Movers and Shakers | 26 February 2018

Written by Ifigenia Balkoura on 26 February 2018 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: the reshuffle in the European Commission in details, the new composition of the Parliament's political groups, the new Vice-Chair of AGRI committee, the new Secretary-General of the European Investment Fund, Brexit and more.


European Parliament:

Composition of the political groups:
Rikke-Louise KARLSSON (DK) defected from the ECR group and now sits as an independent MEP. As she announced on her Facebook page, she had not been voting in line with the group’s positions for a long time. She also mentioned that OLAF is still investigating her political mandate regarding funds for MELD and FELD foundations through the Danish Peoples’ Party, of which she used to be member, something that affected her decision. 
David BORELLI (IT) left the EFDD group for health issues and now sits as an independent MEP.

The new seat breakdown is as follow:

National parties:
Elisabeth MORIN-CHARTIER (EPP) left the Republicans and now sits as an independent MEP.

Composition of the committees and delegations:

Maria Gabriela ZOANĂ (S&D, RO) was elected as the new fourth Vice-Chair of the committee on agriculture and rural development (AGRI), replacing Viorica DĂNCILĂ (S&D, RO), who is Romania’s new Prime Minister.

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Mini plenary session:
The session will take place from 28 February to 1 March. A new Parliament Vice-President will be elected on 1 March, to replace Ryszard CZARNECKI, while MEPs will also discuss the setting up of a new special committee on financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance. 


Get to know:

 Julie WARD (S&D, UK) in 5 questions.
Mrs WARD has been an MEP since 2014. She is member of  the committee on culture and education (CULT) and the delegation for relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo (D-SEE). She has an interesting story to tell.


European Commission:

On Wednesday 21 February, European Commission President Jean-Claude JUNCKER announced a major reshuffle to his cabinet and the Directorates-General.

Following the retirement of Alexander ITALIANER, the College of the Commissioners appointed Martin SELMAYR as the new Secretary-General as of 1 March.
Pia AHRENKILDE-HANSEN, currently Director for Communication for Representations in DG Communication was appointed as principal adviser. She will be acting deputy Secretary-General as of 1 March too.
Two new deputy Secretaries-General will be appointed by April to replace Jean-Eric PAQUET (see below) and Paraskevi MICHOU, who will become the new Director-General of DG Migration and Home Affairs as of 1 March.

Cabinet of Jean-Claude JUNCKER:
Clara MARTINEZ ALBEROLA, currently deputy head of cabinet was promoted to head of cabinet, replacing Martin SELMAYR. Richard SZOSTAK, currently diplomatic adviser to JUNCKER will replace MARTINEZ ALBEROLA as deputy head of cabinet.

Appointments factsheet:
Clara MARTINEZ ALBEROLA becomes the first ever woman and Spanish national appointed as chief of staff of a Commission president, while SELMAYR is the first ever German national at the helm of the EU civil service. He is the Commission’s seventh Secretary-General.

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

New Directors-General and Deputy Directors-General:
DG Climate Action (CLIMA):
Mauro PETRICCIONE, currently deputy Director-General in DG Trade, was appointed as Director-General as of 1 April. He will replace Jos DELBEKE. A new deputy Director-General will be appointed by April.

DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (EAC): Themis CHRISTOPHIDOU, currently head of cabinet for Commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management, Christos STYLIANIDES was appointed as Director-General. She will take over from Martine REICHERTS, who retired at the end of January. The position is currently held by deputy Director-General Jens NYMAND-CHRISTENSEN on an acting basis. Viviane HOFFMAN, currently director for communication with the citizens in DG Communication, was appointed as deputy Director-General

DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (EMPL): Joost KORTE, currently deputy Director-General of DG Trade, was appointed as Director-General. He will replace Michel SERVOZ.
Andriana SUKOVA, currently director for investment in the same DG, was appointed as deputy Director-General, a position that is currently vacant.

DG Energy: Dominique RISTORI’s mandate as Director-General has been extended. A new deputy Director-General will be appointed by April.

DG Eurostat: Mariana KOTZEVA, currently deputy Director-General of the DG was appointed as Director-General, a position she is acting in. A new deputy Director-General will be appointed by April.

DG Health and Food Safety (SANTE): Céline GAUER, currently Director for markets and cases I - Energy and Environment in DG Competition, was appointed as deputy Director-General.

