Movers and Shakers | 6 March 2020
Keep track of developments in the European institutions and public affairs with our Movers and Shakers column.
On Monday, President David SASSOLI gave a press conference in which he detailed measures that the Parliament will take in response to the outbreak of COVID-19. Access to Parliament buildings will be limited, many events and seminars will be cancelled, there will be no hearings in the committees and the organisation of delegations will be limited. Furthermore, next week’s plenary session will be held in Brussels rather than Strasbourg.
Catalan separatist leader Oriol JUNQUERAS’ request to be temporarily released from prison to serve as a MEP has been rejected by the EU General Court. JUNQUERAS’ was elected to the Parliament in May 2019’s elections but was prevented from taking his seat following his role in the 2017 Catalan Independence referendum. Although JUNQUERAS had contested that his election should constitute parliamentary immunity, a decision by the Spanish Supreme Court to the contrary was ultimately respected by the Parliament and his seat was made vacant in January.
Kira Marie PETER-HANSEN (DK) has been elected vice-president of the Greens/EFA group.
Chris MACMANUS (GUE/NGL, IE) has confirmed that he will replace outgoing member Matt CARTHY following CARTHY's election to the Dáil in the Irish General Election last month. MACMANUS has been councillor for Sinn Féin in Sligo (Midlands-North West) for many years and has been active in Irish Republican politics for over 20 years.
Former MEP Richard CORBETT (UK) has been appointed deputy head of Cabinet for Secretary General Klaus WELLE. CORBETT will be dealing with the Conference on the Future of Europe and constitutional matters.
Committees and Delegations
Legal Affairs Committee (JURI)
Hélène LAPORTE (ID, FR) joins as a substitute.
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Eszter BATTA has joined the team as a policy assistant and will focus on the Green Deal, the circular economy and standardisation. BATTA previously worked at DG GROW.
Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CONNECT)
Head of the private office at the European Data Protection Supervisor Christian D’CUNHA will join the unit on cybersecurity and digital privacy effective 2 March.
Economic and Financial Affairs (ECFIN)
Annika ERIKSGAARD MELANDER has left her position of Adviser on the structural features of national economies in Directorate F, leaving a vacant position.
Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (FISMA)
Incumbent acting Director-General and Deputy Director-General John BERRIGAN has been appointed Director-General with immediate effect. The position of Deputy Director-General is now vacant.
Human Resources and Security (HR)
Gertrud INGESTAD has been appointed Director-General and will take up the position as of 16 March. For the past four years INGESTAD has been Director-General in the Directorate-General for Informatics (DG DIGIT) and has also previously held positions as Resource Director in the Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT) and as Director for Digital Business in DG DIGIT.
Unit A4 (Budget and Finance), headed by Antje EWERTZ becomes Unit A2 replacing the Strategic Planning and Monitoring Unit, previously led by Petra KNEUER. A new Unit 01 has been created under the Director-General. The new unit (Digital Transformation and Coordination) will be led by Carl-Christian BUHR.
Migration and Home Affairs (HOME)
Myria VASSILIADOU has left her post as Principal Adviser, EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator within the DG. Deputy Director-General Olivier ONIDI will take on the responsibilities of EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator.
Katerina WOLFOVA replaces Bernadette FREDERICK as Head of Unit E2 (National Programmes and EMAS for South and East Europe)
Research and Innovation (RTD)
Ruta ZARNAUSKAITE replaces Anne HAGLUND-MORRISSEY as Head of Unit, Horizon Europe Association.
Jean-Claude BURGELMAN has left their position as Adviser, Open Access Envoy leaving a vacant tenure.
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EU Institutions and Agencies
Committee of the Regions
The ENVE Commission has appointed Rafał TRZASKOWSKI (EPP, PL) as rapporteur on the draft opinion on the ‘Climate Pact’. The commission has also appointed Tjisse STELPSTRA (ECR, NL) as rapporteur on the draft opinion ‘New Cicular Economy Action Plan’ and Juanma Moreno BONILLO (EPP, ES) as rapporteur on the draft opinion ‘European Climate Law: enshrining the 2050 climate neutrality objective’.
The SEDEC Commission has appointed Guido RINK (PES, NL) as rapporteur on the opinion ‘Artificial Intelligence – A European approach to excellence and trust’. János Ádám KARÁCSONY (EPP, HU) has been appointed rapporteur on ‘Demographic change: proposals on measuring and tackling its negative effects in EU regions’.
The COTER Commission has appointed Vojko OBERSNEL (PES, HR) as rapporteur on the Just Transition Fund.
EU Defence Agency (EDA)
Upon the recommendation of the EU High Representative of Foreign affairs and Security Policy, Josep BORRELL, the Steering Board has appointed former Czech defence minister Jiří ŠEDIVÝ as the new Chief Executive.
Max MÜLLER will take over as Head of Public Affairs, Germany and EU effective 1 May 2020.
Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe (EYCEY)
A new Executive Committee have been elected with Hannah WEBER becoming Chair.
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Two no-confidence votes were scheduled on Tuesday against president Emmanuel MACRON’s government over the controversial pension reform. However, both votes failed to receive the 289 votes needed to pass.
President Andrzej DUDA has appointed Konrad SZYMANSKI as Minister for the European Union, and Michal WOS as Minister of the Environment.
Slovakian Prime Minister Peter PELLEGRINI and the Smer-SD (PES) party have been ousted, as the opposition Ordinary People (EPP) party won 25 per cent of the vote in Saturday's general election. The prospective new Prime Minister, Igor MATOVIC’s Ordinary People party won 53 seats. 76 seats are needed to form a majority government. President Zuzana ČAPUTOVA has officially assigned MATOVIC with the creation of a new government.
Following poor election results, the leader of Progressive Slovakia (ALDE) Michal TRUBAN, and leader of Together (EPP) Miroslav BEBLAVY announced their resignations.
On Tuesday, Slovenian Democratic Party (EPP) leader Janez JANSA was elected as Slovenia’s new prime minister. JANSA received 52 votes in favour, and 31 against.