Movers and Shakers | 1 August 2016

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

By Ifigenia Balkoura

01 Aug 2016

Today’s Movers and Shakers are about: new EU chief negotiator on Brexit, new Head of EU delegation in Turkey, new Deputy Directors-General and more.


European Parliament:

Substitutes of the Committees, Subcommittees and the Delegations:
Traian UNGUREANU (EPP, RO) joined the Delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula (D-ARP).


European Commission:

NEW ROLE: On 27 July President JUNCKER appointed Michel BARNIER as ‘Chief Negotiator in charge of Preparation and Conduct of Negotiations with the UK under Article 50’. Mr BARNIER is currently a Special Adviser to the Commission on European Defence and Security Policy, a role he was appointed to by President JUNCKER in February 2015. He served as Vice-President during the second Barroso Commission, and as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the French government between 2004-05. In his new role he will lead a Commission Taskforce that will bring together experts and Director-Generals and will report directly to the President. The principle ‘no negotiation without notification’ has been enforced within the Commission meaning that Mr BARNIER will be preparing internally in anticipation of the triggering of Article 50, after which he will be able to negotiate openly with the UK and the 27 member states. He will take up his new position on 1 October 2016. Read more.

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Frans TIMMERMANS’ team: Alice RICHARD left her position as member of cabinet.

Economic and Financial Affairs (ECFIN):

Directorate R – Resources: Michaela DI BUCCI was appointed as Director, with her start date yet to be determined. Ms DI BUCCI is currently Head of Unit, ‘Cyprus Settlement Support’, at the Structural Reform Support Service (SRSS). She will replace Joost KUHLMANN who is acting in the role and is an adviser in the directorate.

Health and Food Safety (SANTE):
Directorate C – Public Health, Country Knowledge, Crisis Management: John F. RYAN was appointed as Director, as of 1 September 2016. Mr RYAN is currently Head of Unit, ‘Health Determinants and Inequality’, as well as acting Director for Directorate C.

Informatics (DIGIT):
Mario CAMPOLARGO was appointed as Deputy Director-General, as of 1 September 2016. Mr CAMPOLARGO is currently Director, ‘Future Networks’, in DG Information and Communications Technologies (CNECT). He will be filling a vacant position.

Interpretation (SCIC):
Carlos ALEGRIA was appointed as Deputy Director-General, as of 1 September 2016. Mr ALEGRIA is currently Director, ‘Resources and Support’, in DG SCIC. Presently the DG does not have a Deputy Director-General so this will be a new role.

Joint Research Centre (JRC):
Charlina VITCHEVA was appointed as Deputy Director-General, as of 1 September 2016. Ms VITCHEVA is currently Director, ‘Smart and Sustainable Growth and Southern Europe’, in DG Regional and Urban Policy.

Research and Innovation (RTD):
Ruxandra DRAGHIA-AKLI was appointed as Deputy Director-General, as of 1 September 2016. Ms DRAGHIA-AKLI is currently Director, ‘Health’, in DG RTD.

Secretariat General (SG):
Directorate D – Policy Co-ordination I: Marcel HAAG was appointed as Director, as of 1 September 2016. At present, Mr HAAG is Head of Unit, ‘Europe 2020, European Semester, Economic Governance’, in Directorate D. He will replace Deputy Secretary-General Jean-Eric PAQUET who has been acting in the role.
Directorate F – Relations with other institutions: Enrico FORTI was appointed as Director, as of 1 September 2016. Mr FORTI’s current role is Head of Unit, ‘Policy Implementation and Planning’, in DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology. He will be replacing Pascal LEARDINI.

European Council:

The Council adopted a revised order in which the member states will hold the Presidency until 2030, following the decision of the UK to relinquish the presidency in the second half of 2017. All presidencies were brought forward by six months, while Croatia was added in the calendar for the first half of 2020.