DG Human Resources and Security (HR): Irene SOUKA’s mandate as Director-General has been extended.

DG International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO): Koen DOENS, currently Director for EU-Africa Relations, East and Southern Africa in the same DG, was appointed as deputy Director-General. Henriette GEIGER, currently Head of Unit, East, South-East Asia and the Pacific was appointed as Director. Felix FERNANDEZ-SHAW, currently member of cabinet of Federica MOGHERINI was also appointed as Director in the DG.

DG Research and Innovation (RTD): Jean-Eric PAQUET, currently deputy Secretary-General of the Commission was appointed as the new Director-General, replacing Robert-Jan SMITS. Signe RATSO, currently director for trade strategy and market access in DG Trade, was appointed as deputy Director-General.

DG Trade: Jean-Luc DEMARTY’s mandate as Director-General has been extended. Two new deputy Directors-General will be appointed by April.

European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC): Current Director-General Michel SERVOZ (DG EMPL) was appointed as Hors Classe Adviser for robotics, artificial intelligence and future of the European labour law.
Director-General Robert-Jan SMITS (DG RTD) was appointed as senior adviser with responsibilities to be determined.
Director-General Jos DELBEKE (DG CLIMA) was appointed as senior adviser for relations with the Florence European University Institute.  

Appointments factsheet:
The appointments raise the percentage of women in Directors-General Deputy Directors-General roles from 11 per cent back in November 2014 to 36 per cent, to reach the target of 40 per cent by October 2019.

Further appointments:
Jyrki KATAINEN team:
Risto ARTJOKI, currently State Secretary at the ministry of finance in Finland, will become the new head of cabinet as of mid-March, replacing Ruho ROMAKKANIEMI.

DG Communication (COMM):

Directorate A – Strategy and Corporate Communications: Dana MANESCU was appointed as acting head unit, social media.
Directorate D – Resources: Carsten LIETZ left his post as acting Head of Unit, Logistics. He is currently acting Head of Unit, Domain Leadership and HR Business Correspondent, reporting directly to the Director-General.

DG Energy (ENER):
Directorate E – Euratom Safeguards: Petra KLUMPP was appointed as Head of Unit, Inspections: reactors, geological repositories and other installations, replacing Valenti CANADELL BOFARULL, who was acting the role.

Directorate B – Methodology: corporate statistical and IT services: Eduardo BARREDO CAPELOT, previously Director of Directorate D was appointed Director, taking over from Emanuele BALDACCI.
Directorate D – Government finance statistics (GFS) and quality: Luca ASCOLI was appointed as acting Director, replacing Eduardo BARREDO CAPELOT.
Lena FREJ OHLSSON was appointed as acting Head of Unit, Excessive deficit procedure (EDP) 2, replacing Eduardo BARREDO CAPELOT, who was also acting the position.

DG Human Resources (HR):
Directorate B – Talent Management and Diversity: Stefan TOSTMANN was appointed as acting Diversity Adviser, replacing Thinam JAKOB.
Directorate D – Health, Wellbeing – Working Conditions: Maria-José VIDAL-RAGOUT, previously Head of unit, Non-communicable diseases and the challenge of healthy ageing (Directorate E) in DG RTD, was appointed as Head of Unit, Medical Service Brussels, replacing Elisabeth DE MEULDER. Micheline ADAM-GERARD was appointed as acting Head of Unit, Medical Absences.
Directorate DS – Security: Dick DOKTER was appointed as Head of Unit, Operations, replacing Richard SONNENSCHEIN, who was acting in the role.

DG Internal Market, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROW):
Andrzej RUDKA left his post as Adviser.
Inigo URRESTI was appointed as acting Head of Unit, Strategic Planning and Delivery, replacing Olivier GIRARD.

DG Research and Innovation (RTD):
Directorate E – Health: Karim BERKOUR was appointed as acting Head of Unit, Non-communicable diseases and the challenge of healthy ageing, replacing Maria-José VIDAL-RAGOUT.

Secretariat-General (SG):
Directorate D – Policy Co-ordination I: Olivier GIRAND was appointed as Head of Unit, Internal Market and Competitiveness, replacing Marcel HAAG, who was acting in the role.


Advancement of good practices in recycling of steel for packaging:


APEAL (the Association of European Producers of Steel) and the Parliament Magazine, are organising a high-level conference focused on the advancement of good practices in recycling of steel for packaging.

