environment, Energy and Maritime, in charge of international relations for the climate, Ségolène ROYAL was named as the new President of COP 21. The decision follows the resignation of Laurent FABIUS earlier this week who was previously holding the post previously. FABIUS stepped down due to controversy surrounding his appointment as President of the Constitutional Council, and worries over a possible conflict of interest if he stayed on as head of COP21.
Ireland: Irish voters head to the polls on Friday 26 February.
United Kingdom: Prime Minister David CAMERON announced that the UK referendum on EU membership will be held on 23 June, after reaching an agreement at the EU summit.
Potential candidate states:
Bosnia and Herzegovina: officially submitted its application for EU membership on 15 February. The European Commission along with the 28 member states will review the application and if it gets the green light the status of the country will change from potential candidate to candidate state.
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