Movers and Shakers | 8 January 2018

Written by Ifigenia Balkoura on 8 January 2018 in News

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

Today's Movers & Shakers are about: the Bulgarian presidency, the new German MEP, the Parliament Magazine's discussion on “how the EU can help women entrepreneurs shape its future’, latest appointments in the European Commission and in public affairs, Brexit, the Italian elections and more.


European Parliament:

Michael DETJEN (S&D, DE) joined the Parliament as member, replacing Jutta STEINRUCK as of 1 January.

Composition of the committees and the delegations:

Peter JAHR (EPP, DE) joined the committee on budgetary control (CONT).

National parties:
Tokia SAÏFI (EPP, FR) left the Republicans and joined the newly launched Agir, la droite constructive (Act, the constructive right).


‘From Dreaming to Achieving: How the EU can help women entrepreneurs shape its future’

Parliament Magazine is organising a parliamentary discussion with the European Centre for Women and Technology on Wednesday 24 January on “how the EU can help women entrepreneurs shape its future’”.
The discussion, hosted by Eva KAILI (S&D) and joined by Biljana BORZAN (S&D), will be centred on a high priority EU agenda, focusing on how women can play a dynamic role in Europe’s economic growth and completeness. Nadja HIRSCH (ALDE, DE) and Denitsa SACHEVA, deputy minister of education, youth and science of Bulgaria will join the panel and share their insights

The event will discuss the development of digital entrepreneurial skills and the use of crowdfunding as a mechanism to fund new start-up and social enterprises around Europe.

Bringing together EU policymakers, entrepreneurship trainers as well as National stakeholders, the event aims at creating a dialogue on how to ensure women play an active part in this journey and will highlight key findings and the toolkit developed by the WaW project – We are dreamers, we are shapers, we are what we want to be! –

To register your interest or for further information, please contact:, or call +44 207 593 5672


European Commission:

Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI):

Directorate B – Quality, Research and Innovation, Outreach: Alberto D'AVINO, Deputy Head of Unit B2 (Research and Innovation) takes over as Head of Unit, following the departure of Rob PETERS.

Directorate-General for Budget (DG BUDG):
Rosa ALDEA BUSQUETS has been appointed as Deputy Director-General at DG BUDG, a position she currently holds on an acting basis. Ms ALDEA BUSQUETS will move from her current role as Director of Directorate C (Budget Execution – General Budget and EDF).

Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME):
Directorate E – Migration and Security Funds, Financial Resources and Monitoring: Beate GMINDER becomes Director, taking over from Deputy Director-General for Migration, Simon MORDUE, who held the role on an interim basis. Ms GMINDER joins DG HOME from the European Ombudsman, where she held the title of Secretary General.

Want to know more? Click here for information on our Dods People EU service.

Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers (DG JUST):
Directorate C – Fundamental Rights and Rule of Law: Emmanuel CRABIT becomes Director of Directorate C, a position he previously held on an acting basis.

Interpretation Directorate-General (DG SCIC):
Interpretation Department V: Natalia SANCHEZ GUILARTE has been appointed Director of Interpretation Department V, a position she previously held in an acting capacity. She continues to hold her position as Head of Unit A18 (Interpretation ES), but on an interim basis.
Directorate S – Resources and Support: Following José Manuel BASTOS' departure for DG CNECT, Gianluca PECCHI becomes acting Head of Unit S1 (Conference Organisation). Mr PECCHI is Director of Directorate S.

Task Force for the Preparation and Conduct of the Negotiations with the UK under Article 50 (TF50):
Stéphanie RISO becomes Director of the Strategy, Coordination and Communication Unit within TF50, a position she previously held on an acting basis.

Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD):
Directorate C – Indirect Taxation and Tax Administration: Carola MAGGIULLI becomes Acting Head of Unit C2 (Indirect Taxes other than VAT), following Thomas CARROLL's departure.


Bulgarian Presidency:

Bulgaria took up the rotating EU Council presidency on 1 January for the first time since it joined the block. Bulgarian MEPs talked to the Parliament Magazine about the milestone in the country’s politics.

Eva MAYDELL (EPP) said that “It will be the first time that many of us will have to see ourselves as representatives not only of our local or national constituencies, but of the Union as a whole. That is no small responsibility to reckon with. 

According to Georgi PIRINSKI (S&D) the presidency will promote policies that target the young people.

Iskra MIHAYLOVA (ALDE), chair of the regional development committee, expects real debate on the future of EU finances beyond 2020, as well as structural reforms. She also stressed the importance of making full use of the synergies between ESI funds, EFSI and other funding sources and financial instruments.

