Movers and Shakers | 8 November 2019
Keep track of developments in the European institutions and public affairs with our Movers and Shakers column.
Transport and Tourism Committee
Istvan UJHELYI (S&D, HU) has been elected 1st vice-chair, while Andris AMERIKS (S&D, LV) has been elected 3rd vice-chair.
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After Romania put forward the names of two MEPs Adina-Ioana VĂLEAN (EPP) and Siegfried MUREȘAN (EPP) as candidates to be the country’s next European Commissioner, president-elect Ursula VON DER LEYEN chose VĂLEAN for the transport portfolio. VĂLEAN’s confirmation hearing in Parliament is set for 14 November.
Uncertainty still surrounds the the UK’s involvement in the next Commission. On Wednesday, VON DER LEYEN wrote to UK prime minister Boris JOHNSON asking him to nominate a candidate and according to a transition official, a deadline has been set for Monday. JOHNSON has long said that he would not send a candidate and has so far resisted despite an extension to the Brexit date being set for 31 January 2020.
JURI Committee is expected to assess any possible conflicts of interests in these remaining candidates on 12 November with hearings following this on 14 November. On 19 November, the Conference of Committee Chairs is set to assess the outcome of all hearings. A vote on the whole college of Commissioners is then expected to take place in Plenary on 27 November.
Ursula von der Leyen (president-elect)
VON DER LEYEN has chosen Lithuania’s current deputy finance minister Migle TUSKIENE as her economic adviser and Per HAUGAARD, currently a director at the DG for Mobility and Transport as her trade adviser.
Janusz Wojciechowski (Agriculture)
WOJCIECHOWSKI has appointed Magdalena MAJERCZYK, a Polish European Parliament official, to lead his Cabinet until the new European Commission takes office. Maciej GOLUBIEWSKI, Poland’s consul in New York, will take up the post once the new Commission is in place.
Antigone GIKAS replaces Anne CLEMENCEAU as Head of Unit F5 (Education, health and social protection).
Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SME’s (GROW)
Valentina SUPERTI replaces Eric MAMER as Director (acting) of Directorate A (Competitiveness and European Semester).
Office for Administration and Payment of Individual Entitlements (PMO)
Lambros PAPADIAS becomes Head of the Secretariat of the Supervisory Committee of OLAF, taking over from Isabel VICENTE CARBAJOSA.
Regional and Urban Policy (REGIO)
Witold WILLAK takes on the role of Head of Unit F1 (Closure and Major Projects) in an acting capacity, replacing Deša SRSEN.
Wolfgang MUNCH takes on the role of Head of Unit G4 (Italy and Malta) in an acting capacity, replacing Nicolas GILBERT-MORIN.
Want to know more? Click here for more information on our Dods People EU service.
European University Association
The board has appointed Amanda CROWFOOT as new secretary-general, taking office on 6 January 2020. CROWFOOT will replace Lesley WILSON.
GPLUS and Portland Communications have announced the formation of a strategic partnership from January 2020.
Cecilia THORN – formerly with the UK Financial Reporting Council - has partnered with Stenström Consulting, a boutique lobbying firm in Brussels, where she will act as Special Advisor with focus on sustainable finance, financial and professional services.
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Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and Deputy Prime Minister Kasja OLLONGREN is temporarily stepping down due to health reasons. State Secretary for the Home Affairs Ministry Raymond KNOPS will take on the Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relation portfolio, and Minister for Social Affairs and Employment Wouter KOOLMES is taking over the portfolio of Deputy Prime Minister. Minister of Defence Ank BIJLEVELD takes over OLLENGREN’s responsibility for the General Intelligence and Security Service. Stientje VAN VELDHOVEN is being appointed as the temporary Minister for the Environment and Housing.
Ludovic ORBAN, leader of the National Liberal Party (EPP) had his center-right government voted in on Monday evening by MPs. The move was supported by 240 MPs. The government consists of fifteen portfolio ministers and one deputy prime minister.
For a complete list of the new Romanian cabinet, visit Dods People EU.
The first round of the presidential election take place this Sunday. Incumbent President Klaus IOHANNIS is standing for re-election. There are thirteen candidates in the race, however only three candidates are predicted to make it to the second round; former Prime Minister Viorica DANCILA, Save Romania Union leader Dan BARNA and Mircea DIACONU, who is running as an independent. The second round is set for the 24 November.
The speaker of Parliament Andrej DANKO has announced the next general election will take place on 29 February 2020.
The Left Party have withdrawn from Slovenia’s five-party ruling coalition. The move has affected the parliamentary majority of the Prime Minister’s coalition, who now hold 43 out of 90 seats. Prime Minister Marjan SAREC will have to find support on a case by case situation for individual legislation, or face calling an early election.
Spanish voters head to the polls on the 10 November, for the fourth time in four years. However, three polls released early this week indicate that the election will be unlikely to break the gridlock. The Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party (S&D) of caretaker prime minister Pedro SANCHEZ are on course to retain their numbers as the largest party, but are predicted to fall short of a majority.
Labour MP Sir Lindsay HOYLE was elected this week as the new House of Commons Speaker.