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European External Action Service (EEAS):

External Delegations:
Christian BERGER was appointed as Head of EU Delegation in Turkey, replacing Hansjörg HABER who announced his resignation in June. Mr BERGER is currently Director/ Deputy Managing Director, ‘Middle East and North Africa’. He will take up his new position on 1 August.


European Agencies:

European Research Council Executive Agency (ERCEA):
José PABLO AMOR has been re-appointed as Director for a period of four years, beginning on 1 August 2016. Mr PABLO AMOR has been Director for five and a half years.


European Investment Bank (EIB):

Board of Governors: Alenka SMERKOLJ was appointed as Member on 26 July. This follows her temporary appointment on 14 July as Minister of Finance of Slovenia following the unexpected resignation of former Minister Dušan MRAMOR, who left his post citing personal reasons.


Public affairs:

European Agricultural Machinery Industry Association (CEMA): Richard MARKWELL was re-elected as President for another two-year term.

European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA): Paul SCHOCMEL announced that he will be stepping down from his position as CEO by the end of August. Current Deputy CEO in charge of global governmental affairs and communications, Amalia DI STEFANO will be acting the role.

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European Federation of Bottled Waters (EFBW)Ermis PANAGIOTOPOULOS will take on his new role as Sustainability Manager at the beginning of October. Mr PANAGIOTOPOULOS will be following EU legislation in the environmental and scientific fields, with a special focus on circular economy and resource efficiency. He will move from Fertilizers Europe, where he has been working for the last six and a half years as Agriculture and Environment Senior Policy Advisor. 

RPP Group (formerly known as Rohde Public Policy): bolstered its advocacy offering by appointing Thomas KRINGS as Senior Director, Advocacy and Policy. Mr KRINGS was previously Deputy Secretary-General of the ALDE Group in the European Parliament  and during his career he has also served as member of European Commission Vice President Olli REHN’s cabinet.

World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO): Sylvie FORBIN was proposed to be appointed as Deputy Director-General of Copyright and Creative Industries Sector. The appointment should be confirmed on 12 September at the WIPO Coordination Committee.


News in a nutshell:

Member states:
: The presidential elections will be held on 6 November 2016, it was announced on Friday.

Spain: King Felipe met with the leaders of the four main parties on Thursday in an attempt to put an end to the seven-month political deadlock after two inconclusive elections. Acting Prime Minister Mariano RAJOY was asked to form a new government. RAJOY faces a confidence vote on 28 September in the light of the 2017 budget bill. Leader of Ciudadanos Party, Albert RIVERA said on Thursday that he is ready for a coalition with RAJOY’s People’s Party and the Socialist party. On Wednesday 27 July the Catalan parliament voted a pro-independence roadmap, defying the Constitutional Court’s decision that had ruled such a move as illegal.  

United Kingdom: Prime Minister Theresa MAY met with the Conservative MEPs and discussed the ‘red lines’ in the Brexit negotiations. Pro-Brexit Chair of ECR Group Syed KAMALL said that ‘there would be months of preparation’. Mrs MAY also met with the German Chancellor Angela MERKEL, French President Francois HOLLANDE and the Italian Prime Minister Matteo RENZI.
British MEPs who serve as Chairs or Vice-Chairs on European Parliament committees are reportedly coming under pressure to cede their positions in the wake of the Brexit result, which will see the UK leave the EU. The positions could be at stake as soon as January, the halfway point of the current Parliament, when committee chairmanships and vice-chairmanships - some held by British deputies - could change hands. Read more.

Candidate states:
: The European Conservatives and Reformists Party (AECR) announced a fact-finding mission to Turkey in order to meet the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials and discuss the current situation in the country after the failed military coup. In a press release, AECR praised AKP for its reforming agenda. However, it raised concerns about the restrictive measures that were taken by the government recently and are incompatible with the party’s values. It also added that ‘any AECR party that fails to abide by the Reykjavík Declaration risks suspension and expulsion from the AECR’.

Read the most recent articles written by Ifigenia Balkoura - Movers and Shakers | 26 November 2018

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