EPP group member Emil RADEV said that during its presidency, Bulgaria will seek consensus and joint efforts on asylum and migration policies, as part of its priorities.

S&D group deputy Peter KOUROUMBASHEV expressed his disappointment with the presidency’s programme when it comes to energy.

Angel DZHAMBAZKI (ECR) highlighted the country’s role in developing relations with the Balkan countries and discussed furthering their EU perspectives.



Eamonn BRENNAN was appointed as the new Director General as of 1 January, succeeding Frank BRENNER.


EFTA Court:

Páll HREINSSON was elected as president for a three-year term, starting as of 1 January.


Public affairs:

Got any new appointment you would like us to include in our next newsletter? Contact Ifigenia Balkoura!

BirdLife International: Zeynep KARASIN left her role as media officer as of 20 December. She will join the team of MEP Soraya POST (S&D, SE) from the Feminist Initiative focusing on communications.

European Aluminium Association: Benedetta NUCCI joined the association in January 2018 as environmental manager building & mobility. Prior to joining, she worked in Italy as a consultant on Life Cycle Assessment and Environmental Footprint and as a policy officer in DG Environment’s Environmental Footprint team. Benedetta holds a PhD in “Management: innovation, sustainability and healthcare” from Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies (Pisa, Italy) and a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pisa (Italy).

European Christian Political Movement (ECPM): Auke MINNEMA was appointed as the new General Manager, as of 1 February 2018

European Coordination Committee of the Radiological, Electromedical and Healthcare IT Industry (COCIR): Annika EBERSTEIN joined the team as technical and regulatory affairs manager, taking over from Bjorn DELBEECKE.

European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO): Phillip MALLOCH, Vice President at Telia Company, succeeded Steven TAS as chairman of the association as of 1 January.

Europêche: Daniel VOCES DE ONAÍNDI, was appointed as Managing Director, having previously served as policy advisor for 5 years. Rosalie TUKKER was also appointed as fisheries policy officer assistant.

German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF): Jan TECHAU joined as director of the European program and senior fellow as of 2 January. Based in Berlin office, he will be leading the organisation’s research and convening on Europe’s democracy, security, and cohesion.

International Association of Public Transport (UITP): Mohamed MEZGHANI succeeded Alain FLAUSCH as Secretary-General.

International Road Transport Union (IRU): Boris BLANCHE was appointed as Managing Director. In his new role, which is newly created Mr BLANCHE will be focusing on the organisations’s advocacy work in addition to his current role entailing operations and finance. 

FORATOM: Teodor CHIRICA was appointed as president for a two-year period starting on 1 January 2018. Esa HYVÄRINEN, senior Vice-President of corporate relations at Fortum, was also elected as Vice-President.

Miltton: Kaisa SORO-PESONEN was appointed as Managing Director of Miltton Brussels, subsidiary of Miltton Group. She will start her new role on 22 January. Current Managing Director, Jan STORE will be serving as senior partner.

Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU): Ilaria PASSARANI was appointed as the new Secretary-General as of 09 March 2018, taking over from Jūratė ŠVARCAITĖ.


News in a nutshell:

Catching up since our last Movers and Shakers

Brexit: On Wednesday 20 December, Michel BARNIER said that the transition period should be 21 months, three months shorter than Theresa MAY suggested.
In other news, the first secretary of state Damian GREEN was sacked after a probe found he lied about porn being found in his working computer. GREEN is the third cabinet member to leave the government in just two months’ time. A reshuffle will be announced on Monday 8 January. A new role for no deal will reportedly be created in the cabinet.
In the field of trade, Government officials are reportedly considering the possibility of joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership post-Brexit. Brexit secretary David DAVIS warned that the EU cannot “cherry pick” the terms of the future trade deal
EU Commissioner for security union Julian KING told Evening Standard that time was not right to move the talks on the future relationship. The Brit added that his country needs to be “clear about what it wants”.

Germany:  Official exploratory coalition talks between CDU/CSU and SPD began on 7 January.

Italy: the Italian parliament was dissolved on 28 December, after the it was decided that the general election will be held on 4 March.

Poland: In an unprecedented move, the European Commission launched disciplinary measures against Poland, by triggering article 7, leading lead to the suspension of Poland’s voting rights at Council summits. MEPs welcomed the move.

About the author

Ifigenia Balkoura is editor of the European Union & Public Affairs Directory (EPAD).


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