Movers and Shakers | 30 August 2019
Keep track of developments in the European institutions and public affairs with our movers and shakers column.
Current Belgian Foreign Minister Didier REYNDERS was confirmed as the Belgian nominee for the European Commission on Monday.
The Polish nominee for the Commission has changed, with Krzysztof SZCZERSKI withdrawing himself from consideration after Warsaw was offered an agriculture portfolio. Their new nominee is Janisz WOJCIECHOWSKI who is currently an auditor in the European Court of Auditors.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister António COSTA confirmed on Tuesday that Portugal had chosen deputy central bank governor and former MEP Elisa FERREIRA as its nominee for the European Commission. If she secures the approval of VON DER LEYEN and the European Parliament, FERREIRA will replace Carlos MOEDAS in the Portuguese seat on the Commission.
On Wednesday, ex-defence minister and former MEP Sylvie GOULARD was put forward as the French nominee for the European Commission by President Emanuel MACRON. GOULARD is currently deputy governor of the French central bank, but has recently faced criticism over alleged misuse of EU funds by her party during her time in the European Parliament.
In the face of the ongoing government crisis, Italy is still yet to confirm its nominee.
Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI)
Gaelle MARION is the new Head of Unit F1 (Conception and consistency of rural development), replacing Martin SCHEELE.
Antonia BUCHBINDER is the Head of Unit R5 (Document management, security and HR Business Correspondent) replacing former Acting Head of Unit Nicole MAGEL.
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Council of the European Union
The team welcomes new Deputy Permanent Representative Gregor SCHUSTERSCHITZ.
Political and Security Committee (PSC)
Christina KOKKINAKIS has been appointed as the Austrian ambassador, taking over from Alexander KMENTT.
European Data Protection Supervisor
Wojciech WIEWIÓROWSKI, Assistant Supervisor, is acting as a replacement for European Data Protection Supervisor Giovanni BUTTARELLI until the end of the current Assistant Supervisor’s term of office on 5 December 2019.
German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW)
Kerstin ANDREAE was appointed by the board as the new head starting from 1 November.
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Prime Minister Boris JOHNSON announced on Wednesday his intention to prorogue Parliament for four weeks ahead of the 31 October Brexit date, in order to restrict attempts by pro-European MPs to block a no deal Brexit and force an Article 50 extension. Parliament will be suspended between 9 and 12 September and will return on 14 October.
A group of anti-no deal MPs, including the leaders of the three main opposition parties, had agreed on Monday to pursue a legislative solution to try and force the government to seek an Article 50 extension; however following the proguration announcement they only have one week to act.
A new coalition government between the Five Star Movement and the Democratic Party (PES) appears very likely, after the two parties agreed on the formation of a new coalition government under imcumbent Prime Minister Giuseppe CONTE. CONTE has entered discussions with all parliamentary parties to try and find other supporters for the coalition, in order to secure a majority in the Italian Senate which the Five Star Movementand Democratic Party do not have on their own. The coalition shall need to be formally approved by both houses of the Italian parliament, with the Five Star Movement allowing their activists to vote on whether or not they support the new government.
Former Deputy Justice Minister Łukasz PIEBIAK resigned from the government on Tuesday after allegations emerged that he used internet trolls to attempt to smear judges opposed to the govenrments proposed judicial reforms.
The government no longer has a majority in the Romanian parliament following the resignation of the ALDE Party from the government, putting the Social Democrat (PES) led government at risk of a confidence motion.