Today’s Movers & Shakers are about, Gridlock continues over Catalan MEPs, Parliament bids farewell to two of its members, the new Greek Permanent Representative to the EU, Austrian coalition government formed, latest Commission and public affairs appointments, and more!
On Monday, the Parliament issued a statement saying that it would recognise the election of Catalan politicians Oriol JUNQUERAS, Carles PUIGDEMONT and Toni COMÍN as members. The statement follows a decision by the European Court of Justice which ruled late last year that the MEPs should enjoy immunity from the moment they are elected.
Former Catalan vice-president JUNQUERAS has also been elected as president of the European Free Alliance in the Parliament.
However, the matter of JUNQUERAS taking his seat in time for plenary next week was ultimately decided by the Spanish justice system. JUNQUERAS, who was sentenced to 13 years in prison by the Spanish Supreme Court for sedition, was this week prevented from travelling to Strasbourg with the Supreme Court ruling that he does not have Parliamentary immunity.
Parliament bids farewell to Karoline EDTSTADLER (EPP, AT) who has recently been appointed Minister for Europe in the Austrian government.
Naomi LONG (RE, UK) also leaves the Parliament to take on the role of Member of the Legislative Assembly in Northern Ireland.
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Directorate L (Treasury and financial operations) moves from DG ECFIN to DG BUDG with the exception of the team working on EMU-deepening, which remains in DG ECFIN.
Communication Networks Content and Technology (CNECT)
Vesa TERAVA replaces Claire BURY as director of Directorate B (Electronic Communications Networks & Services) in an acting capacity. TERAVA also takes on the role of head of unit B2 (Implementation of the Regulatory Framework) from Wolf-Dietrich GRUSSMANN.
TERAVA is replaced in her previous role as head of unit D1 (Research Strategy & Programme Coordination) by Thibault KLEINER who was former deputy head of cabinet of Commissioner Günther OETTINGER.
Lucilla SIOLI replaces Max LEMKE as head of unit A2 (Technologies & Systems for Digitising Industry) in an acting capacity.
Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROW)
Gwenole COZIGOU has replaced Timo PESONEN in the role of director general (acting capacity) as the latter moves to the position of director general and the newly created Directorate General for Defence Industry and Space (DEFIS). In addition to the role of acting director general, COZIGOU will continue as as director of Directorate C (Sustainable Industry and Mobility).
Former deputy director general Pierre DELSAUX and the Directorates I (Space Policy, Copernicus and Defence) and J (EU Satellite Navigation Programme) under his responsibility have also moved to the newly created Directorate General for Defence Industry and Space (DEFIS).
UK Task Force
Clara MARTÍNEZ ALBEROLA, who was Jean-Claude JUNCKER’s former chief of staff, will now serve as deputy to Michel BARNIER, the EU’s chief negotiator.
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EU Institutions and Agencies
Council of the European Union – Permanent Representations
Permanent Representative Andreas PSTAVROU, left Brussels at the end of December and was replaced by Ioannis VRAILAS, former Permanent Representative of the EU to the OSCE.
Ioanna CHARALAMPOPOULOU has joined the team as Public Affairs Manager. Ioanna brings more than 10 years’ experience in Public affairs on health topics and has previously worked for Greek Authorities and the European Commission (DG SANCO and DG CONNECT). She replaces Magdalena MACHALSKA.
European Association of Automotive Suppliers
Thorsten MUSCHAL, Executive Vice President, Sales & Program Management and Member of the Executive Committee of Faurecia S.A., has become president.
Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services (FEAD)
Peter KURTH has become the new president with Valérie PLAINEMAISON as Secretary General. KURTH takes over from outgoing president Jean-Marc BOURSIER, who will remain vice-president along with Cesare SPREAFICO.
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Sebastian KURZ agreed to form a coalition government with the Greens on the 1 January with negotiations ending after three months of government formation talks. KURZ was sworn in as chancellor on the 7 January. Wener KOGLER, leader of the green party was sworn in as vice-chancellor. The greens take up control of four ministries, including the Justice portfolio.