Movers and Shakers | 31 January 2020
Keep track of developments in the European institutions and public affairs with our Movers and Shakers column.
The Parliament welcomes its newest member Christian SAGARTZ (EPP, AT) to replace outgoing member Karoline EDTSTADLER who was elected to the Austrian Parliament earlier this year as Minister for the EU. SAGARTZ was the top on the list for Burgenland ÖVP and received 17,332 preferential votes, finishing eighth in the overall ÖVP results.
Composition of Political Groups
Martin BUSCHMANN (DE) has reigned from the GUE/NGL group after admitting after admitting that he had been a member of the German far-right NDP party in the 1990s. He now sits with non-attached members.
Theodoros ZAGORAKIS (EPP, EL) has been expelled from Greece’s ruling New Democracy party by the country’s prime minister Kyriakos MITSOTAKIS. The decision follows escalating government tension around football.
European People’s Party chair Donald TUSK declared on Wednesday that Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party would remain suspended from the group. The party was suspended last March over issues of democratic freedom and rule of law in Hungary.
Committees and Delegations
Agriculture and Rural Development Committee (AGRI)
Atidzhe ALIEVA-VELI (RE, BG) has moved from substitute to member, replacing Sheila RITCHIE (RE, UK).
Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL)
Atidzhe ALIEVA-VELI (RE, BG) who was previously a member, has left the committee.
Fisheries Committee (PECH)
Maite PAGAZAURTUNDÚA (RE, ES) who was previously a substitute, has left the committee.
Petitions Committee (PETI)
Maite PAGAZAURTUNDÚA (RE, ES) has joined as a substitute.
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Irène SOUKA has announced her retirement from the role of Director General. SOUKA has been in her current role for eleven year. Her replacement is yet to be decided. In the meantime, Deputy Director General Bernard MAGENHANN will take on SOUKA’s responsibilities.
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EU Institutions and Agencies
Council of the European Union
Diplomat João VALE DE ALMEIDA (PT) has been selected as the first post-Brexit ambassador to the UK has been selected will take up the role on 1 February. Until last year, VALE DE ALMEIDA was ambassador to the United Nations in New York and has also served as ambassador to the United States between 2010 and 2015.
European Investment Bank (EIB)
Thomas ÖSTROS (SE) has been appointed vice-president and member of the management committee effective 27 January, succeeding Alexander STUBB (FI).
Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI)
Ignazio CAPUANO has been elected the new chair. The mandate will last two years, effective immediately until the end of 2021.
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Florentine HOPMEIER has been appointed head of the Brussels office with immediate effect. She takes over from Gwilym JONES who left in October 2019.
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Following from the UK parliaments passing of the Withdrawal agreement last week, on Wednesday the European Parliament approved the Withdrawal agreement with 621 votes in favour, 49 against and 13 abstentions. On Friday 31 at 11pm GMT, the UK will leave the EU.
Minister for Health Milan KUJUNDZIC has been fired from his ministerial position over real estate issues.
Croatian prime minister Andrej PLENKOVIC said he will nominate Vili BEROS, assistant to the health minister, as health minister to replace Milan KUJUNDZIC.
Minister for Finance Andrej BERTONCELJ resigned from his position, over the feasibility of proposals put forward by the Minister for Health.
Prime Minister Marjan SAREC resigned on Monday over the minority government’s inability to pass key legislation, he has called for a snap election. The Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) are the largest opposition party and are expected to attempt to form a new government, with an early election occurring If this fails.
Minister for Health Ales SABEDER resigned from his position, he reportedly handed in his resignation over two weeks ago and was to come into effect with the submission of two key healthcare bills.