Today's Movers & Shakers are about: plenary's highlights, the new Special Advisers, latest appointments in the Commission, European Agencies and public affairs, the new Romanian ministers, Brexit and more.
Red lines on Brexit negotiations: MEPs have backed a resolution outlining Parliament’s key principles, with 516 votes in favour, 133 against and 50 abstentions. Read Dods EU Monitoring’s briefing on the debate.
In a debate preceding the vote, Nigel FARAGE angered his MEP colleagues when he compared the European Parliament to the Mafia. President TAJANI said that the remarks were unacceptable and in response to the outcry, Mr FARAGE offered to change his description to gangsters instead, citing “national sensitivities”. Read more.
Car emissions: MEPs discussed the final report by co-rapporteurs Gerben-Jan GERBRANDY (ALDE, NL) and Jens GIESEKE (EPP, DE) following the inquiry into emission measurements in the automotive sector and adopted their draft recommendation to the Commission in this respect. The Parliament also adopted the “type approval” report by 585 votes to 77, with 19 abstentions. This vote gives the Parliament’s negotiators, led by Daniel DALTON (ECR, UK) as rapporteur on the file, a mandate to start trilogues with the Council, once it reaches its general position, and the Commission.
End of roaming charges: the last hurdle to abolish the roaming charges has now been removed, after the MEPs endorsed the informal deal between the Council, the Parliament and the Commission with 549 votes in favour, 27 against and 50 abstentions. The Council now still formally needs to endorse the deal. As of 15 June, consumers will be able to call, text and use mobile data at no extra cost while travelling in other EU member states. Miapetra KUMPULA-NATRI (S&D, FI) is Parliament’s rapporteur.
EU rules on medical devices: MEPs backed stricter rules to enhance more safety and traceability. Peter Liese (EPP, DE) is the rapporteur on the in-vitro diagnostic medical devices report and Glenis WILLMOTT (S&D, UK) is rapporteur on the medical devices report.
Ukraine visa waiver: The Parliament has backed by 521 votes to 75 with 36 abstentions an informal deal with the Council, under which the Ukrainian citizens holding a biometric passport will be able to travel to the EU without a visa for 90 days. Mariya GABRIEL (EPP, BG) is Parliament’s rapporteur for the proposal.
Hate speech and fake news: MEPs discussed the proliferation of hate speech and fake news and how to best respond. Many MEPs suggested internet companies to get involved to ensure that fake and defamatory content is removed quickly, but they were warned against censorship and media control. The improvement of media literacy was also proposed, given the popularity of social media.
Frank-Walter STEINMEIER: the newly appointed German President addressed the Parliament on Tuesday 4 April. In a passionate speech, he defended the EU, by saying among others that "Europe is a complicated and demanding project, but it's worth all the effort." He also warned against populism.
Eurogroup President: Jeroen DIJSSELBLOEM rejected an invitation to address the Parliament. Instead he sent a letter, stating that “Regrettably, some people were offended by the way I expressed myself. Choice of words is of course personal as is the way they are picked up. I shall be even more careful in the future as it is never my intention to insult people.” His remarks comparing the economic situation of southern eurozone countries to someone wasting money on "alcohol and women" and then asking for help sparked anger. Opening the plenary session, European Parliament President Antonio TAJANI told MEPs that he would send DIJSSELBLOEM a formal letter of protest regarding his recent reported remarks. Read more.
Get to know:
Andrey NOVAKOV (EPP, BU) in 5 questions.
The face of the week:
Mairead MCGUINNESS (EPP, IE), first Vice-President of the Parliament gave interview to the Parliament Magazine and talked about taking risks, building bridges with national parliaments, and why she’s excited about her new responsibility for interreligious dialogue. Read the interview.
Composition of the political groups:
Jacek SARYUSZ-WOLSKI left the EPP Group and is now sitting with the non-attached members. Following his defection, the seat breakdown of the parliament is as follows:
Composition of the committees and the delegations:
Nikolay BAREKOV (ECR, BU) left the delegation for relations with Iran (D-IR) and joined the Delegation to the EU-Russia parliamentary cooperation committee (D-RU) and the delegation to the ACP-EU joint parliamentary assembly (D-ACP).
Tomasz Piotr PORĘBA (ECR, PL) left the delegation to the ACP-EU joint parliamentary assembly (D-ACP) and joined the delegation for relations with Belarus (D-BY) and the delegation to the Euronest parliamentary assembly (D-EPA).
