Movers and Shakers | 1 February 2016

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

By Dods people EU

01 Feb 2016

European Parliament:

Miloslav RANSDORF (CZ, GUE/NGL) died at the age of 62 on 22 January, reportedly from a stroke. Josef SKÁLA is in line to replace him.

Interest groups:
Basque Friendship Group: An MEP delegation will head to the Eastern Spanish region on 14 to 17 February to look into allegations of mistreatment and human rights abuses against political prisoners. The delegation which is comprised of ECR, GUE/NGL and Greens-EFA MPEs is expected to present a public and open report of their findings in the European Parliament.


European Commission:

Andrus Ansip's team: Vivian LOONELA joined as Member of Cabinet, replacing Jasmin BATTISTA on maternity leave.


Committee of the Regions (CoR):

Stéphan ROSSIGNOL (EPP, FR), Laurent BEAUVAIS (PES, FR), Claude GEWERC (PES, FR), Annabelle JAEGER (PES, FR), Charles MARZIANI (PES, FR), Pierrick MASSIOT (PES, FR), René SOUCHON (PES, FR) and Bernard SOULAGE (PES, FR) left their positions. 

Hervé HOCQUARD (EPP, FR), Josette BOREL-LINCERTIN (PES, FR), Marie-Marguerite DUFAY (PES, FR), Karine GLOANEC-MAURIN (PES, FR), Jean-Louis JOSEPH (PES, FR), Daniel PERCHERON (PES, FR), Michel VAUZELLE (PES, FR) and Nathalie COLIN-OESTERLE (ALDE, FR) left their positions.


European Agencies:

European Asylum Support Office: Wolfgang TAUCHER elected as Chairman of the Management Board and José CARREIRA elected as Executive Director.

European Police Office: Manuel NAVARRETE PANIAGUA appointed as Head of the new European Counter Terrorism Centre launched on 1 January 2016.


Public affairs:

European LPG Association (AEGPL): Cécile NOURIGAT joined the team as Autogas Manager. She will focus on promoting LPG as transport fuel, engaging in particular with the European institutions as well as a wide range of stakeholders, including car manufacturers.

IP Europe: On 26 January Ericsson, Airbus and France Brevets announced at a conference the launch of a consensus-based non-profit organisation that will promote fair compensation for innovation, balanced opportunities to enter the market, and high quality products at affordable prices for consumers. Intellectual property is the core value of the new organisation, which aims to defend the patents rights and protect the fair compensations for the innovators. Permanent Representatives of France and Sweden Pierre SELLAL and Anders AHNLID respectively, Commissioner Jyrki KATAINEN and members of the EU Parliament and the Commission attended the conference. Mogens PETER CARL (Deputy Director General, and subsequently Director General for DG Trade in the European Commission (1998 to 2005) and Director General for Environment (2005-2008)) is the Executive Chairman of the organisation. Ruben BONET is the SMEs Chair, Claudia TAPIA the Spokesperson and Francisco MINGORANCE the Executive Secretary.


News in a nutshell:

European Parliament: MEPs are heading to Strasbourg from Monday 1 to Thursday 4 February for the plenary session.

Member states
Mijo CRNOJA, Croatian Democratic Union (EPP) resigned on 28 Thursday, only six days after he was named as Minister for Veterans affairs amid allegations of false residence registration, tax and health insurance fraud and acts of physical violence and violations of private property. CRNOJA also caused controversy over his proposal for a “registry of national traitors” that would enlist people accused of acts against Croatia’s interests during the 1991-1995 war. Vesna NAĐ, Social Democratic Party (S&D) will be the Acting Minister until a new Minister is appointed.

France: Minister of Justice, Christiane TAUBIRA, PS (S&D) resigned on Wednesday 26 January over proposed laws to strip people with dual nationality of their French citizenship if convicted of terrorism. MP Jean-Jacques URVOAS took over the position.

Poland: Minister of Justice Zbigniew ZIOBRO, Law and Justice (ECR) became also Attorney General following a vote of the parliament in an attempt to defend better the country from terror attacks, organised crime and corruption. Mr ZIOBRO will assumed his additional duties as of 4 March.

Portugal: Marcelo REBELO DE SOUSA, Social Democratic Party (EPP) won the presidential elections on Sunday 24 January, succeeding Anibal CAVACO SILVA.

United Kingdom: Prime Minister David CAMERON, Conservatives (ECR) cancelled his trip to Sweden and Denmark to hold talks on the British demands for the EU reform. Instead, he meets Commission’s President JUNCKER and Parliament's President Martin SCHULZ (S&D, DE) on Friday 29 January in Brussels and President of the European Council, Donald TUSK on Sunday 31 January in London. CAMERON hopes to reach a deal on the renegotiation at the European Council summit on 18-19 February.

Candidate states:
Prime Minister Milo DJUKANOVIC (Democratic Party of Socialists of Montenegro) survived a confidence vote on Wednesday 27 January amid an invitation to join NATO. However, DJUKANOVIC had to rely on the votes of the opposition, as his coalition partner did not back him.

Bosnia: The Presidency of the country announced that it will officially apply to join the EU on 15 February, marking a milestone in the history of the ex-Yugoslav republic and its integration with the EU.

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