The conference will take place on Wednesday 11 April 2018, Thon Hotel EU, from 09:00 to 17:00 followed by an evening reception until 18:30.
The theme of this event will focus on the role of recycling in the transition towards a more circular economy in Europe. Specific attention will be given to how policymakers and stakeholders can work together to fully close the loop on steel packaging recycling in all countries in Europe. This will be illustrated by concrete examples drawn from the APEAL White Book of good practices in collection, sorting and recycling of steel packaging.

The speakers include:
Gwenole COZIGOU, DG Grow, European Commission
Julius LANGENDORFF, DG Environment, European Commission
Eve TAMME, Permanent Representation of Estonia to the EU
Joachim QUODEN, Expra    
Bill BOYD, Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association (MPMA)

The objective is to highlight the importance of the circular economy for Europe and how, if Europe is to move towards a more resource efficient future, recycling will be crucial in helping EU member states to achieve the objectives of the circular economy package.

For further information and to register your interest, please contact the events team: | +44 207 593 5672



ASEM day:

On the occasion of ASEM Day, the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Parliament Magazine are delighted to invite you to a public event followed by a reception at the European Parliament Members' Salon.

The event will focus on the role that the ASEM (the Asia-Europe Meeting) can play in boosting sustainable connectivity between Asia and Europe. The evening reception will be preceded by speeches by members of the European Parliament and Mr Gunnar Wiegand, Managing Director for Asia and Pacific at the European External Action Service (EEAS).

The objective of the event, organised by the EEAS with the support of the EU Partnership Instrument (PI), will be to discuss the role of ASEM in boosting sustainable connectivity in preparation for the next biannual ASEM Summit, scheduled to take place in Brussels on 18-19 October 2018. The Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting (ASEP) plays an important role in the run-up to this event. More information on ASEM, the upcoming Summit and meetings can be found here.

For further information and to register your interest, please contact the events team: | +32 2 741 55 68 ​


European Investment Fund (EIF):

Marjut SANTONI was appointed as Secretary-General as of 1 March, succeeding Klaus TRÖMEL.


Committee of the Regions (CoR):

Isolde RIES (PES, DE) was appointed as rapporteur on the working conditions directive.


Public affairs:

Got any new appointment you would like us to include in our next newsletter? Contact Ifigenia Balkoura!

acumen public affairs: Thomas BOLS joined the team as strategy director. In his new role he will be focusing on the company’s healthcare practice.

Red flag: Ognjenka MANOJLOVIC, previously Laco & Partners in Croatia (FTI Consulting Affiliate) and Vasiliki CHATZIVASILEIOU, formerly a local assistant for MEP Theodoros ZAGORAKIS (EPP, EL) joined the agency as account executives in the Brussels office. Deirdre GRANT, previously director of public affairs for Teneo PSG, also joined the firm as managing director for Ireland.


News in a nutshell:

Brexit: a new anti-Brexit party was launched earlier this week. The “Renew” already has more than 1000 supporters, with 450 people already applying to stand as candidates in future elections. The party is campaigning for a referendum on the final deal.

The department for exiting the EU has published the UK’s negotiating position on the arrangements of the implementation period. The document suggests that the UK government still aims for a two-year implementation period but the duration ‘should be determined simply by how long it will take to prepare and implement the new processes and new systems that will underpin the future partnership’.

Meanwhile, more than 60 Conservative MPs have signed a letter to Theresa MAY demanding she follows through with a 'hard Brexit' that allows the UK to start negotiating trade deals from next year.

Speaking to the Parliament Magazine, ECR group member Charles TANNOCK, responded to Theresa MAY’s speech last week at the Munich Security Conference and admitted that the UK’s continued membership of some EU agencies could be “extremely problematic” in the future.

UK government officials met with their EEA EFTA counterparts in order to extend the deal to each other’s citizens. The move comes as engagement between the UK and the EEA EFTA members intensifies. It also follows the agreement reached between the EU and UK in December to secure the rights of the 3.5 million EU citizens living in the UK and the 1.4 million UK citizens living in the 27-member states.

A key cabinet meeting was held on Thursday, where pro-Brexit ministers claimed victory after the cabinet committee agreed a compromise deal on the future relationship with the EU. Theresa MAY is set to give a key speech next Friday, when she will give more details on her government’s position.

Cyprus: the new cabinet will take office on 1 March.



About the author

Ifigenia Balkoura is editor of the European Union & Public Affairs Directory (EPAD).


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