Movers and Shakers | 8 February 2016

Written by Dods People EU on 8 February 2016 in News

Keep track of developments in the European institutions and public affairs with our movers and shakers column.

European Parliament:

Inês Cristina ZUBER (GUE/NGL, PT) left her seat in the Parliament to prepare for impending motherhood. Joao PIMENTA LOPES replaced her as of 31 January.

Carolina PUNSET BANNEL (ALDE, ES) officially joined the Parliament on 3 February, replacing Juan Carlos GIRAUTA VIDAL who left to take his seat as an MP in the Spanish Parliament.

Vice-Chairs of the Committees, Subcommittees and the Delegations:
María Teresa GIMÉNEZ BARBAT (ALDE, ES) elected as Vice-Chair of the Delegation for relations with the Maghreb countries and the Arab Maghreb Union (D-MAG).

Members of the Committees, Subcommittees and the Delegations:
Julie GIRLING (ECR, UK) switched from substitute to member of the Committee of Inquiry into Emission Measurements in the Automotive Sector (EMIS).

Joao PIMENTA LOPES (GUE/NGL, PT) joined the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL), the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM), the Delegation for relations with the Federative Republic of Brazil (D-BR) and the Delegation to the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (D-LAT).

Substitutes of the Committees, Subcommittees and the Delegations:
Remo SERNAGIOTTO (ECR, IT) switched from member to substitute of the Committee of Inquiry into Emission Measurements in the Automotive Sector (EMIS).

Joao PIMENTA LOPES (GUE/NGL, PT) joined the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) and the Delegation for relations with Mercosur (D-MER).

Zoltán BALCZÓ (NI, HU) joined the Special Committee on Tax Rulings and Other Measures Similar in Nature or Effect (TAXE 2).

News on Delegations:
Delegation for relations with Palestine: Martina ANDERSON (GUE/NGL, IE) will lead the Delegation to the West Bank and Gaza from 8 to 12 February 2016, in order to assess the impact EU policies and assistance programmes are having on Palestinians’ lives, the human rights and the democratic developments. The agenda also includes the issue of the EU support to the rebuilding of Gaza, the illegal Israeli demolitions of EU-funded structures and the overall cost-effectiveness of EU assistance to the Palestinians. Ms ANDERSON will be accompanied by Margrete AUKEN (Greens-EFA, DK), Róża Gräfin von THUN UND HOHENSTEIN (EPP, PL), Eugen FREUND (S&D, AT), Patrick LE HYARIC (GUE/NGL, FR), Rosa D’AMATO (EFDD, IT) and Konstantinos PAPADAKIS (NI, EL).

National parties:
Poland: Robert Jarosław IWASZKIEWICZ (EFDD) left the Congress of the New Right and joined the Coalition for the Renewal of the Republic – Liberty and Hope (KORWiN), which is led by Janusz KORWIN-MIKKE (NI). IWASZKIEWICZ, who is Vice-Chair of the EFDD group will remain as part of the group for now.

Finland: Paavo VÄYRYNEN (ALDE) announced he was launching his own party, the ‘Citizens’ Party’, whose main goal will be to take Finland out of the eurozone. Before it can be officially registered however, it will need to gather 5000 signatures.


European Commission:

Directorates General:
Economic and Financial Affairs (ECFIN):
Vassili LEKAKIS has left his position as Principal Adviser.
Directorate D - International Economic and Financial Relations, Global Governance: Uwe STAMM became the new Acting Head of Candidate and pre-candidate countries, replacing Istvan JAKAB.
Directorate R – Resources and Communication: Mary MCCARTHY left her position as Adviser.

Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (EMPL):
Directorate R – Resources, Planning and Communication: Brigitte FELLAHI-BROGNAUX became the new Head of Strategic Planning, Budget Unit, replacing Eric TROTEMANN.

Health and Food Safety (SANTE):
Reshuffle: The number of units has been reduced from 40 to 37 and the number of Units reporting directly to the Director-General have been reduced from four to two. Among other changes, Dana Irina SIMOIN left her position as Head of Unit.
The following positions are vacant:
Head of Strategy and Coordination Unit, Information systems Unit, Directorate A,
Head of Health in all policies, global health, tobacco control Unit, Directorate B and
Head of Animal health and welfare Unit, Directorate G.

