Movers and Shakers | July 12 2019
Keep track of developments in the European institutions and public affairs with our movers and shakers column.
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The European Parliament is sticking to its plan to vote on the nomination of Ursula VON DER LEYEN for Commission President on 16 July. VON DER LEYEN will address MEPs at 09.00, followed by a three-hour debate. A secret ballot will then be held at 18.00. VON DER LEYEN will need to secure a majority of 374 votes. The Greens/EFA have already announced they will not support VON DER LEYEN for the Commission top job and she therefore faces an uphill battle to secure support over the next few days.
The European Parliament Committees met on Wednesday to elect their Chairs and vice-chairs following an intense week of horse-trading between the political groups. The only Committee that failed to reach a decision was the Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL). The only candidate for chair, Beata SZYDŁO was not elected on Wednesday and the meeting has therefore been adjourned until 15 July. Chairs of Committees and Subcommittees of the Parliament are as follows:
Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) – Norbert LINS (EPP, DE)
Budgets Committee (BUDG) - Johan VAN OVERTVELDT (ECR, BE)
Budgetary Control Committee (CONT) - Monika HOHLMEIER (EPP, DE)
Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) - Juan Fernando LOPEZ AGUILAR (S&D, ES)
Constitutional Affairs Committee (AFCO) – Antonio TAJANI (EPP, IT)
Culture Committee (CULT) - Sabine VERHEYEN (EPP, DE)
Development Committee (DEVE) - Tomas TOBÉ (EPP, SE)
Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) - Roberto GUALTIERI (S&D, IT)
Environment, Public Health, and Food Safety Committee (ENVI) - Pascal CANFIN (RE, FR)
Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) - David MCALLISTER (EPP, DE)
Fisheries Committee (PECH) – Chris DAVIES (RE, UK)
International Trade Committee (INTA) - Bernd LANGE (S&D, DE)
Industry, Research, and Energy Committee (ITRE) - Adina VALEAN (EPP, RO)
Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) - Petra DE SUTTER (Greens/EFA, BE)
Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) – Lucy NETHSINGHA (RE, UK)
Petitions Committee (PETI) - Dolors MONTSERRAT (EPP, ES)
Regional Development Committee (REGI) - Younous OMARJEE (GUE/NGL, FR)
Transport and Tourism Committee (TRAN) - Karima DELLI (Greens/EFA, FR)
Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee (FEMM) - Evelyn REGNER (S&D, AT)
Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) – Maria ARENA (S&D, BE)
Subcommittee on Security and Defence (SEDE) - Nathalie LOISEAU (RE, FR)
Frans TIMMERMANS (S&D, NL) relinquished his seat in the Parliament late last week, instead choosing to pursue a nomination for President of the European Commission, at which he ultimately failed. The vacancy left by TIMMERMANS has been filled by Lara WOLTERS who in the past has been a policy adviser on the Employment and Social Affairs Committee for the S&D Group.
Kyriakos VELOPOULOS (EL, ECR) resigned from his seat in the European Parliament on Monday following his election to the Greek Parliament. Emmanouil FRAGKOS shall take up the mandate.
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A number of countries have nominated Commissioners for the next term. Irish Taoiseach, Leo VARADKAR, has confirmed his intention to nominate Phil HOGAN for a second term as Ireland’s member of the European Commission. For the past five years HOGAN has served as the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.
Kadri SIMSON, a former Economics Minister, was nominated by current Estonian Prime Minister Jüri RATAS, both to complete the term of former Commissioner Andrus ANSIP and also as a member of the next College of Commissioners.
Meanwhile, Romania announced that they planned to nominate former MEP Ioan Mircea PAȘCU as their replacement of former Commissioner Corina CREŢU, however that nomination is only for the remaining term of the current Commission. Commission President Jean-Claude JUNCKER has said that he would not accept nominations for short-term replacements of departed Commissioners due to the additional cost of their appointment.
Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI)
Diego CANGA FANO has been appointed as a Principal Adviser to Deputy Director-General Angeles BENITEZ SALAS.
Rudolf MOEGELE has left the position of Deputy Director-General in charge of Directorates G, H and I; with Michael SCANNEL serving as Acting Deputy Director-General.
Alexis LONCKE has left the position of Head of Unit R2 (Direct financial management and accounting), with Panos MICHAELELIS serving as Acting Head of Unit.
Communication (DG COMM)
Natasha BERTAUD has been officially appointed as Deputy Spokesperson for the European Commission.
