Movers and Shakers | 6 November 2017
Keep track of developments in the European institutions and public affairs with our movers and shakers column.
Today's Movers & Shakers are about: the outgoing and incoming MEPs, the new ECR group Vice-Chair, appointments in the European Commission and in public affairs, the new French Permanent Representative, latest on Catalonia, Brexit and more.
Cora VAN NIEUWENHUIZEN (ALDE, NL) left her seat in the European Parliament, following her appointment as minister for infrastructure, public works and water management in the new Dutch cabinet. Caroline NAGTEGAAL will replace her.
ECR Group: Peter VAN DALEN (NL) was elected as Vice-Chair, having previously served as bureau member of the group. He fills the sixth Vice-Chair seat, which was vacated after Ryszard Antoni LEGUTKO (PL) was appointed as co-chair of the group.
Composition of the committees and delegations:
Rory PALMER (S&D, UK) joined the committee on the environment, public health and food safety (ENVI) and the delegation for relations with the United States (D-US).
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Rory PALMER (S&D, UK) joined the committee on employment and social affairs (EMPL) and the delegation for relations with Switzerland and Norway and to the EU-Iceland joint parliamentary committee and the European Economic Area (EEA) joint parliamentary committee (D-EEA).
Bernd KÖLMEL (ECR, DE) joined the special committee on terrorism (TERR).
Ryszard Antoni LEGUTKO (ECR, PL) left the committee on the environment, public health and food safety (ENVI) and joined the committee on transport and tourism (TERR).
Rupert MATTHEWS (ECR, UK) joined the committee on the environment, public health and food safety (ENVI).
Barbara KAPPEL (ENF, AT) joined the committee on budgets (BUDG).
France JAMET (ENF, FR) joined the committee on the environment, public health and food safety (ENVI) and the committee on regional development (REGI).
Laurenţiu REBEGA (ENF, RO) left the committee on industry, research and energy (ITRE) and joined the committee on economic and monetary affairs (ECON).
Directorate-General for Budget (DG BUDG):
Directorate B – Own Resources and Financial Programming: Emmanuelle MAINCENT replaces Anne MONTAGNON as Head of Unit B4 (Control of VAT and GNI own resources), following Ms MONTAGNON's departure for DG MOVE. Ms MAINCENT joins DG BUDG from ECFIN, where she was Head of Unit B2 (Assessment and benchmarking of national reforms).
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Directorate General for Movement and Transport (DG MOVE):
Directorate A – Policy Coordination: Mona BJORKLUND becomes Head of Unit A1 (Coordination and Planning), assuming the role from her Deputy, Jorgen BJERRE, who was Acting Head of Unit. Ms BJORKLUND was previously Head of Unit C2 at the Secretariat-General.
Shared Resource Directorate (MOVE/ENER): Anne MONTAGNON becomes Head of Unit SRD3 (Budget and Financial Management), moving from DG BUDG. She takes over from her Deputy Head of Unit, Roman PARRA, who held the role on an acting basis.
Ladislav HAMRAN, currently Vice-President of Eurojust was appointed as the new president. He will replace Michèle CONINSX. His appointment will be submitted to the Council for approval.
France: Philippe LEGLISE-COSTA was appointed as the new permanent representative to the EU, succeeding Pierre SELLAL.
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European Aluminium: the association welcomed five new members during its General Assembly last week. The new members are: Aludium, an experienced company in the transformation and processing of aluminium, Boal, a designer and manufacturer of aluminim greenhouse roof systems for horticulture, the Liberty House Group, an international metals and industrial group, E-MAX, which provides very low carbon footprint solutions and processes recycled aluminium for extrusion applications, and Kuusakoski Recycling, a provider of industrial services and a processor and supplier of recycled metals in Northern Europe.
European Community Shipowners' Association (ECSA): Martin DORSMAN took up his new role as the new Secretary-General of the association on 1 November.
European Road Haulers Association (UETR): Marco DIGIOIA was appointed as the new Secretary-General, taking over from Lode VERKINDEREN. Prior to his appointment Mr DIGIOIA he was director of government affairs at the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
News in a nutshell:
Brexit: The negotiations between the two teams will be resumed on 9 and 10 November, it was announced in a joint statement issued by the European Commission and the Department for Exiting the European Union.
Brexit Secretary David DAVIS made an unexpected statement that the EU will probably benefit more in the immediate aftermath of Brexit than the UK will. He also told the cabinet that up to 8,000 new Whitehall jobs are being created so the civil service can deal with Brexit.
According to figures uncovered by the Best for Britain campaign group, the cost of employing British government staff in eurozone member states has been increased from £29m in 2015-16 to £33m in 2016-17.
Meanwhile, an inquiry was launched into multi-millionaire and prominent Brexit campaigner Arron BANKS to determine whether his “Better for the Country Ltd” firm breached finance rules during the EU referendum. The UK elections watchdog is also looking into whether Russia tried to interfere in the referendum.
MPs pilled pressure on ministers to publish nearly 60 studies on the impact of Brexit on several sectors, after backing Labour’s effort to have them released. Following the vote, Andrea LEADSOM, leader of the Commons announced that the government will publish the reports.
Lord Martin CALLANAN was appointed as Minister of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union, replacing Baroness ANELAY. The cabinet was reshuffled, following the resignation of defence secretary Michael FALLON amid a Westminster sex scandal. Gavin WILLIAMSON was named as the new defence secretary.
In other news, Governor of Bank England Mark CARNEY announced the first interest rate increase for a decade on Thursday 2 November. CARNEY said the fall in the pound after the EU referendum was a key factor for the decision.
Catalonia: Ousted Catalan president Carles PUIGDEMONT fled to Belgium last week over concerns for his safety, after charges of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement were brought again him and several other Catalan independence leaders. Speaking in Brussels on Tuesday, he said he was, “not here for asylum”, but "to explain the Catalan problem in the institutional heart of Europe." Read more.
A European arrest warrant was issued for PUIGDEMONT on Friday 3 November, while the High Court of Spain requested the eight sacked Catalan ministers to be remanded in custody. PUIGDEMONT and four former ministers turned themself in to the Belgian federal police and were freed later with conditions.
Czech Republic: Andrej BABIS, leader of ANO party and winner of the recent elections was tasked to form a government. However, he will try to form a minority government after parties refused to support a government with him.