Martin SEYCHELL, Deputy Director-General for Health in charge of Directorates C and D, is now in charge of Directorates B and C.
Ladislav MIKO, Deputy Director-General for the Food safety in charge of Directorates E, F and G, is now in charge of Directorates D, E, F and G.

Directorate A – General Affairs became Resource management and better regulation:
Director: Matthew HUDSON.

New Directorate B – Health systems, medical products and innovation:
Director: Andrzej RYS (previously Director of Directorate D).

Directorate C – Public Health became Public health, country knowledge, crisis management:
Acting Director: John RYAN (Head of Health determinants and inequality Unit).

Directorate D – Health systems and products became Food chain; stakeholder and international relations:
Director: Michael SCANNEL (previously Director of Directorate F).

Directorate E – Safety of the food chain became Food and feed safety, innovation:
Director: Sabine JUELICHER.

Directorate F – Food and Veterinary Office became Health and food audits and analysis:
Acting Director: Frank ANDRIESSEN (Head of Country knowledge and work programme Unit).

Directorate G – Veterinary and International affairs became Crisis management in food, animals and plants:
Director: Bernard VAN GOETHEN.

Justice and Consumers (JUST):
Tiina ASTOLA officially took up her role as Director General on 1 February, replacing FONSECA MORILLO (Deputy Director General) who was Acting Director General.

Representations in the member States:
Spain: Aránzazu BERISTAIN IBARROLA appointed as Head of the Commission Representation in Madrid as of 1 February. Since March 2015 Ms BERISTAIN IBARROLA was acting Head of the Representation.


Public affairs:

European Association for Coal and Lignite (EURACOAL): Wolfgang CIESLIK elected as the new President for one year term, taking over from Zygmunt ŁUKASZCZYK. Vladimír BUDINSKÝ and Nigel YAXLEY were re-elected as Vice-President and were joined by newly elected Janusz OLSZOWSKI.

European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE): Victoria GERUS joined the team as Policy Officer on 1 February. Ms GERUS was previously Communications and Project Officer at EDSO for Smart Grids.

Hydrogen Europe (formerly known as NEW-­IG): Ex-MEP Jorgo CHATZIMARKAKIS (ALDE, DE) was appointed as the first permanent Secretary-General.


News in a nutshell:

Austria: Following the resignation of Rudolf HUNDSTORFER, SPÖ (S&D) as Minister for Labour, Social and Consumer Protection to run as candidate for the presidential elections on 24 April 2016 a mini reshuffle took place in the Austrian government. Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology, Alois STÖGER, SPÖ (S&D) took over from HUNDSTORFER. Minister for Defence and Sports Gerald KLUG, SPÖ (S&D) moved to the Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology. Hans Peter DOSKOZIL SPÖ (S&D) replaced Gerald KLUG as Minister for Defence and Sports. The reshuffle took effect on 26 January

Ireland: Prime Minister Enda KENNY, Fine Gael (EPP) called a general election on 26 February and dissolved the Parliament.

Lithuania: Health Minister Rimantė ŠALAŠEVIČIŪTĖ, Social Democratic Party (S&D) decided to resign over a corruption scandal, after she publicly admitted that she paid a bribe to a doctor a few years ago. Ms ŠALAŠEVIČIŪTĖ is expected to officially submit her resignation to the Prime Minister, Algirdas BUTKEVIČIUS, Social Democratic Party (S&D), who is on leave until 9 February.

Spain: King Felipe VI called on the leader of the Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party (S&D), Pedro SÁNCHEZ, to try to form a majority government. At the moment SÁNCHEZ is in talks with the other political parties, in order to ensure enough support to form a government.

United Kingdom: The President of the European Council, Donald TUSK (PL) tabled his draft deal on reforming UK’s relationship with the EU, ahead of the summit on 18 February. The draft proposes among others an emergency brake safeguard that would apply in exceptional circumstances and would restrict access to in-work benefits for a period of up to four years. First ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have urged David CAMERON not to hold an EU referendum in June, as this could affect the local and regional elections that will be held in May and risks confusing issues. However, CAMERON rejected the call to delay the referendum.

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