Jivka PETKOVA has left the position of Principal Advisor, with the post becoming vacant.
Communications Networks, Content & Technology (DG CONNECT)
Carlota REYNERS FONTANA has been appointed as Head of Unit B1 (Electronic Communications Policy), replacing Stefan LECHLER who departs as Acting Head of Unit.
REYNERS FONTANA therefore departs the position of Head of Unit B5 (Investment in High-Capacity Networks) with Franco ACCORDINO coming the new Head of Unit.
ACCORDINO departs from the position of Head of Unit R3 (Knowledge Management and Innovative Systems), with Andrea SERVIDA becoming Head of Unit.
Finally, SERVIDA departs as Head of Unit H4 (eGovernment and Trust) with Norbert SAGSTETTER becoming Acting Head of Unit.
European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)
Rita DI PROSPERO has become the new permanent Head of Unit C1 (Investigation Workflow), replacing former Acting Head of Unit Barbora BUHROVA.
European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO)
Arnaud DUPONT has become Head of Unit E2 (Programming, Control and Reporting) with Alberto GARRALON PEREZ departing the position of Acting Head of Unit.
Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE)
Hélène CLARK has left the position of Director of Directorate C (Fisheries Policy: Atlantic, North Sea, Baltic and Outermost Regions) with Bernhard FRIESS becoming Acting Director.
Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)
Emma UDWIN has become Head of Unit B.TF1 (Migration Assistance to Neighbouring Countries), replacing former Acting Head of Unit Jean-Christophe FILORI.
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European Court of Justice
Nils WAHL (SE) was appointed as judge for the period from 7 October 2019 to 6 October 2024. He will replace outgoing judge Carl Gustav FERNLUND.
Roberto MASTROIANNI (IT) and Ornella PORCHIA (IT) were appointed as judges to the General Court. Their term of office will run from 1 September 2019 to 31 August 2025. The appointments were made as part of the partial renewal of the composition of the General Court, which will see the term of office of 23 judges expire on 31 August 2019.
European Central Bank
Christine LAGARDE is set to be confirmed in October as the next president of the ECB after the region’s finance ministers formally signed off on the agreement reached by governments last week. The nomination now goes to the ECB’s Governing Council and the European Parliament for consultation, though neither can block her.
European External Action Service
Stefano TOMAT has been appointed Acting Director of the ISP (Integrated Approach for Security and Peace) Directorate, replacing Gabor IKLODY.
TOMAT therefore leaves the post of Head of Division ISP.1 (Concepts, Knowledge Management and Programmes) with Joao BARBEDO becoming Acting Head of Division.
The previous unit CPCC.3 (Mission support) has been split in two. The new CPCC.3 (Missions personel) still has previous Head of Division Stefan Alois HUBER as its head, while the new Division CPCC.4 (Missions operational support) has Giorgio PORZIO as Acting Head of Division.
On Tuesday High Representative Federica MOGHERINI announced several new Head of Delegations. Those taking their posts now having already successfully been accepted are Ignacio YBAÑEZ RUBIO, who becomes head of the Brazil delegation, Sónia NETO, who becomes head of the Guinea-Bissau delegation and Nicolás BERLANGA MARTINEZ, who becomes head of the Somalia delegation. There are also forty-three other nominations who shall take their posts if agreed to.
European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E)
A new leadership team has been confirmed. The newly elected team is led by president Hervé LAFFAYE, vice-president Zbyněk BOLDIŠ and chair of the board Joachim VANZETTA. LAFFAYE and VANZETTA replace respectively Ben VOORHORST and Bente HAGEM.
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Members of the House of Commons narrowly passes an amendment that is designed to prevent the next Prime Minister from proroguing Parliament in order to force through a no-deal Brexit against its wishes. The amendment, which was put forward by Dominic GRIEVE was passed by just one vote.
The New Democracy (EPP) party were victorious in Sunday’s elections, winning an overall majority in the Greek Parliament. Party leader Kyriakos MITSOTAKIS was officially appointed as Prime Minister on Monday, leading a government with a mix of both politicians and technocrats.
Former Prime Minister Alexis TSIPRAS of the Coalition of the Radical Left (EL) announced his intention to retain as party leader and will serve as Leader of the Opposition in the new parliament.
Former MEP, Lorenzo FONTANA is about to become the Minister for EU affairs, a post that has been vacant since March. FONTANA is currently serving as Minister for Family.