Daniel DALTON (ECR, UK) left the delegation to the EU-Russia parliamentary cooperation committee (D-RU).
Burkhard BALZ (EPP, DE) left the committee on budgets (BUDG) and joined the committee on transport and tourism (TRAN), replacing Herbert REUL (EPP, DE).
Rainer WIELAND (EPP, DE) joined the committee on budgets (BUDG).
Sabine VERHEYEN (EPP, DE) left the delegation to the EU-Chile joint parliamentary committee (D-CL) and joined the delegation to the ACP-EU joint parliamentary assembly (D-ACP).
José Ignacio SALAFRANCA SÁNCHEZ-NEYRA (EPP, ES) joined the delegation to the Euro-Latin American parliamentary assembly (D-LAT).
Peter KOUROUMBASHEV (S&D, BU) joined the Delegation for relations with the countries of Southeast Asia and the association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (D-ASE).
Arndt KOHN (S&D, DE) joined the committee on regional development (REGI), replacing Joachim SCHUSTER (S&D, DE).
Nikolay BAREKOV (ECR, BU) left the delegation to the EU-Armenia and EU-Azerbaijan parliamentary cooperation committees and the EU-Georgia parliamentary association committee (D-SCA).
Tomasz Piotr PORĘBA (ECR, PL) joined the Delegation to the EU-Armenia and EU-Azerbaijan Parliamentary Cooperation Committees and the EU-Georgia Parliamentary Association Committee (D-SCA).
Joëlle BERGERON (EFDD, FR) joined the delegation for relations with the Federative Republic of Brazil (D-BR).
Elefhterios SYNADINOS (NI, EL) joined the committee on culture and education (CULT).
NEW GROUP: European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE):
A new Commission Group has been launched, following the renewal of the EGE's legal mandate, by appointing 15 expert members. The group is an independent body that advises the Commission on policies where ethical rights are to be considered in the development of science and technology. The members are appointed by the President of the Commission and come under the responsibility of Carlos MOEDAS, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation. The group's first meeting will be 24-25 April.
European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO):
Following the meetings of the Justice and Home Affairs Council in Malta last week, 16 member states have notified the EU of their intention to launch the EPPO. A letter was sent to the EU institutions with signatories from: Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia. Further discussions will take place with the Council and other member states are expected to join the process. Consent will be needed from the Parliament before a regulation can be adopted.
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A number of Special Advisers have been appointed or had their tenures renewed for the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018.
Federica MOGHERINI: Patrick de ROUSIERS, special adviser for global security strategy, left the cabinet.
Andrus ANSIP: special advisers, Constantijn VAN ORANJE-NASSAU and Emmanuel GABLA, left the cabinet.
Günther OETTINGER: Ivailo KALFIN joined the cabinet as a special adviser for relations with the European and National Parliaments and budget revenue. His tenure runs from 1 April 2017 to 31 December 2018. In addition, two external members of the Audit Progress Committee joined the cabinet on 4 April, Jean-Pierre GARITTE and Michael SCHRENK.
Neven MIMICA: José Manuel de Morais BRIOSA E GALA, special adviser for relations with Africa, left the cabinet.
Miguel ARIAS CAÑETE: Francisco Javier ELORZA CAVENGT became special adviser for energy issues. Marion PERELLE joined as a Member of Cabinet overseeing areas such as nuclear energy, financial projects and Europe 2020.
Phil HOGAN: Michael TREACY, communication and implementation special adviser, left the cabinet.
Vĕra JOUROVA: Katalin LIGETTI replaced Francois FALLETTI as special adviser for judicial cooperation.
Tibor NAVRACSICS: Judit KÖRMENDY-ÉKES left the cabinet while Professor Pierluigi SACCO joined as special adviser for cultural heritage.
Corina CRETU: Dr Dirk AHNER and Professor Kevin MORGAN left the cabinet. Nicholas MARTYN joined as special adviser on the framework of regional policy.
Vladis DOMBROVSKIS: Francisco GARCÍA MORÁN was appointed as special adviser for digital policies from 1 June 2017.
Marianne THYSSEN: Inge BERNAERTS replaced Stefaan HERMANS as Head of Cabinet. Ms BERNAERTS has been a member of Commissioner THYSSEN's cabinet since 2014.
Climate Action (CLIMA):
Directorate B – European and International Carbon Markets: Yordi AGUIRRE became Director on 1 April. She replaced Director-General Jos DELBEKE who was acting in the role.
Directorate S – Resources and Support: Gianluca PECCHI has been appointed as Director as of 16 April. He is currently head of the 'finance and administration' unit in the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME). Mr PECCHI will replace Carlos ALEGRIA who has been acting.
Justice and Consumers (JUST):
Directorate D – Equality and Union Citizenship: Irena MOOZOVA has been appointed as Director as of 16 April. She will replace Marie-Hélène Boulanger who is acting in the role. Ms MOOZOVA is currently head of the 'support and partnerships' unit in DG COMM.
Spokesperson' Service (SPP):
European semester and social dialogue: Juliana DAHL became acting Press Officer replacing Anniky LAMP.
Research Executive Agency (REA):
Marc TACHELET became Director of the REA as of 1 April replacing Gilbert GASCARD. Marc BELLENS has taken over Mr GASCARD's previous role as head of the 'Industrial Leadership and Societal Challenges' department.
European Defence Agency (EDA):
Martin KONERTZ was appointed as the new Capability, Armament and Technology (CAT) Director as of 1 April 2017. Prior to his appointment, he was Branch Chief Multinational Defence Planning, at the German Ministry of Defence in Bonn.
European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA):
The Board of Supervisors extended the terms of office of Alberto CORINTI, Sandrine LEMERY and Jean HILGERS by two-and-a-half years.
Council of the European Union:
Directorate 1 – Human Resources and Personnel Administration (DG A): Sonia FUMAGALLI became Head of Unit, 'Individual Entitlements', replacing Anna KALBE. Ms KALBE was appointed as Senior Administrator, reporting directly to the Director.
EU Energy Policy Summit:
On 28 March, the third EU Energy Policy Summit was held in Brussels. The event brought together representatives from the European Commission, European Parliament, national governments, energy regulators and the energy industry, academia, civil society and the media to discuss EU energy initiatives and their impact on the European energy market. The summit featured sessions on decarbonising the European economy via energy efficiency and the use of innovation and new technologies; energy security, energy diplomacy and resilience of energy systems; digital technologies and energy consumers; and energy market design and investment. Read Dods EU Monitoring briefing.
Burson-Marsteller: Ramiro PRUDENCIO was named as the new CEO of EMEA region, as of 2 May. Mr PRUDENCIO, who was previously CEO of Latin America region will be based in London. The leading firm also announced the appointment of John HIGGINS, as new senior advisor for digital technology. Mr HIGGINS who will start his new role on 1 May, joins from DIGITALEUROPE, where he was Director-General the last 6 years.
Carnegie Europe: Tomáš VALÁŠEK started his new role as Director.
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DIGITALEUROPE: Cecilia BONEFELD-DAHL took on her new role as Director-General in early April, succeeding John HIGGINS.
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD): Alexia LATORTUE was appointed as Managing Director, Corporate Strategy.
ENTSO-E: Bednte HAGEM was re-elected as Chair of the Board, while Ben VOORHORST elected as President of the Assembly. Konrad PURCHALA will replace Pascale FONCK as Chair of the Market Committee and Guido GUIDA will take over from Carlo SABELLI as head of the Research, Development and Innovation Committee. The new appointments will take effect in the end of June 2017, when the Assembly will designate its Vice-President and elect the Board members.
European Snacks Association (ESA): Marta DE LA CERA was promoted to Senior Regulatory & Scientific Affairs Manager.
Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co. (SKB): Eva HALLDÉN was appointed as acting Managing-Director.
News in a nutshell:
Brexit: Prime Minister met for the first time since the triggering of Article 50, with the European Council President Donald TUSK on Thursday 6 April. Among others, they discussed Gibraltar following a row over the status of the territory. Mrs MAY underlined the Government’s opposition to any change to Gibraltar’s status. Earlier last week, Downing Street insisted that Britain will not be sending a Royal Navy taskforce to defend Gibraltar from Spanish aggression. The pair agreed on avoiding any tensions and staying on regular contact throughout the negotiations. Read more.
The Government came once again under pressure, as Peers backed two Labour motions calling for a stronger role of the Parliament and the protections of the EU citizens’ rights living in the UK. Read more.
Czech Republic: Jiří HAVLÍČEK became the new minister for industry and trade, replacing Jan MLÁDEK, who was dismissed in the end of February.
Romania: Daniel CONSTANTIN, deputy prime minister and minister for the environment was fired over a row within ALDE party. He was replaced by the minister for parliament relations, Gratiela GAVRILESCU. Viorel ILIE took over GAVRILESCU.